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While You Were Reading

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  177 ratings  ·  58 reviews
Words are messy. Love is messier.
A hilarious, insightful new novel from the creators of Books on the Rail

Meet Beatrix Babbage – 29-year-old dog-earer of books and accidental destroyer of weddings.

After ruining her best friend's nuptials, Bea relocates to the other side of the country in search of a fresh start, including meeting new people, living life to the fullest and f
Paperback, 400 pages
Published July 1st 2019 by Simon & Schuster Australia
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4.05  · 
Rating details
 ·  177 ratings  ·  58 reviews

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Kylie D
Well, I did enjoy this book, just not as much as I enjoyed 'The Book Ninja" from the same authors. In 'While You Were Reading' we follow the story of Bea, new to Melbourne with no friends as such, and a job she hates. Her only respite is the café downstairs, owned by barista/poet Dino. Then one day she comes across a book in a second hand bookstore. It's not just any book though, this one has scribbles and annotations from a previous owner, and Bea soon becomes obsessed by finding the writer of ...more
Mandy White
While You Were Reading is a book for book lovers - a book about books and those that love books - what is not to love? Set in Melbourne this is a light hearted book that you can get lost in for a few hours. The characters are fun and realistic, while the story will make you laugh and cry at the same time. As a book lover I found this book very relatable in that when you find somebody that gets it, really understands what it is like to love reading you don't let that go.

Bea has just moved to Mel
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out
After accidentally ruining her lifelong best friend’s marriage, a mere hour or so after the wedding, Beatrix Babbage moves from Perth to Melbourne looking for a fresh start, but it’s more difficult than she envisioned. The only respite from her loneliness is provided by The Nook, where barista/slam poet Grover ‘Dino’ Dinopoli, scribbles book quotes on her coffee cup, and pastry chef, Sunday, occasionally lets her lick the spoon.

Until, one evening while exploring the city, Bea, a self confessed b
Abbie | ab_reads
Jul 21, 2019 rated it liked it
3.75 stars - a super fun and enjoyable read! A bit cliché at times? Maybe, but that doesn’t make it any less adorable. Full review to follow!
Tamsien West (Babbling Books)
Jul 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
A light, fun, romantic read. For lovers of happy endings, literary references, and Melbourne cafe culture.
Nicole Pandal
Jun 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
What a gorgeous contemporary romance novel! I’m a complete newbie to Ali & Michelle’s work, having never read The Book Ninja but hearing so many good things about it. What I loved about this book was that the main character was a total book nut, and she starts her own bookstagram account! It was so funny to read the ‘comments’ under her posts, where we see a lot of the same types of comments we all get used to seeing beneath our photos.

The romantic part of the book was really cute and enjoya
Apr 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
Another great book from Ali and Michelle! I stayed up late, read any opportunity I could get so I could follow Bea’s adventure. As a perth girl who moved to Melbourne, I connected with Bea immediately. The book made me laugh out loud many times, as well as surprise me with twists and turns. I also loved the nod to characters from The Book Ninja, very nostalgic and sweet!
Jul 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nyssa Sutherland
While You Were Reading is a quirky, lighthearted novel just perfect for a weekend read. A delightful contemporary romance about finding your true self, and real friends that warmed my heart, and had me staying up late till the last page.

Full of bookish references, and plenty of Melbourne haunts, there's lots to love including very relatable bookworm Bea, who is trying to rebuild her life after moving to Melbourne for a fresh start. Picking up a second hand book at a local bookstore, she falls in
Kristy (sometimes_i_read_books)
What a fun, quirky romance this was, full of bookish references, lots of laughs and plenty of relatable moments.

This is the story of Bea, who flees to Melbourne after ruining her best friends wedding in Perth. In Melbourne Bea falls in love with the annotations written in a second hand book and and is determined to find the original owner.

Reading this made me feel warm and fuzzy, it’s a perfect feel good book! Highly recommended for fans of a good rom-com.

Thanks so much to @simonschusterau and @
Jun 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc-books
This book was WOW. Set in Melbourne, it follows Bea Babbage who recently moved to the city from Perth, trying to find herself whilst tracking down a mystery writer.

I loved every page of this book and I felt a connection to Bea and the other characters. The plot itself also got me hook, line, and sinker and I loved EVERY page of this book.

The book references and relatableness of the coffee addiction Bea made this book very well rounded!

I was thankful enough to receive an advanced review copy vi
Elsa Joseph
Jul 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
While You Were Reading is the follow up to Ali Berg & Michelle Kalus hugely successful ‘The Book Ninja’. I am happy to report that this book didn’t disappoint and celebrates two of my favourite past-times, books and coffee! After accidentally ruining her best friend’s wedding, Bea Babbage escapes from Perth to Melbourne to start a new life. Bea is a passionate bibliophile and spends most of her spare time reading in the Nook, a small coffee shop where she gets to talk about books with Dino, ...more
Tala Lucy
Jul 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing

I'm not a huge fan of Australian authors or Australian inspired books but this was super cute and it portrayed Melbourne extremely well.

I couldn't pick a better character such as Bea that was super quirky, loved books and coffee. Cant forget the coffee. I love that authors are picking up on the bookish vibe and writing more in regards to that!

Emma Kerr
Jul 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Pretty predictable, but quirky and heart felt... This book made me smile:) Loved all the beautiful literary quotations intertwined within the story, as well as references to other great reads along the way and then right at the end I found a very useful book list ♥ Not a literary masterpiece, but nonetheless perhaps it is a chick lit minorpiece:) ...more
May 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
Fun, breezy and full of bookish references, While You Were Reading is the second novel by Books on the Rail founds Berg and Kalus. Fans of The Book Ninja will enjoy the crossovers, abundant literary references, romance and humour.

After booklover Bea unintentionally ruined her best friend's wedding in Perth, she dropped everything and moved to Melbourne as penance. What she didn't expect was to fall in love... with a book! Full of insightful marginalia, Bea's second hand treasure sets her on a qu
May 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
I felt that this book was quite predictable. There were a number of characters introduced and I didn't find myself 'falling in love' with them or really getting to know enough about them for me to care about their individual stories. It was a quick and easy read but the journey to the ending was not engaging enough for me. I do however think that this will be super popular at the age group it is targeted for.
Jun 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-for-review
Ali and Michelle, co-authors of The Book Ninja, return with a great new contemporary novel about a woman in a new place and job, without friends after a terrible fallout with her best friend. Bea then finds a second-hand book with the most intriguing and compelling hand written notes through it. Finally, she has some excitement in her life on her fresh start and is determined to find the previous owner of this book! 

Our main character Bea is an woman just turned thirty and  definitely a relatabl
Jul 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Ali and Michelle have outdone themselves. Cute and funny romance that includes so many of my favourite things! Books, coffee, a bit of mystery and lots of cute shoes. Easy to read while still having all the sophistication of authors who love literature, this is truly a unique quality of Ali and Michelle's books. Go get your copy, find it riding on a train or make sure your Aus and UK libraries buy a copy.
Jul 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the best rom-com of the year!
I am so happy and so joyous as a writer (and book lover myself) to read a book where I relate to the character as an everyday human being in an environment with all sorts of people and personalities.
I laughed, I cringed, but most of all, I loved.
A. Must. Read. 😍🙌🏻
Sharon Morgan
Jul 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Super cute romcom. A happily refreshing read. Great fun. I particularly loved the tiny crossover hints with The Book Ninja. Was kinda hoping that Cat and Frankie would somehow become part of Bea's world and they would all happily ever after in a little literary bubble, in the streets of Melbourne.
Hehehe (I'm actually not kidding) There's hope, as I just know these authors have got more words and pages to share. They may all come together yet! :)
Becky Leigh Singh
So i really loved this and I loved the plot twists it had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. One of my new favourites.
Jun 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
5 stars seems silly for a romantic fiction right? Wrong! This is the second book from the lovely ladies who wrote “the book ninja” and this one is just as enjoyable to read as their first one!

I also love the list of books at the end that were spoken about in the book. Oh and the mention of Willow & Wine!!!

Can’t wait for number 3 from them!!!
Jackie Cook
May 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

A fun and easy read. Perfect for lovers of all things Melbourne, Coffee and Books.
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
At home with a new baby, I'm in need of lighter, fun books these days and everything about the premise of this one indicated it would be a great fit for me. The protagonist's name is Bae, a name I loved and wanted to give my baby, and it's about a passion for books and reading and sharing those things with others. Sadly, the novel did not deliver on its premise.

Bae Babbage is 29 going on 30 (or perhaps 29 going on 14?) and a bit of a follower. Her best friend Cassandra is a dominating, judgement
Steph Huddleston
Jun 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Are you looking for a fun, light weekend read? A book that loves books as much as you do? 'While you were reading' might be just the book you’re looking for. Thanks to Simon and Schuster (Australia) publishing for giving me an advanced copy of this one to read!

'While you were reading' is a contemporary romance novel by Ali Berg and Michelle Klaus. The book follows Beatrix Babbage (‘Bea’) as she seeks to start over in a new city after accidentally ruining her friends wedding. Bea
Jun 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: arcs
This book follows Bea as she moves to Melbourne to get a new start after ruining her best friend's wedding. Friendless and working at a job she hates, the highlights of her day are her books and getting her daily coffee fix until she discovers a second hand book with beautiful annotations and poems littered throughout. She falls in love with the writing and decides to track down the owner of the book.

When I heard that this book is about books, I knew I had to read it! I love reading and finding
Jun 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
(this book was sent to me for an unbiased review)

Ali Berg’s and Michelle Klaus’ new novel is the perfect fit for a summer’s TBR!

I’ve just finished it and loved this story.
The Book Ninja still wins first place in my heart but While You Were Reading met all the expectations, while being quite different from their first novel.
This one stars 30-year- old Bea, who moves to Melbourne in the hopes of changing her love life (more like starting to have one) and her professional life (she’s stuck in a j
Gloria Arthur
Jun 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: shelf
While You Were Reading

The first pages into this book, I began to think that it was probably more targeted to a younger demographic, but once I was further into the story I found myself happily committed.

Beatrix Babbage 29, is a devoted book worm from Perth and she's just accidentally wrecked her best friend's wedding!

Feeling that her life is a total mess Beatrix relocates to Melbourne. Once settled in trendy Melbourne she finds she hates her job and is lonely without friends except for Dino the
Jul 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, on-shelf, r4r-arr
A true book lovers romance that captures the wonderful online reading community as well as the joy and connections that books can bring to people of all ages. This may not have been the sexiest or cutest romance I have read this year but it is the romance that harks back to one of my greatest loves in reading itself.
Tamika (paperback & flick chick)
Thank you to Simon and Schuster Australia for sending me an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review!  

I was excited to receive this book and was expecting to really enjoy it, given that I have been really into romances lately and I knew it centred around a book and a love for reading and all things bookish. However, I am sad to say this was not completely the case for me.

This book actually took a fairly long time to really hook me. In fact, I was feeling a bit meh about the whole thing
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Co-founder & Professional Aussie Book Ninja at Books on the Rail & Co-author of The Book Ninja and While You Were Reading (Simon & Schuster).