This morning kicks off Armchair BEA 2011! (Not sure what that means? Check out the Armchair BEA site for details.) It’s my first year participating. Today’s topic is: Who are you, and how do you Armchair?

About Erin

ErinI’m a twenty-something student in Pennsylvania (where I’ll be Armchair BEA-ing from), studying Information Science and squeezing in reading in any spare time I can find. Last autumn my husband and I moved to Pennsylvania from New York, where I had been working in an independent bookstore. It was while working there that Erin Reads was born.

I read mostly fiction of many stripes: contemporary, historical, young adult. I enjoy memoirs as well, and I’ll listen to almost any book on audio, as long as the narrator is good. A goal of mine for 2011 is to read more classics, for which I started my Classics Reclamation Project. It’s only been going for six months or so, but already it’s help me overcome my assumption that classics are “hard” and “boring!” I’ve had a Sony Reader for about five months now, and while I still read plenty of paper books, being able to load up some classics and digital galleys on my Reader and go has been great. I think of it as a reading accessory, not as a replacement for my beloved books.

I love blogging because it turns the solitary act of reading into something communal. I can share my thoughts on a book and hear about different perspectives. I can ask questions and muse about bookish topics. I can read other blogs and meet fellow readers. It doesn’t matter if we’re on opposite sides of the globe–the common language of books brings us together. I also belong to an IRL book group where I live, which meets monthly.

Aside from being a reader and a student, I’m also a knitter. I love to cook and try new recipes; thankfully, my husband isn’t a fussy eater! We share a love of books, which is wonderful. We frequent library sales together, and even though we read completely opposite genres, many an evening is spent side-by-side on the couch, reading away. We also love to travel and go camping (always with plenty of books along for the ride, of course!).

About Erin Reads

Erin Reads has been around since 2008, when I started experimenting with the whole book blogging idea. It’s moved from Blogger to WordPress to its current incarnation as a self-hosted site. When I started out, I posted intermittently and mostly for myself. In September 2010, just as I was leaving my bookstore job to move to a new state, I stumbled onto the book blogger community, which was poised to launch into Book Blogger Appreciation Week. My timing couldn’t have been better! Since then I’ve been more active in the blogging community and have met so many wonderful fellow readers and bloggers. Blogging has stepped in to fill the book-shaped hole leaving my bookstore job would have left.

Erin Reads is primarily a reflection of my own reading tastes. Most of the content is related to specific books (as opposed to general book-related topics). I do accept some books for review, but only if they fit with my interests. I try to share my honest thoughts about whatever I’m reading.

I’ve learned that formal reading challenges stress me out, but I do have two projects going at present on Erin Reads:

  • The Classics Reclamation Project, which I mentioned above, is my personal and ongoing effort to read more classics. For an explanation of the project and a list of what I’ve read so far, check out the CRP page.
  • Reading Buddies is a newer project, which I started because of how much I love reading with other people. Each month, I pick two books that readers interested in participating have suggested. I read each book over the course of the month, very informally, along with anyone who wants to join. There are no weekly posts or discussion questions, but spoilers are fair game, and I love being able to talk about any aspect of the book I want. It’s like having a public online book club! For details, check out the Reading Buddies page.

About You!

I’d love to “meet” you! If you’re new to Erin Reads, please introduce yourself in the comments. If you’ve been here before, tell me something about you or your blog that I might not already know!

Join the Conversation


  1. I also have an e-reader, but don’t use it to replace physical books, only to supplement them. I find that although I have a ton of books on it, including freebies, classics, and e-galleys that I actually have to schedule time to use it. If I am not thinking about it, I will just forget and get lost in my paper books. Great post today, Erin!

    1. Yes, I have that problem, too! I have to remind myself that ___ egalley is coming up. I do find it’s great for carrying around, though; so many books at my fingertips!

  2. “Blogging has stepped in to fill the book-shaped hole leaving my bookstore job would have left.” For me blogging stepped in to fill the book-shaped hole leaving grad school would have filled. 🙂 Love the communal aspect of blogging as well.

    Honestly, at this point I don’t think there’s anything you guys don’t know about me. Kind of shameful really. 😉

    1. Aww, I’m sure there’s something! I must say, I’m so impressed by how much you’ve been around these past few weeks! You’re around more than I am, and you have a newborn baby, for goodness sake! (Who, by the way, I hope is bringing you endless joy 🙂 )

    1. I worked in a bookstore in upstate New York. I wish I still worked at one, but alas, I’m back to being a student. I’m in western PA currently.

  3. Nice to meet you! I’m “kind of” doing a classics read as well. I’ve enjoyed classics when I read them in the past, but the time commitment is what has me hesitant. I’m trying to change that.

    1. Lovely to meet you, too! I pretty much had to force classics into my reading schedule so that when it was time to pick up a new book, I’d consider classics alongside everything else. I hope your “kind of” classics read works well for you!

    1. Aww, thanks! I’m glad you got in on the Armchair BEA action. I think there are other authors participating as well, so no worries! Have fun!

  4. Hi Erin! I didn’t know you used to live in New York…I’m sorry we lost you!

    Your Classics reading and your Reading Buddies Projects look like they’re going well from the posts I’ve read. I, unfortunately, accepted too many books to review and haven’t had the time to participate with you, but I will one of these months!

    I’m not very good with formal reading challenges either! I like to read what I feel like reading when I feel like it. I sound like a brat! lol

    My husband doesn’t have the same taste in books as I do although there are a few authors we both like. But, like your husband, mine likes to read, too, which is great. It’s nice to have a spouse who understands when you want to just sit and read a book!

    I hope you have a fun week!

    1. Well, not NYC…upstate. But I do wish I’d known more about the book blogging community before I moved, because I’d totally have come down to the city to meet everyone! Enjoy your week!

  5. Hi Erin!
    Your blog is lovely- I’m definitely adding it to my RSS feed (or whatever it’s called). I love the Classics project. My Kindle has single-handedly caused me to read more classics (I love free things!) and the Reading Buddies idea is fabulous. You’ll see me around here some more 🙂
    Happy Reading!

    1. Aww, thanks! I’ve put you on mine as well. I love coming across new bloggers during these community-wide events! Aren’t free classics wonderful? Have a great week!

  6. Nice to meet you, Erin, and thanks for commenting on my site. I love adult literary fiction and some memoirs, too (although I’ve never read any celebrity ones – just literary ones). Occasionally, you’ll find one of those reviews on my site, but for me, it was easier to base my site around YA. I like having a focus to drive my content. Looking forward to talking about books with you as part of Armchair BEA and beyond.

    1. I’m not much of a celebrity memoir person, either. I do enjoy YA, though, and will be checking out your site more often now that I’ve found it. Having a site focus would, I think, be nice in many ways…I guess my focus is “things I like to read”! I’m looking forward to talking books with you as well!

    1. Aww, thank you! I agree–I always end up finding all kinds of great new blogs. Off to check yours out momentarily!

  7. i haven’t made the jump to getting an e-reader yet. i just love the feel of having a physical book in my hand. i love your goal to read more classics! funny how when i was in school the last thing i wanted to read was a classic book, but now that its not a requirement i want to read them more. i hoping to squeeze in some jane austen this summer.

    1. It was a big decision for me! I completely understand. I was e-reader resistant for a long time. I don’t think they’re for everyone. I spent a long time not wanting anything to do with classics, but I’ve been trying to change that, and now I do really enjoy them! Funny how that works. I just read my first Jane Austen earlier this year and loved it.

  8. Great to get to know you a little better, Erin. 🙂 I wish I were using my eReader more–I’m trying to get through the print books first, but they keep arriving in the post!

    Your love of audio books has inspired me to mine Librivox for some great material, so I’m currently catching up on the classics in audio form. 🙂

    1. Yes, the print books are neverending, aren’t they? Pesky things 🙂

      Classics…in audio form…that’s fantastic! So glad you’re enjoying them. Librivox can be a great resource.

  9. It’s really nice to meet you, Erin! You are super duper cute, and so is your blog. 🙂

    Thanks for the nice comments on my blog! I think I mention the Vlogbrothers on a daily basis, and usually people don’t understand my enthusiasm. I’m glad you enjoyed their video! Yay!

    I think it’s awesome that you’re doing the classics. I don’t think I’ve read any of them! I need to.

    Jennifer of Little Shelf

    1. Aww, thanks, Jennifer! I’m planning to show the Vlogbrothers to my husband, so you might have recruited two new fans. 🙂

  10. Hi Erin! I’m glad to finally see your blog. I’m trying to sync my Twitter follows with which blogs I read so here I am! I love anyone who is working through the classics. 🙂

    1. That’s so organized of you! I really need to do that. It seems to be a constant process! Thanks for stopping by to say hi, and hooray for classics!

    1. Nice to meet you as well! I’m really pleased by how well my classics project has been going so far. I’m looking forward to the rest of the week!

  11. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I have a list of classics that I want to read, but haven’t crossed many off my list lately. I need to make it a priority.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Donna! I pretty much had to force myself to read classics, but it’s gotten much easier now. Good luck with your list!

  12. Hi Erin – thanks so much for stopping by my site. I tackled A Tale of Two Cities a few weeks ago after downloading it onto my Kindle for free. I love the idea of your Classics Reclamation Project and Reading Buddies – I will be checking them out.

    Hope that you have a great week with Armchair BEA!

    1. Oh, A Tale of Two Cities is one I read in high school and really must read again! Aren’t free e-classics wonderful? Enjoy Armchair BEA!

  13. I love reading with people, too! Buddy reads and reviews are my favorite, especially for a really complicated book. For example, the last one I did a buddy read for was The Blind Assassin, and I tell you, I am SO glad I read that with a friend because I think I got so many more of the nuances that way.

    1. Oh, yes, that would have been a great one to read with a buddy! I bet I’d have gotten more out of it. I love how different people notice different things about a book. It’s always fun to have someone else’s perspective.

  14. My husband likes to read too. Only, he hardly ever has the time. It is wonderful, though, to sit beside each other for a little while before going to bed, each engrossed in a book. It’s another plane of intimacy, me thinks!:D

    Both your projects sound really interesting! I’ll be keeping up to see what your thoughts are, and if I’m able to I’d love to join one of your informal group-reads.:)

    1. Risa, I’d love to have you along for a group read! You’re so right about “another plane of intimacy.” I think non-readers don’t get that.

  15. Nice to meet you, Erin! I love your blog and I’ll surely be coming back. :)I’m participating in the Armchair BEA for the first time this year. So far I’m overwhelmed and blown away!

    All the best,

    1. Nice to meet you, too! Looking forward to continuing our conversation post Armchair BEA 🙂

  16. You look just so adorable in that photo!! Love it. Even though I’ve been following your blog for awhile now, it was nice to learn more about you. I like what you said about book blogging making a solitary pursuit like reading more communal. That said, I’m starting the June read (the Foer book) a bit early so I get it done.

    1. Thanks, Jenners 🙂 I’ve loved all the “about me” posts going up, even from bloggers I “know” — there’s always more to learn! I started the Foer book early, too. Thought it would take me forever, but then I tore through 80 pages the first time I sat to read. Hope you’re enjoying it!

  17. I don’t know why but I’m always surprised at how much I enjoy the classics I read, even the daunting ones.

    (I live about an hour from downtown Pittsburgh.)

    1. I’m the same way. The first time I read and enjoyed a classic (once I’d finished school — I always hated them when forced to read them!) I was shocked. I’ve been working to get over my assumption that I won’t enjoy classics the way I enjoy more contemporary lit.

      We should try to schedule s Pittsburgh-area meet-up! Do you ever travel to Pittsburgh?

  18. Hi Erin!
    I’m belatedly catching up on all the BEA participants and just wanted to say how much I love your blog – especially your classics project. I do read them, but in a very flakey and haphazard way. Look forward to participating in future reading buddies events too!
    All the best, Lyndsey

    1. Thank you for stopping by, Lyndsey! I started my classics project to get myself from “flaky and haphazard” to more regular. It’s sort of working, so far! I’d love to have you along for a reading buddies read 🙂

  19. It was nice to know more things about you, Erin 🙂 Wonderful to know that you are studying Information Science – that is so awesome!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Vishy! I always love learning about the bloggers behind the blogs I read. Glad you did, too. 🙂

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