Dear Reader The Comfort and Joy of Books – Cathy Rentzenbrink

Dear Reader is a cute book that I read and finished in one night. Since I have wanted to read books about books lately, I couldn’t resist the beauty of its cover and chose to read this book. I’m glad I did. Dear Reader is a very easy to read, fluent enough and entertaining book.


In Dear Reader, while Cathy Rentzenbrink talks about her life in books, she also shares the books that influenced her. I focused on her life rather than book recommendations because among her suggestions were books that I really disliked and regretted reading. However, the primary purpose of this book is not to share book recommendations but to see how reading changes lives.

Dear Reader The Comfort and Joy of Books - Cathy Rentzenbrink

Dear Reader will be a pleasure to read for those who want to take a brief look at the lives of those working in chain bookstores in England because the author has worked at Waterstones for a long time. I was especially surprised and amused while reading about her experiences at Harrods. We expect readers always to be kind people, I guess, so it was bizarre to read how people go crazy over book shopping. Enthusiasts may like it. Enjoy!

If you love reading books about books and reading, check out this list: 20 Best Books About Books That’ll Make You Read More

Dear Reader The Comfort and Joy of Books - Cathy Rentzenbrink

Dear Reader The Comfort and Joy of Books

From the Sunday Times bestselling author of The Last Act of Love.

‘Reading has saved my life, again and again, and has held my hand through every difficult time’

For as long as she can remember, Cathy Rentzenbrink has lost and found herself in stories. Growing up she was rarely seen without her nose in a book and read in secret long after lights out. When tragedy struck, books kept her afloat. Eventually they lit the way to a new path, first as a bookseller and then as a writer. No matter what the future holds, reading will always help.

Dear Reader is a moving, funny and joyous exploration of how books can change the course of your life, packed with recommendations from one reader to another. 

Cathy Rentzenbrink

From the author’s website:

I am a writer. My memoir The Last Act of Love is about the life and death of my brother. My second book is called A Manual for Heartache and is a broader look at sorrow, anguish, despair, loss and how to try to live with the knowledge that the world can be a cruel place. Dear Reader: The Comfort and Joy of Books does exactly what it says on the tin. My first novel Everyone Is Still Alive is about the deeper realities of marriage and parenting. Write It All Down: How to put your life on the page will be out in January 2022.

I am very proud to be a contributor to Kit de Waal’s Common People anthology. My essay on darts was serialised in the Guardian and can be read here.

I speak and write regularly on life, death, love and literature on TV, radio and in print. I review books for The Times, write a column for Prospect and present The Bookseller podcast. I am often to be found interviewing authors at festivals and in bookshops, which I love. There’s a special thing that can happen in a live event…

I love teaching and often do workshops and residential courses. I have just created a online memoir writing course with Curtis Brown Creative which can be found here.

I have recently rejoined Twitter after a time away when I accidentally permanently deactivated myself. I can be found at @catrentzenbrink. I continue to feel a bit wary about social media but I do very much love hearing from people so do please get in touch with me via the contact button if you wish.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges: 

A Non-Fiction a Month

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