I’d Rather Be Reading Book Summary - I’d Rather Be Reading Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro

I’d Rather Be Reading summary

Anne Bogel

The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life

3.9 (195 ratings)
17 mins

Brief summary

"I'd Rather Be Reading" by Anne Bogel is a collection of essays that celebrates the joys of reading. Through personal stories and reflections, she explores the impact of reading on our lives and the ways it enhances our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.

Table of Contents

    I’d Rather Be Reading
    Summary of 6 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 6

    Books are windows into the soul, present and past.

    It’s the classic question most of us have asked or been asked at an interview or on a date: "What’s your favorite book?”

    There’s a good reason for that. The books you like say a lot about you. They give a real insight into the soul of their reader.

    Anne Bogel was asked that very question when she met a new friend over coffee one day.

    But she wasn’t ready to divulge. It’s a pretty intimate question after all, and she was also worried about what this new friend would think of her answer.

    If she’d made the case for Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited, maybe her friend would think she was a boring old windbag who restricted herself only to the classics.

    On the other hand, if she claimed a soft spot for Marisa de los Santos’s lighthearted romantic comedy Love Walked In, maybe she’d seem a little more fun. The risk was that it might appear that she never tackled serious literature.

    But of course, no one has the same favorite book forever; they change. If you remember what your old favorites used to be, then you’re also going to be reminded of who you used to be.

    Just as the smell of a certain kind of floor polish can take you back to old school gymnasiums and memories of vaulting the horse, so books can take you back to certain times in your life.

    Maybe you still remember which book you were reading when you took your first trip abroad. Or, more painfully, which books you chucked out when your heart was first broken. Every book is bound tight to the time in your life when you read it.

    But like all memories, memories of reading can get mixed and foggy. That’s why it’s important to keep a record.

    Some vociferous readers even keep diaries, logging key scenes and memorable quotations from books. Bogel was skeptical of such practices at first. She used to simply retort, “I’d rather be reading.” But then she became jealous of a friend who kept an especially rich log.

    Ever since that moment, she’s written a simple log herself. Just when she can, and just a few details: the name of the book, the date, and a little star if she’s especially fond of it. Nothing more than that.

    It’s hardly exciting, but it gets the job done. It helps her to remember all the books she’s read – hardly something she could do extemporaneously. All she needs to do is glance at a title, and she’ll be taken right back to when she was reading the book. It gives these volumes an afterlife they might never otherwise have had.

    Want to see all full key ideas from I’d Rather Be Reading?

    Key ideas in I’d Rather Be Reading

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is I’d Rather Be Reading about?

    I’d Rather Be Reading (2018) is a collection of stories and anecdotes that document the life of a bookworm and offer advice to fellow bibliophiles. From overflowing shelves to forbidden reading, these blinks offer a colorful take on what it means to be A Reader.

    I’d Rather Be Reading Review

    I'd Rather Be Reading (2018) is a delightful collection of essays celebrating the joy, nostalgia, and magic of reading. Here's why this book is a must-read:

    • Featuring relatable stories about the love of books and the reading experience, it invokes a sense of connection and understanding.
    • The book explores the meaningful role that books play in our lives, reminding us of the comfort, escape, and companionship they provide.
    • With its witty observations and heartfelt reflections, the book captures the nuances and intricacies of being a book lover, keeping readers captivated from start to finish.

    Best quote from I’d Rather Be Reading

    Sometimes I fantasize about getting my hands on my library records.

    —Anne Bogel
    example alt text

    Who should read I’d Rather Be Reading?

    • Readers
    • Writers
    • Obsessive collectors and hobbyists

    About the Author

    Anne Bogel is the author of the internet blog Modern Mrs. Darcy and presents the podcast What Should I Read Next? She has also written several guides to reading and book lists, including her own Reading People (2017). She lives in Louisville, Kentucky with several thousand books, four children and her husband.

    Categories with I’d Rather Be Reading

    Book summaries like I’d Rather Be Reading

    People ❤️ Blinkist 
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked these summaries

    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    31 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    10+ years
    Experience igniting personal growth
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,500+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial

    I’d Rather Be Reading FAQs 

    What is the main message of I’d Rather Be Reading?

    The main message of I’d Rather Be Reading is the joy and power of books and reading in our lives.

    How long does it take to read I’d Rather Be Reading?

    The estimated reading time for I’d Rather Be Reading is a few hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is I’d Rather Be Reading a good book? Is it worth reading?

    I’d Rather Be Reading is a delightful book that celebrates the love of reading. It's definitely worth reading for book lovers and those seeking a cozy and relatable experience.

    Who is the author of I’d Rather Be Reading?

    The author of I’d Rather Be Reading is Anne Bogel.

    What to read after I’d Rather Be Reading?

    If you're wondering what to read next after I’d Rather Be Reading, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • That Sounds Fun by Annie F. Downs
    • Proust and the Squid by Maryanne Wolf
    • Reader, Come Home by Maryanne Wolf
    • On Writing Well by William Zinsser
    • How To Read Literature Like A Professor by Thomas C. Foster
    • Breaking The Page by Peter Meyers
    • 10 Days to Faster Reading by The Princeton Language Institute and Abby Marks Beale
    • Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose
    • Good Leaders Ask Great Questions by John C. Maxwell
    • How to Know a Person by David Brooks