Confess Your Literary Sins – A. Bogel

rather-be-reading-bogel-2018They’ve had the same book sitting on their nightstand for three years and haven’t opened it once.

They’ve never, not ever, read a book over three hundred pages long.

They’ve tried and tried, but they haven’t enjoyed a book written by a woman in years. Or a man. Or a white person. Or someone who doesn’t live in England or the United States. Or Alaska. Or the American South.

They checked a book out of the library four years ago – and still haven’t returned it. They’re afraid to show their face at the library until they pay down their overdue balance, which now equals the cost of a nice dinner out. The library canceled their card because of lost books and overdue fines.

They ordered pizza so they could skip making dinner and finish their book. They ate cereal for dinner so they could finish their book. They forgot to eat dinner because they were finishing their book.

The last time they finished a great story, the book hangover lasted three days. They were so caught up in their book that they let the kids draw on the walls so they could get to the last page. They locked themselves in the bathroom so they could read undisturbed.

They think they might love books too much.

Whatever it may be, they’re sure they’re the only one with this issue.

Reader, whatever secret you’re keeping, it’s time to spill it. I’ll take your confession, but the absolution is unnecessary. These secrets aren’t sins; they’re just secrets. No need to repent. C. S. Lewis once wrote, ‘Friendship.. is born at the moment when one man says to another, “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”‘

Reader, you’re not the only one. Keep confessing to your fellow readers; tell them what your reading life is really like. They’ll understand. They may even say, ‘You too?’ And when they do, you’ve found a friend. And the beginnings of a great book club.

Taken from a new summer read I recently picked up at Baker Book House (I love that store – especially the discount shelves – so many treasures!). In I’d Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life, lifetime reader Anne Bogel reflects on the paradoxes of readers and bibliophiles such as herself. The chapters are short and packed with great insights and encouragements about the literary life, with the highs and lows, the tears and triumphs of reading.

The above quotation is taken from her first chapter, “Confess Your Literary Sins” (pp.23-24). Reading it, I hope you get her point in the contrasting reading experiences she describes. Real aren’t they? Recommended for the beach, the campground, and the deck.

Published in: on June 27, 2019 at 10:37 PM  Leave a Comment  

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