How to Stop Over-Analyzing

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 Jordan Brown. We answer questions that deal with issues like how to turn off the analytical part of your brain while reading, how to navigate the bookish internet, and are books REALLY always better than their film counterparts? Don’t miss it!


Jordan is a children’s book editor. You can find him on Twitter @ThisJordanBrown. Thank you, Jordan!

This episode was sponsored by Penguin Random House Audiobooks.



Dear Book Nerd,

I am currently a graduate student in English, which means that I am reading all of the time. This experience is great, except everything that I read for school needs to be close-read, analyzed, and I have to find things to say about the work– even if I find it boring and simply don’t care (which happens, especially in my theory class). Being analytical can be really beneficial; I am learning a lot and some works that I ordinarily wouldn’t love, I learn to appreciate a lot more through my seminar discussions. The problem for me is that I am spending so much time being analytical that when I try to read for fun, I’m not having any fun. I still feel compelled to analyze and dissect the words on the page instead of letting the story wash over me. I feel like I can’t get lost in the stories anymore. So my question is: do you have any tips for relaxing and/or turning off my grad school analytical mode?

In Analytical Hell

Dear Book Nerd,

My favorite type of book is YA Fantasy that’s heavy on the romance. An recent example is A Court of Thorns and Roses by SJ Maas. As a male in this corner of the book world that is heavily populated by females, I find it hard to talk about the books on the internet without worrying that I may come across as creepy or odd.
So my question for you is: How can I confidently engage in conversations on message boards and in real life about romance in books without coming across as creepy or weird? Are there things that I should avoid talking about as a male reader?
Thanks for your time and keep up the good work!


Dear Book Nerd,

I’m a book nerd extraordinaire, but I also love movies. So when books are made into movies, it’s my Holy Grail. But I’m always torn. Should I read the book before I see the movie? Do movies have to be “true” to the books?

Happy reading,

Bookish Cinephile


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