Riot Headline 10 Exciting Books to Read this Summer

Finding a Bookish Balance

Welcome to the Dear Book Nerd podcast, a bi-weekly show that answers your questions about life, love, and literature! My special guest co-host this week is the wonderful Brandy Colbert. Brandy and I answer three listener-submitted questions and discuss topics such as: how to you find a balance between a social life and your reading life? How do I make my family understand that I need reading time? Do I need a college degree to get a bookish job? There’s much more…don’t miss it !

Brandy is the author of the YA novel POINTE. You can find her on Twitter @brandycolbert. Thank you, Brandy!


This episode was sponsored by Awake by Natasha Preston and



Dear Book Nerd,

I have a problem with putting down books. I have no self control. Whether it’s trashy, juvenile, poorly written, or just plain BAD, I have to read it to the end. If it’s really bad, I can skim and flip. But generally I just HAVE TO FINISH THE DARN THING. I’m in my senior year of high school. I don’t have time to read a book in one setting! I have homework! Do you have any self control tips?

And now to my second reading-related problem. My mother dear is laboring under the misapprehension that I spend most of my time with my head the the proverbial clouds. She talks about this thing called “reality.” How do I make her understand that fiction (and books in general) are pretty much the best thing ever, but that I actually am aware of my surroundings? Usually. Heck, I like outdoor walks as much any other person–and I haven’t read a book whilst going on said walk in a very long time. I tend to trip.

Anyways, thanks. For reading this. Or even if you don’t.

Catherine M.

Dear Book Nerd,

I’m 19 and for the past 12 years I have had one goal in mind, become a professional ballet dancer. I’ve had moderate success. I have never done anything else. It’s been a great adventure. I’m thankful everyday that my parents have supported and helped me work toward my crazy goals.

But lately I’ve been down. I still love ballet, but all around me I’m hearing horror stories about what goes on in companies. I’m beginning to see it first hand. I know no work place is perfect, but ballet has a very weird dynamic, and lately I have been wondering about what it would be like to do something else, possibly something where my butt is not in a sheer skirt.

Right now I’m in my only comfort zone (besides books). I go in everyday and do the a variation on the same thing I’ve done for the past decade. I don’t know how long I will be dancing for, or if I’ll want to quit sooner rather than later. That scares me, not because I’ll miss dancing (I can always take a open class) but because I have no other skills!

I have thought about going to college. But if school is a tree, I am a fish. We don’t mix. I don’t want to waste my money on something I will fail or not finish. Maybe one day I’ll step out on that limb, but what can I work toward that doesn’t need a college degree?

How can I expand my small world? Are there any bookish jobs that don’t involve years of school? I don’t want to continue with ballet as a pro if it’s just because I’m scared and it’s all I know. I want to have more concrete ideas for other options so I don’t feel so trapped. If I do ballet it should be because it’s my favorite option, not because it’s the only one I can see.

Thank you,

Dancing Book Nerd

P.S. – love the show!

Dear Book Nerd,

Help!!! My family is insistent that I interact with others instead of sitting outside and reading. I have already humored their request that I spend more time outside by going outside to read, but I feel that if I heed too many of their requests, I will become a bookless soul-less automaton. How do I politely let them know that I am disinclined to acquiesce any future demands for social interaction that cut into book time? Please let me know.




20 High-Paying Jobs That Don’t Require A College Degree (Life Hack)


Listen to past episodes and read past columns of Dear Book Nerd here!
And you can subscribe to the podcast via RSS here, or via iTunes here.
The show can also be found on Stitcher here.

Do you have a bookish question about life, love, or literature for Dear Book Nerd? Fill out the form below or email Don’t be shy, ask away!