Why We Read: On Bookworms, Libraries, and Just One More Page Before Lights Out (Original)


Product Details

$27.99  $26.03
Hanover Square Press
Publish Date
6.1 X 8.6 X 1.7 inches | 0.85 pounds

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About the Author

Shannon Reed has been a teacher and professor in Western Pennsylvania and New York City for the last twenty years. She's taught preschool, middle, and high school, and now teaches Creative Writing at the University of Pittsburgh. Her writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The Washington Post, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, and more. Why Did I Get a B? is her first book.


"A lovely, funny read."--George Saunders

"Delightful reminiscences of a book lover."--Kirkus Reviews

"This hilarious, poignant book of essays explores all of the myriad ways reading enriches our lives. It's an affirming read for bookworms, an encouraging one for reluctant readers and a great way to start off the year for us all."--Good Housekeeping

"In this charming collection of essays, Reed digs into the many pleasures of reading, interweaving poignant and amusing stories from her life as a bibliophile and teacher to advocate for the many joys of a life spent between the pages."--The New Yorker

"A warm and funny memoir in essays... witty and joyful... Why We Read would be a delightful addition to any bookworm's shelves. In exploring the comfort and companionship books offer us, Reed gives her reader those gifts, as well."-Washington Post

"Shannon Reed gives us grace to love the books we love and reminds us, by sharing her own tender memories, why certain stories stick in our hearts for a lifetime. Shannon is one of my favorite writers--brilliant, humble, and wickedly funny. I envy her students and will return to these pages again and again. And I'm thrilled that she officially let me off the hook for never reading Middlemarch." --Elizabeth Passarella, author of Good Apple and It Was an Ugly Couch Anyway

"Why We Read is a rare thing--a joy on its own, as well as potent inspiration to revisit the formative books from your own reading journey. Shannon Reed's warm, authentic voice in these invigorating essays invites us into her literary universe while at the same time encouraging us to expand our own. I cannot wait to gift this marvelous book to all the readers in my life." --Caitlin Kunkel, coauthor of New Erotica For Feminists: Satirical Fantasies of Love, Lust, and Equal Pay

"What a charming book Shannon Reed has written, a love letter (or series of love letters) to reading as avocation and as art. The title, of course, is both question and declaration, and in response, Reed offers a variety of takes on why we read. In the end, there is no answer, which is only as it should be; reading is too capacious to be pinned down. Better, as Reed illustrates throughout here, to consider it a process, undertaken on no terms other than its own."--David L. Ulin, author of The Lost Art of Reading

"The more I know about Shannon Reed, the more I like her. This is a rich, funny, poignant book, and the author will be your new best friend."--Mary Norris, New York Times bestselling author of Between You and Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen

"Shannon Reed's Why We Read offers an entertaining, life-affirming, and laugh-out-loud funny response to "how do I love thee, let me count the ways" for those of us who always have a book within arm's reach. And for anyone in your life who has until now resisted the restorative charm of reading, Why We Read is the perfect gift."--Annabelle Gurwitch, New York Times bestselling author, You'll Leaving When? Adventures in Downward Mobility

"Why We Read is deeply delightful--a hug of a book that will remind you that there is simply nothing better than the King's Pastime. OK, I made that up, no one calls reading The King's Pastime--but they should, because it's the most sublime way to spend your time, and Shannon's funny, heart-tugging prose reminded me precisely why."--Jen Spyra, author of Big Time: Stories