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More Baths, Less Talking (Stuff I've Been Reading #4)

3.91  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,503 Ratings  ·  294 Reviews
“Read what you enjoy, not what bores you,” Nick Hornby tells us. That simple, liberating, and indispensable directive animates each installment of the celebrated critic and author’s monthly column in the Believer. In this delightful and never-musty tour of his reading life, Hornby tells us not just what to read, but how to read.

Whether tackling a dismayingly bulky biograph
Paperback, 135 pages
Published August 7th 2012 by McSweeney's, Believer Books
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Community Reviews

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Richard Derus
Apr 09, 2013 Richard Derus rated it really liked it
This review can now be found at Shelf Inflicted!
Jul 27, 2012 Greg rated it liked it
At first I was going to give this fourth collection of Nick Hornby's columns from The Believer four stars. I enjoyed it and found myself even chuckling out loud a few times in public will reading it. But as I thought about the book, I realized that I didn't enjoy it as much as the two previous collections I'd read, or maybe I enjoyed it more (I'm not really sure if there was out loud chucking done when I read the others, it's been a while), but the two previous collections inspired me to want to ...more
Sam Quixote
Mar 03, 2013 Sam Quixote rated it it was amazing
I was surprised to hear Nick Hornby had another book of "Stuff I've Been Reading" columns as he said the previous one, "Shakespeare Wrote for Money", would be the last of them (not a bad decision as I felt it was tired and unenthusiastic). More surprising was that when I decided to buy it, I really enjoyed reading it. It's like running into an old friend after a few years apart and it turns out you both have a lot to talk about - or in this case, one person has a lot to say and the other wants t ...more
I effing love these columns of Hornby's, both because they are laugh-out loud funny and because they direct me to buy books I might not have picked up otherwise. (Thanks to this newest collection I've already picked up the Montaigne bio How to Live, as well as Michael Ondaatje's book-length interview with the great Walter Murch, The Conversations, the latter of which I may actually already own, but unearthing it from the box buried at the back of the closet would be such hardship that shelling o ...more
Aug 24, 2012 Teresa rated it really liked it
I read the other books in this series slower, usually one column a night, in order to make the books last longer. This one I read straight through, not for any particular reason, just because I wanted to.

I always appreciate Hornby's humor and sincerity, and I always come away with at least one recommendation that I want to read right away. This time I think I read more of the same books that he had than ever before, and it was interesting to compare our reactions.
Nov 20, 2012 Cheryl rated it really liked it
Nick Hornby writes a column on and off, 'Stuff I've Been Reading", for The Believer magazine, and this is another book in a series collecting those columns.
Each month the column starts with the list of books bought the past month, and the list of books read.
They don't often overlap. And the former list is invariably longer than the latter. So already I know I like this guy. He too has problems controlling his book buying. (I wonder what the bibliophile equivalent of 'my eyes are bigger than my b
Oct 02, 2012 Sarah rated it really liked it
I've always said that I prefer Hornby's non-fiction to his fiction. He himself has the self-awareness, maturity and wry self-criticism that his characters always lack. Reading the collection of his essays written for the Believer Literary magazine about the books that he bought and read each month (where there was often little overlap between the books that were bought and read) gives one the distinct pleasure of inhabiting his world. His messy home with non-perfect children; his interests in ev ...more
Oct 24, 2012 Greg rated it really liked it
So much fun to read. Nick Hornby is one of my absolute favorite authors. He just has a voice I find both eminently readable and highly intelligent, which is not usually the case. These columns succeed because Hornby makes me interested in books that I would never read (the Kynaston histories) or reminded me of books I already meant to read, but then forget about (the Montaigne biography and the Batuman).

I read this to give myself a break from a book that I was increasingly not enjoying. I found
Tamsin Barlow
Oct 04, 2012 Tamsin Barlow rated it really liked it
Nick Hornby I kiss your shiny bald head in gratitude for making me so happy as I read this book. xxxxx
What does it say about me that I've already read this, and didn't realize it?

Nick Hornby's memoirs of reading as published in the Believer each month are my favorite writing about reading. I read the new collections as they're released and come back to them, either because my memory is so bad I forgot I already read them, or because they are awesome: take your pick.



My reading taste doesn't overlap all that much with Hornby. Nonetheless, I love his writing, especially his writing abo
Mar 22, 2013 Anmiryam rated it really liked it
Nick Hornby's collections of Believer columns should come with warning labels: 'Reading this book will severely damage your budget and transform your house into an uninhabitable maze of teetering stacks of books waiting to be read.' The hazards are only slightly mitigated by opting to do your reading on an ereading device. The monetary sink hole is about the same, many of the books he promotes are only available in paper form, and you may download so many that you will consume all available stor ...more
Joseph Raffetto
Dec 29, 2015 Joseph Raffetto rated it liked it
Shelves: essays
I recently subscribed to's book club and for one hundred dollars, they will send me eight books in the next year. If you are at all interested in reading you'll love this eclectic publisher of high quality fiction, nonfiction and the literary magazine, The Believer.

I was very excited to receive Hornby's book as well as David Byrne's How Music Works as my first book club installment.

More Baths Less Talking is the fourth collection of Nick Hornby's monthly books column in The Believe
Nov 06, 2012 Rebecca rated it liked it
Hornby has to be one of my favorite authors. And while I think article compilations-turned-books are a total cop-out, I still enjoyed it. (I think I just feel bad for the people that actually spend money on stuff like this. Not me, library all the way!) If only because I had not read this stuff before. And I am a nerd, I like reading book reviews sometimes, even though I know a lot of people don't. That is just the time in my life I am in at the moment. This book is a collection of articles that ...more
I will readily admit that one reason I read this book is because I'm trying to reach my 2012 reading goal with just a week left in the year and not a whole lot of time to read while studying for the bar. The Kindle Edition clocks in at 146 pages so, y'know, in terms of length, it's ideal. The other reason I read this book in particular, as opposed to other shorter books on my to-read shelf, was because I was craving a book about books, and the others I truly want to read were inaccessible to me ...more
Aug 30, 2012 Ellison rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
Hooray for Nick Hornby's return to this series. In his last outing ("Shakespeare Wrote for Money") he bid farewell to his fans but fortunately he's baaack! In this hilarious listing of books bought and read, similarly afflicted readers will nod their heads as they read about Hornby's fevered purchases and feeble attempts to read everything. His pithy yet meaty notes on the books he does manage to finish are worth twice the price of the book itself. Keep pen and paper handy as you will be jotting ...more
Oct 09, 2012 Lauren rated it really liked it
Oh Nick Hornby, you've done it again! I was positively giddy when I read that he was back to doing his Believer column, so I snatched up More Baths, Less Talking as soon as it was available. While nothing will ever quite replace my love for the original (The Polysyllabic Spree), I still read this almost in one sitting, added five books to my "to read" list because of it, and dog-eared pages with lovely sections like the following: "Surely we all occasionally buy books because of a daydream we're ...more
Serena.. Sery-ously?
Due premesse importanti!
- Se non conoscete Hornby come scrittore, leggete i suoi romanzi prima di questo e se proprio volete un consiglio spassionato, direi che "Non buttiamoci giù" potrebbe essere un ottimo inizio :3 (io l'ho conosciuto proprio grazie a questo libro!)
- Questo libro è composto da una serie di articoli a carattere libresco scritti da Hornby sul Believer nel corso degli anni.. Ho scoperto però che non si tratta del secondo volume ma addirittura del QUARTO. Quindi di nuovo.. Se rie
Ann Appley
Jul 24, 2013 Ann Appley rated it really liked it
Although I am a longtime fan of Hornby, I nevertheless had reservations about reading a collection of articles rather than a novel. One might fear that it would feel disjointed and lack flow, which is reasonable given the fact that each "chapter" is written a month apart and concerns a completely different subject. Another apprehension I had was that I, as a not-so-avid reader, wouldn't relate to a series of essays devoted entirely to reading books. I guess that I, as someone who doesn't read to ...more
Feb 21, 2013 Lee rated it liked it
This is a 3.5 star book. Hornby has written some very entertaining novels, and this collection of witty essays about books he has read recently gives him room to roam onto various topics. The columns originally appeared in The Believer (

He also offers some fun insights into his own life and how he picks the books he chooses to read in his limited free time. For example, he writes about why he tends to select short books:

"...long, slow books can have a disastrous, demoralizi
I was pleasantly surprised to see Nick Hornby had a new of collection of his Believer Magazine essays about books and reading. I admit I've never seen or held an issue of Believer, so was unaware that Hornby was back writing this column after a few/couple (?) years break. I may have sensed a bit of fatigue in his last collection (Shakespeare Wrote For Money), but he is back in strong form here.

To really enjoy these essays, you have to be a major league book geek and it further helps if you are j
Christopher Culp
Oct 18, 2012 Christopher Culp rated it really liked it
As with the three prior books that are compilations of Hornby's column in "The Believer," his latest addition is informative, witty (indeed, often laugh-out-loud funny), and insightful. I always buy a few new books to read when I finish these Believer books , and this time is no different. (Like Hornby, my own "books purchased" do not always equate to my "books read," but, also like Hornby, I like to think I will read them at the time I acquire them!) I'm not generally someone who reads either l ...more
Oct 03, 2012 Helen rated it it was amazing
Nick Hornby makes me want to buy a subscription to the Believer, a magazine about which I know nothing except that he writes their book reviews, kind of. His columns are more about his relationship to the things he reads, the context of reading in his life, and less about dissecting plot points. One could say they’re not really reviews because the point is rarely about the actual book. He rarely has an ill word to say about the books he’s read. It’s about his feeling about a book, how it fits, h ...more
Feb 14, 2013 Simona rated it liked it
Questo libro prende spunto, nasce come conseguenza di una rubrica che Hornby scrive sul Believer, in cui collabora dal 2003, raccontando e parlando dei libri che ha comprato e letto il mese scorso.
E' un compendio dei lbri che ha amato e letto in un periodo che va dal maggio 2010 ad ottobre - novembre 2011. In questa rubrica parla di libri, di calcio, di amore, di sesso, insomma di vita declinata in tutti gli aspetti e ritratta nei libri. Si parte da Dickens, il suo scrittore preferito fino ad a
Bill H
Mar 02, 2015 Bill H rated it really liked it
Recommended to Bill by: Karen
Very engaging, with lots of good book referrals. Taken from Mr. Hornby's column in Believer magazine; I'll be reading more of these, thanks to Dr. A.
Jul 16, 2016 Maria rated it really liked it
I have enjoyed the movie adaptations of two of Hornby's books, "High Fidelity" and "About A Boy," very much. I had a feeling I would adore his writing, and this collection of his "Stuff I've Been Reading" columns for the British "Believer" magazine did not disappoint! It is hilarious and insightful and also provides tons of great book suggestions. And Hornby writes in such a conversational style, you feel like you know him! My favorite lines in the book come from his description of how it drives ...more
My reading taste doesn't overlap all that much with Hornby. Nonetheless, I love his writing, especially his writing about being a reader. These four books of Believer columns are one of the highlights of my reading life. I've no idea what it is like to be flown into LA to attend the Oscars as a nominee, and can't really imagine it. But I do know what it is like, sitting on the sofa between two children, desperately trying to finish the last 25 pages of a good novel when someone else wants you to ...more
Jan 17, 2015 Heather rated it really liked it
More Baths Less Talking, which I decided I wanted to read after reading Stefanie’s post about it on So Many Books, contains fifteen short pieces that were originally published in the Believer magazine between May 2010 and December 2011. The pieces are from Nick Hornby’s running “Stuff I’ve Been Reading” column, and they’re really great. Each piece begins with two lists: “Books Bought,” and “Books Read”: not surprisingly, sometimes those lists overlap, but sometimes they don’t at all. I’ve read h ...more
Terry Heller
Mar 04, 2015 Terry Heller rated it it was amazing
There aren't many authors who mean more to me than Nick Hornby, so I'm not the most objective reviewer of his books, but his "What I've Been Reading" essays, published in The Believer and collected under the titles, "The Polysyllabic Spree," "Housekeeping Vs. The Dirt," "Shakespeare Wrote for Money," and now "More Baths, Less Talking," are absolutely wonderful. Warm, erudite, and generous of spirit, reading these essays feels like having a conversation with an old friend about what you've been r ...more
Jan 09, 2013 Featherbooks rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-on-books
Hornby's book discussions are are the best. I followed him for years in The Believer and I was delighted to find this newer one. I have all his books and have never been without a To Read list because of him (and a few others). Each essay starts with two lists: Books Bought and Books Read. The two don't necessarily overlap but his discussions of what he did read are always witty and deliciously subjective.
Sep 03, 2014 Jclw rated it really liked it
I didn't enjoy this column collection as much as Housekeeping vs The Dirt, but I do still like Nick Hornby. (He's pretty darn likable.) This collection was more serious than anything else I've read by him and I did find myself skimming in places, but he redeems himself in passages like this one:

"If I were walking home down a dark alley, and I got jumped by a gang of literary hooligans who held me up against a wall and threatened me with a beating unless I told them who my favourite writer was...
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Nick Hornby is the author of the novels A Long Way Down, Slam, How to Be Good, High Fidelity, and About a Boy, and the memoir Fever Pitch. He is also the author of Songbook, a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award, Shakespeare Wrote for Money, and The Polysyllabic Spree, as well as the editor of the short-story collection Speaking with the Angel. He is a recipient of the American Acade ...more
More about Nick Hornby...

Other Books in the Series

Stuff I've Been Reading (4 books)
  • The Polysyllabic Spree
  • Housekeeping vs. the Dirt
  • Shakespeare Wrote for Money

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“Several months later, and I have finally read one of the three (books), even though I wanted to read all three of them immediately. What happened in between? Other books, is what happened. Other books, other moods, other obligations, other appetites, other reading journeys.” 10 likes
“No time spent with a book is ever entirely wasted, even if the experience is not a happy one: there’s always something to be learned. It’s just that, every now and again, you hit a patch of reading that makes you feel as if you’re pootling about… But what can you do about it? We don’t choose to waste our reading time; it just happens. The books let us down.” 7 likes
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