For some reason, the readers I meet often feel compelled to spill all their guilty literary secrets—to me. But readers, over the years I’ve learned that it feels much better and is way more fun to get those secrets out into the open. Eventually these anecdotes became the first chapter of my new book I’d Rather Be Reading.
Today I’m sharing some of my favorite, most relatable, and most hilarious responses. Thank you so much for sharing and I’d love to hear more of your confessions in comments.
Getting the kids involved
- I checked my kids into the child center at the gym and sat on the couch to read.
- I read a lot of true crime. A few months ago my 6-year-old said, “My mom likes murder.”
- I’ve used my kids’ library cards to place holds ever since my library started charging for reservations for adult accounts.
- I use my kids library cards to reserve all of my books because kids can sit in the library and “read down” their (a.k.a. my) overdue fines.
Sometimes you wouldn’t rather be reading
- Lately I spend more time organizing my reading list than, you know, actually reading.
- Sometimes I think I like picking books more than reading books (gasp!).
When “hate” isn’t a strong enough word
- I was SO MAD at the ending of All the Light We Cannot See! I almost threw the book across the room.
- To this day I still hate my 5th grade teacher for making us read Where the Red Fern Grows. Who in their right mind makes a group of 10-year-olds read a sad, depressing book about a boy and his two dead dogs?!? (Psst, Anne here: The essay I’m Begging You to Break My Heart from my new collection opens with a story about this book.)
- I hated Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine. It’s sitting in a timeout on my counter thinking about how much it has annoyed me.
- Hating The Goldfinch isn’t a sin; loving it is.
The heart wants what it wants
- I read cheesy romance every now and then, but I NEVER record that on Goodreads!!
- I read the entire series of Fifty Shades of Grey…twice. I also asked God to forgive me for this…twice. We are good. Sometimes a girl just wants to read a trashy novel or novels. And yes, I know the author can’t write a complete sentence. #sorrynotsorry #IReadonKindle #TooEmbarrassed2BuyAtABookstore
- I used to be addicted to Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series. Eventually, the novels got so repetitive that I stopped reading. But when a new one is published, I will read the last chapter in a bookstore to see if the love triangle has resolved yet. It hasn’t.
- I go to the thrift store and buy dozens of “trashy” Mormon romance novels and hide them under the bed. However, on my nightstand? The Ron Chernow biography of Ulysses S Grant.
- I’m 48 years old and I am always, as in 7 days a week, 365 days a year, reading one of the Harry Potter books. They relax me, help me sleep, and just make me happy.
- Whenever I’m reading a book that has a nice, good looking guy in it, I picture him as a young Kevin Costner.
- I wrote my best friend’s senior term theme on Jane Eyre for her OVER THE PHONE. I dictated what to write, and she still got an A.
- I always tell people that The Thorn Birds is the longest book I’ve ever read. I never actually finished it.
Can’t stop, won’t stop
- Not sure if this is a book confession or church confession, but sometimes I bring my book to church and sneak out and sit in the narthex and read during the sermon. (Another reader added: “+1, except it was the ladies’ room. Too easy to get caught in the narthex.”)
- I can’t even begin to guess how many meals I have ruined due to reading while “cooking.”
- I’ve been known to read a book placed strategically in my open desk drawer at work when I just HAD to finish a chapter.
- This weekend when family was visiting from out of town, I went out to pick up bagels for breakfast. When I returned 30 minutes later, I told everyone there was a huge line, but I was actually sitting in the parking lot for 25 minutes listening to The Rules of Civility on Audible.
- When I say “Just let me finish this chapter,” I frequently read the next chapter, too. My husband is on to me, and will sometimes sit and wait to keep me honest.
- I got into a car accident and totaled the family vehicle because I was reading while driving. I’ve never told a soul. My husband still doesn’t know that’s why I wrecked our car!
You really can’t stand the suspense
- When I read a novel, I don’t read the very last page to see if it turns out okay (because I mainly read books that turn out happy, anyway), but I sometimes turn to the first page of the final chapter and scan for a character’s name. Alive and well? Okay!
- Because I can’t stand not to know what’s going to happen in the books I’m reading, I unashamedly turn to the ending to find out.
- When the fourth Twilight one came out, I bought it, but there was some weird printing error in the last 100 pages where it just skipped a bunch of pages. I drove to Barnes & Noble and just sat there and finished the rest of the novel…no regrets.
- I Google “does the dog die?” to make sure the dog doesn’t die in a movie or a book.
- When I was in middle school and high school, I used to always flip to the back and read the final sentence after I got done with the first chapter. I’m not sure what compelled me to commit this transgression against suspense.
Book as aesthetic object
- Bookshelves. We have more than ten. And having more than ten shelves for books I’ve read or want to read or feel nostalgic toward or acquired through marriage does not stop me from piling books on the bedroom windowsill. #ihaveaproblem
- I dog ear books—library books, books I own, and unless you explicitly tell me not to, probably your books.
- I dog-ear pages all the time. I’m doing it right now. I literally collect bookmarks and my purse is full of train tickets, I don’t know why I’m still doing it. Oh God, I’ve done it again!
- I read books in the bath and get water droplets all over them. Including library books. Once I dropped a book I had asked the library to order for me in the bathtub. Whoops!
- When I’m on vacation I like to swim around the edge of the pool so I can spy on what everyone is reading!
- I think the Wikipedia plot summaries of anything by Charles Dickens are 98% better than the actual text. Why so many words, Charles?
- I had to look up the definition of “epistolary.”
- I have a very strong but probably unreasonable aversion to Jodi Picoult, as in, I will never even consider picking up one of her books. I’m suspicious of anyone who can crank out books so quickly.
- I feel SO guilty for saying this because I love my book club girls, but I can’t help but think that they don’t love reading quite enough.
Thank you so much for sharing these confessions with us! They were a delight. And remember, whether you prefer Twilight to Oliver Twist, read one or 100 books per year, or even dislike Jane Austen, you are always welcome and appreciated here.
P.S. Click here to read or listen to the first chapter of I’d Rather Be Reading, called Confess Your Literary Sins. And remember, you still have one week to preorder I’d Rather Be Reading and claim the preorder bonuses.
P.P.S. If you want to share your confessions in person, I’d love to see you on book tour!