The Book Lover’s Dilemma

Welcome to the Dear Book Nerd podcast, a bi-weekly show that answers your questions about life, love, and literature! My special guest host this week is the wonderful Becky Albertalli. We discuss issues such as how to handle your personal library, how to not be influenced by what others are reading, and what ONE book you think everyone “should” read. Don’t miss it!

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Becky is the author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. You can find her on Twitter @beckyalbertalli. Thanks, Becky!

Photo Credit: Decisive Moment Events


Dear Book Nerd,

I wanted to start by saying I recently discovered the podcast and whirled through the archives in about two weeks – I love it! As for my question – for as long as I can remember I have had more books on my shelves than I have, or indeed ever will, read. As a bookshop browser I’m prone to picking up something that “looks interesting” only to take it home to sit on my shelf where it could be years before I get to it, if I ever did. These stacks of unread books have only multiplied with ebooks, especially as I now have a subscription service, which means I can save as many books to my ebook library as I want! On the one hand all this choice is exciting… but on the other hand, I increasingly find I am overwhelmed when I come to select a book and I can’t help but feel bad for all the book collecting dust on my shelves. Is there a way I can manage my own library better? What strategies could I use to make sure I get to all the books that – clearly! – did appeal to me at some point? This is a lifelong problem, so any ideas for how I can reform my fickle behaviour would be highly welcome!

Thanks so much!


Dear Book Nerd,

Hi, I’ve always been an avid reader, but I haven’t been reading a lot since last year because I was really busy. So this year, I decided to read some more and I signed up on Goodreads.

Goodreads is cool, you know. I got to learn about great books I wouldn’t have known otherwise. However, I sometimes get the feeling that I’m kinda overly influenced by what others are reading, and that doesn’t make me happy.
How can I not care about what others are reading and read what I want to read?? Please help me regain an enjoyable reading life:)


Hey, love the show.

Not an agony aunt question, but here goes anyway….
You’ve set up a group that can put one book into hotel rooms across the country for people to read (like the Gideons with the bibles). Which book do you choose? Which book do you want as many people in the world as possible to read?
Feel free to reword the question or add in any caveats you think need adding in, eg no religious books. My pick is Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut. His message about the futility and horror of war is one that needs to be spread far and wide.


Spinosaurus Rex



Dear Martin by Nic Stone

George by Alex Gino

The Hate U Give by A.C. Thomas

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie


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