1. I met the author last night at an event at my neighborhood bookstore
2. The cover illustration couldn't be more perfect
3. It is a book about books
I'd Rather Be Reading: The delights and dilemmas of the reading life by Anne Bogel just came into my hands in the past 24 hours. I have not had a chance to read more than the introduction and the first entry, "Confess Your Literary Sins."
(My literary sins? I will confess a few: I am not a fan of Jane Austen and barely made it through Pride and Prejudice. I hated Wuthering Heights. I have never read any of The Great Russian Novelists.)
Anne Bogel is the writer behind the Modern Mrs. Darcy blog. She is also the voice behind the podcast What Should I Read Next? on which she gives book recommendations to callers based on three books they love, one book they hate, and what they are reading now.
She has quite a loyal following.
All of this was new to me until last week when I read the email newsletter from Carmichael's Bookstore and caught a glimpse of the cover of IRBR. Based on that alone, I put the author event on my calendar. It was only later I discovered that Anne grew up here in Louisville and lives less than two miles from me.
How have I missed her?
The event — I am so glad I went early — was standing room only. The woman sitting next to me (on the front row, of course) had come from Lexington, 90 miles away, and said she was a long-time fan of both Anne's blog and podcasts.
The book is not a compilation of blog posts, but contains original content. There are 21 essays within its 150 pages. There are even illustrations — always a plus.
Anne didn't spend too much time with opening remarks but went right to Q&A. She was funny and engaging. She loves libraries. She loves books. She loves reading.
Here's a paragraph from the introduction:
We are readers. Books are an essential part of our lives and of our life stories. For us, reading isn't just a hobby or a pastime; it's a lifestyle. We're the kind of people who understand the heartbreak of not having your library reserves come in before you leave town for vacation and the exhilaration of stumbling upon the new Louise Penny at your local independent bookstore three whole days before the official publication date. We know the pain of investing hours of reading time in a book we enjoyed right up until the final chapter's truly terrible resolution, and we know the pleasure of stumbling upon exactly the right book at exactly the right time.
I know what I'll be reading this weekend.
Anne Bogel signing books at Carmichael's Bookstore
I'd Rather Be Reading