I’d rather be reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life

I define myself as a book lover, I can’t imagine life without a book by my side. I don’t just read how to-books about art and crafts (the kind that I mostly review here on my blog) but also novels, biographies, fantasy, YA, classics, fact books, kid’s lit, and more.

I just received the book I'd rather be reading

I use books as entertainment and for relaxation, but also as a tool to do research and learning new stuff. Shortly said, I love books. I wish you all could embrace book reading, but I know it’s not for everyone. Although I so hope that you at least now and then will give some books a try. Try reading a book you’ve been recommended, even though you might not (yet) define yourself as a book lover! It might just change your (reading) life…

Reading is actually good on sooo many levels…

Although it may see fairly out of style to pick up a traditional paperback book and delve into a daunting tale of perseverance or true crime, it is actually quite beneficial to your overall health. Trends and fads are all wonderful and have their time and place, but there is nothing that can take the place of feeling the pages of a book upon your fingers tips or falling off to sleep stepping into dreams inspired by the novel resting on your nightstand…

Quote from an article about Why Reading Paper Books is Better than reading on a screen.

Anyway, you probably already knew that reading is good for you. If you’re anything like me, and you already are a book reader, I think you’ll enjoy Anne Bogel’s new book titled I’d Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life. Maybe you’ll even agree with this:


I wouldn't be the person I am today if I weren't a reader. /Anne Bogel #quote #bookreview

I'd rather be READING : The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life by Anne Bogel #booktips #readinglife #bookreview

I’d Rather Be Reading a slim little volume that is the perfect gift (Christmas coming up) for anyone who likes reading. Each chapter is an essay about the different aspects of a reading life, some full of joy and others reminding us of the not as pleasant things about reading (like trying to find your “next read” and being overwhelmed with choices)…

I already have a favorite book in the genre of “books about books” and it’s called Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader, written by Anne Fadiman and published in 2000. Back then I used to recommend it to everyone because it totally captured my heart. Bogel’s book did not make me fall as deeply in love as Fadiman’s book did back then, when I was still dreaming of reading literature at the university (which I later did), but it did something very important for me at this time in my life: It reminded me that I am a reader. That my life too, used to be and can be as overfilled with books as Anne Bogel’s life seams to be.

I'd rather be reading & cardamom bun

And my life is still full of books, and reading, if only I can remember to look up from the cell phone and grab that hardbound copy I have laying next to me, borrowed from the library!

It’s a wonderful world, the world of literature. Or like Anne Bogel puts it:

People read for a multiplicity of reasons. Nearly forty years in, I can tell you why I inhale books like oxygen: I’m grateful for my one life, but I’d prefer to live a thousand – and my favorite books allow me to experience more on the page than I ever could in my actual life.

I love that. Reading Anne Bogel’s book reminded me of my own reading history, of youth favorites and the many, many visits to the school libraries of my childhood. It will also remind you of the importance of reading to kids, of books given (or received) as gifts, of moments of bliss when you are not able to sleep because you just have to read. one. more. page…

It will remind you of forgotten moments, people, and places you’ve met through books. If you’re a reader who in later years are leaning more on HBO or Netflix for late night entertainment, reading this book will remind you of who you are, deep down. It will revitalize your reading life with some new titles you really will want to check out, or invite you to re-read old favorites. That’s one reason I consider this book a gem. It reminds us that books are not only entertainment, but love.

Books can be many different things for us, and be different things at different times. Books can feel like nourishment. A treat. A past-time. A cave. A tavern. A castle. A Laugh. A Cry. An escape. A life-line. A friend.

I'd rather be reading & cardamom bun

Get yourself a copy of Anne Bogel’s book I’d Rather Be Reading and dive in. You won’t be sorry.

Other books about books

In case you haven’t read the classic book 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff, I want to recommend it too. It is a must-read if you love books. It was first published in 1970, and features twenty years of correspondence between the author and freelance writer Helene Hanff, New York City, and a used-book dealer in London at 84, Charing Cross Road. Through the years, though never meeting and separated both geographically and culturally, their common love for books keeps them writing to each other and makes a special bond of friendship. Their relationship, captured in these letters, has touched the hearts of thousands of readers around the world.

There is also the much newer novel called The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Swedish author Katarina Bivald. It’s a darling story about a woman who traveled all the way from Sweden just to meet her book-loving pen pal, Amy, in Iowa, US. When she arrives she is saddened to discover that her friend has just died, and she is left with not much to do in the little dusty, almost dying, town of Broken Wheel… except maybe “helping out” at the abandoned book store. Must-read, I tell you.

On my want-to-read-list I recently put The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell and The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George, both on the theme of books as I’m kind of “into that genre” right now. How about you? What are you reading right now? Any book tips for us? Let me know below in the comments.

I'd rather be reading

Here’s a iHanna quote for you:

Further book reading inspiration

  • I’d Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life – a book by Anne Bogel. You can read more and get it through Amazon
  • Modern Mrs Darcy – Anne’s blog, not only about books but a lot about books
  • Podcast: What Should I Read Next? – Anne Bogel’s own show with book recommendations!
  • Library of Pretty – my Pinterest board about reading life and beautiful book covers, and magical places of books
  • I’m iHanna on Good Reads if you want to follow me there, but mostly I keep book notes in a Traveler’s Notebook…

If you are a reading person, I bet you often say to yourself: I’d rather be reading right now. So what’s stopping you?

Note: I’m part of the online launch team of the book I’d rather be reading, and received a copy free of charge to review on my blog. The opinions are my own in everything, as always on this blog. There is affiliate links to Amazon in this post, at no extra cost for you. Stay awesome!

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4 Responses to I’d rather be reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life

  1. Arielle says:

    There are few things I enjoy more than reading a good book! I tend to read a lot of sci-fi or fantasy books. A couple other genres can slip into my reading list occasionally, too. I used to read a lot of medieval books. And I enjoy reading fanfiction, when I’m willing to read on s screen instead of a bound book. Someday, I want a house with a library room, so I can neatly organize and have all of my favorite books at my fingertips! For now, I keep a small stack of books next to my bed and have another open in my Kindle. I enjoy reading (and re-reading) multiple books at a time, depending on how I’m feeling. :)

    • iHanna says:

      You’re a lot like me then, liking a lot of different kinds of books. I’ve been reading quite a few fantasy books this year (most from Scandinavian authors), and finally managed to read (although audio book) the book “1984” by Orwell. I was surprised on how much I liked it!

  2. Marcia says:

    I really enjoyed “84, Charing Cross Road” too! I still prefer reading real books over e-books. I read a lot of non-fiction, but right now for Halloween I’m reading Stephen King’s “It”.
    One of my favorite Emily Dickinson poems is about reading:

    He ate and drank the precious Words —
    His Spirit grew robust —
    He knew no more that he was poor,
    Nor that his frame was Dust —

    He danced along the dingy Days
    And this Bequest of Wings
    Was but a Book — What Liberty
    A loosened spirit brings —

    • iHanna says:

      Thanks for the poem, it’s lovely. And Stephen King sounds like the perfect author for the week. Did you read his Sleeping Beauties yet? It was creepy but interesting, I think.

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