Anyone who follows me on Instagram knows that I own a lot of books. And when I say a lot, I mean a lot.

General Conference, October 2016

And this isn't even all of them. There are two more bookcases you can't see. Plus one in the foyer, and four more upstairs. We usually have a stack crawling up the wall, piles on the floor, and shopping bags with books in them that we haven't even gotten to yet. There are books buried on counters, books piled on the table, and books stacked on chairs all over our house. Books, everywhere.

My house is so cute when it's clean😁

You'd think with all of the books at my disposal, it would be easy for me to find something to read. But no matter what I did, or how hard I tried, I never seemed to make it more than halfway through any book I ever started. And for the life of me, I couldn't figure out why. It wasn't until I was in the middle of revising a section in my book, digging through old newspapers and having the time of my life, I had an epiphany.

Some might call it a revelation...

I have always defined "reading" in my mind as reading fiction. Whenever I tried to sit down to read, this is what I'd go to out of habit. But fiction has become so tedious and predictable to me, I don't enjoy it. And it never occurred to me to ask myself if my taste has changed... if I had changed. I had a small moment of perfect clarity, like looking into a mirror for the first time in too long.

I'm a nerd. And not just any kind of nerd. I'm a church-loving Jesus nerd.

I would much rather read my scriptures than most of the fiction we own. That's why I don't seek it out, or read it, and I don't enjoy it most of the time when I try. I don't read most of the books that are recommended to me, no matter how interesting the book might sound. And I have never liked any book club that I have been a part of. I find most fiction really tedious and boring, and the admission that I'm a woman who enjoys nonfiction and "church books" like something I need to apologize for.

Meanwhile, every time I pick up one of our scriptural commentaries, a reference book, or a non-fiction book on church or Biblical history, I become completely immersed in what I'm reading. I lose track of time, and I'm not at all bored by the experience. When I go to thrift stores, the religion sections are always the first places I go. With few exceptions, they're the only books I pick up to take home. The number of religious books that we have has doubled in size--and all the while I wasn't reading them because I didn't consider that reading. It was study, research, learning, curiosity, and intellectual stimulation, but never reading.

But when I call all of these activities reading, I realized I actually read quite a lot. I read almost every day, sometimes for hours on end. And I thoroughly enjoy what I read. And I thought to myself, I can't be the only one who feels this way.

My Booktube Channel

I love talking about books. I love sharing the books I read that I find interesting. And I love the section of YouTube by readers, called Booktube, who share and talk about books. Even though most of them read nothing but fiction, I love seeing what they do with the platform. It's like the world's best international book club. And I thought, wouldn't it be great if there was something like that for LDS books on YouTube?

So instead of complaining that it doesn't exist, I decided to build it!

My "to be read" pile (TBR) hasn't had me this excited in a long time. So if you want to read along, or share your take in the comments, here are the books I'll be reading:

  • Diary of Two Mad Black Mormons by Tamu Smith and Zandra Vranes
  • More than a Tattooed Mormon by Al Fox Carraway
  • Heaven is Here by Stephanie Nielson
  • Women and the Priesthood by Sheri Dew
  • Being Enough by Cheiko Okazaki

I've also posted my first review for two of my favorite books, In the Company of Prophets by Heidi Swinton, and Endowed from on High by John D. Charles.

Be sure to visit my channel, click those Subscribe and Like buttons. Comment and leave requests for any other books you'd like me to review in the future, or themes for my next TBR! And let me know if you're also an LDS booktuber, and I'll be sure to return the favor!
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