How To Make Your Reading Life Fun & Delightful | Anne Bogel on The Reader’s Journey

Check out The Reader’s Journey Episode Page & Show Notes

Key Takeaways

  • Books recommendations are a lot more difficult than people think, there’s no one size fits all answer
    • “My favorite book might be one that put you to sleep and the book that changed my life might be the book you couldn’t get through chapter three on” – Anne Bogel
  • When you recommend someone a book they didn’t ask for, it’s like giving a gym membership to someone for Christmas when they didn’t ask for one
    • “We just don’t understand how other people read for different reasons and enjoy different things and they have different priorities and personal histories” – Anne Bogel
  • The Book Police doesn’t exist. No one is going to take away your reading license or library card for not reading the “right” books.
    • “So many readers feel like they’re doing it wrong…that there’s some objective standard out there or some brigade of English teachers that is going to come and take away their reading license if they don’t do it right” – Anne Bogel
  • A person who reads lives a thousand lives while a person who doesn’t only lives one
    • “You get to experience what it might be like to live a different kind of life for 300 pages at a time…There’s nothing like reading to quickly and effectively transport you to another world, another experience, another culture, another view”  – Anne Bogel
  • Writing in a book helps you understand what you’re reading, remember the important parts, and make it easier to go back to in the future 
    • “If you’re going to take the time to read a book, you want it to stick with you and it’s such a simple way to help make that story or information a little bit sticker”Anne Boge
  • Connecting over a book is a great way to skip small talk with someone and get into a deeper conversation
    • “That’s what books do, they let you connect over the things that matter most to all of us is a really engaging, entertaining, and not socially awkward way” – Anne Bogel
  • “We don’t enter adulthood as fully formed adults nor do we enter adulthood as fully formed readers”Anne Bogel
    • Once you leave school, you have to learn how to select good books and find time to read on your own because no one will make you read anymore
      • “School teaches people how to read but not how to be readers” –  Alex Wieckowski

Intro

Books Mentioned

  • I’d Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life by Anne Bogel
  • Three days before Anne finished talking with a realtor about putting her house on the market, she read Never Split The Difference by Chris Voss: It’s written by an FBI hostage negotiator who shares advice on winning negotiations
  • The One In A Million Boy by Monica Wood is a wonderful book if you enjoy tales of unlikely friendships
    • It was the first book Anne read with her book club
    • She still thinks about this book 4 years later
  • Ex Libris by Anne Fadiman is a collection of essays about the reading life
    • The book inspired Anne to think about her reading experience and share it with other book lovers
  • The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White
    • This book changed the way Anne read books and thought about writing
  • The Writing Life by Annie Dillard 
    • This book opened Anne’s eyes to a new way of thinking about the craft of writing 

The Difficulties of Giving Book Recommendations

  • Once you start talking about book publicly with readers, you’ll have all kinds of conversations about books that you never thought about before
  • Books recommendations are a lot more difficult than people think, there’s no one size fits all answer
    • “My favorite book might be one that put you to sleep and the book that changed my life might be the book you couldn’t get through chapter three on” – Anne Bogel
  • In order to recommend a book, you need to know what would make it great for the other person
    • Most people don’t realize that book recommendations need to be personal and tailored to that specific person
      • “It really got me thinking about not just how personal a good reading experience can be but the difference between a book that is objectively well-written and a book that is subjectively just completely perfect for you”  – Anne Bogel
  • Avoid being book bossy and using the word “should read”
    • When you recommend someone a book they didn’t ask for, it’s like giving a gym membership to someone for Christmas when they didn’t ask for one
      • Don’t recommend or give books to people that they don’t want or need, it’s obnoxious even though you may have good intentions
        • “We just don’t understand how other people read for different reasons and enjoy different things and they have different priorities and personal histories” – Anne Bogel
          • Don’t say someone should read a book, say you might like this book

There Is No Book Police

  • “So many readers feel like they’re doing it wrong…that there’s some objective standard out there or some brigade of English teachers that is going to come and take away their reading license if they don’t do it right” – Anne Bogel
    • The Book Police doesn’t exist. No one is going to take away your reading license or library card for not reading the “right” books.
      • It’s okay to not read classical books if you don’t like them. It’s also okay to read books other people consider bad and enjoy them. 
        • “They don’t really want to admit that to everyone and I just want to say that like there are no Book Police…it is okay, no one is going to come take your reading card away”

Right Book, Right Time

  • Book serendipity does exist. Every now and then you’ll read the right book at the right time
    • The book could address a specific problem you’re having or lift you up during a tough time
  • Three days before Anne finished talking with a realtor about putting her house on the market, she read Never Split The Difference by Chris Voss: It’s written by an FBI hostage negotiator who shares advice on winning negotiations
    • Anne applied what she learned from that book towards selling her house
      • “I like to think that I read the right book at the right time and that’s why we sold our house on the first day for more than the asking price” – Anne Bogel

The Benefits of Reading & How To Read More

  • A person who reads lives a thousand lives while a person who doesn’t only lives one
    • “You get to experience what it might be like to live a different kind of life for 300 pages at a time…There’s nothing like reading to quickly and effectively transport you to another world, another experience, another culture, another view”  – Anne Bogel
      • Books are like the original virtual reality, you get to explore different places without ever leaving your house
  • Living near a library will greatly improve your reading life
    • “I read all kinds of things and with a frequency I wouldn’t have if the books weren’t right there. I mean I lived next door to 50,000 books.” – Anne Bogel
  • It’s okay to reread books, you don’t have to constantly read new books to check them off your to-be-read list
    • Rereading a book is like going behind-the-scenes because you pick up on a lot of details you may have missed the first time around
    • Books also change over time since you’ve changed as a person
      • “If you pick up a book when you’re 20 and then you don’t pick it up again until you’re 30, it’s a different experience and it really tells you as much about yourself as about the book you’re reading” – Anne Bogel
  • It’s okay to mark-up and write in your books
    • Writing in a book helps you understand what you’re reading, remember the important parts, and make it easier to go back to in the future 
      • “If you’re going to take the time to read a book, you want it to stick with you and it’s such a simple way to help make that story or information a little bit sticker”Anne Boge
    • Reading is an active activity, you should be involved in it
    • It’s also harder to fall asleep when you’re reading and writing in a book

Rite of Passage Readers Go Through

  • All readers go through a rite of passage from having books assigned to them to selecting their books proactively
    • “We don’t enter adulthood as fully formed adults nor do we enter adulthood as fully formed readers”Anne Bogel
      • Once you leave school, you have to learn how to select good books and find time to read on your own because no one will make you read anymore
        • “School teaches people how to read but not how to be readers” –  Alex Wieckowski

Books that Had A Major Impact On Anne

  • The One In A Million Boy by Monica Wood is a wonderful book if you enjoy tales of unlikely friendships
    • It was the first book Anne read with her book club
    • She still thinks about this book 4 years later
  • Ex Libris by Anne Fadiman is a collection of essays about the reading life
    • The book inspired Anne to think about her reading experience and share it with other book lovers
  • The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White
    • This book changed the way Anne read books and thought about writing
  • The Writing Life by Annie Dillard 
    • This book opened Anne’s eyes to a new way of thinking about the craft of writing 

Additional Notes

  • Keep a reading log: It will help you keep an honest record of the books you’ve read throughout the year 
    • “It’s easy to tell yourself, oh I’m reading a ton right now, but if you look at your reading log and see you’ve only read three titles since Christmas then you may feel like you’re reading but your reading log doesn’t lie”Anne Bogel
      • The data doesn’t lie 
  • Reading can be a solitary activity but it can also be a social activity
    • You can connect with other readers about the books you loved and the books you hated
      • Connecting over a book is a great way to skip small talk with someone and get into a deeper conversation
        • “That’s what books do, they let you connect over the things that matter most to all of us is a really engaging, entertaining, and not socially awkward way” – Anne Bogel
The Reader's Journey : , , ,
Notes By Alex Wiec

More Notes on these topics

Top Insights and Tactics From

31 Best Podcasts of All Time

FREE when you join over 12,000 subscribers to the
Podcast Notes newsletter

No Thanks