I’m Sarah Stiefvater, the books editor at PureWow. That basically means that I write most of PureWow's books coverage, from monthly new-book roundups and reviews to quizzes and lists of books to read if you're obsessed with Game of Thrones. One of the first questions people ask me when I tell them I cover books for a living is, “You must read for, like, 12 hours a day, right?” And, to be honest, I’ve never tallied it up. So I spent 24 hours documenting every last page. Here’s everything I read on an average day, from tweets in bed to novels…also in bed.
8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.: Scroll Through Twitter in Bed
Yeah, the first thing I do when I wake up is look at my phone—sue me. Today, I read the New York Times' morning briefing, a fascinating story about sleep deprivation and a look inside Pete Buttigieg's likely presidential campaign. Then, as a palate cleanser, I read all of the responses to this tweet: "What was the pinnacle of wealth to you as a child?" (Personal faves: "People who had an island in their kitchen" and "Having an extra fridge in the garage just for drinks.") I also cracked up at this screenshot of a New York Times recipe for "Ham and Cheese Pasta with a Handful of Peas." It's the little things.
9 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.: Read Longform on the Subway
My favorite thing in the world to read is a longform article, and I’m completely obsessed with the Pocket app. On the subway into the office, I read an interview with Summer Brennan, the author of a forthcoming book about the sociopolitical history of high heels. As a self-proclaimed feminist who had just unboxed a pair of four-inch platforms the night before, I was fascinated to read her take on whether heels are empowering or a submission to patriarchal gender roles. Some of my favorite publications to mine for consistently fabulous longform journalism: California Sunday, Guernica, Mother Jones and Texas Monthly.
1 p.m. to 2 p.m.: Sift Through Blurbs at My Desk
I’m lucky to get piles of ARCs (advanced reading copies) from publishers. Today, I took home two books: A paperback copy of Amor Towles's A Gentleman in Moscow and Lara Williams's Supper Club, which will be published in July. I snagged the former on the recommendation of PureWow senior editor Dara Katz, who called it her favorite book of 2018, and the latter because it sounds whip-smart and super inventive (it's about a secret society of women who meet for elaborate feasts to reclaim their appetites and physical spaces).
4 p.m. to 4:20 p.m.: Skim More Articles at My Desk
The afternoon slump is setting in hard; it's time for a trip to the office kitchen for a peppermint tea and to read more articles on Pocket. Today, I'm giving my brain a break and reading Wired's profile of teen ASMR YouTubers. Twenty-one-year-old Taylor Darling's whispering videos make $1K a day, just in ad revenue. Mind blown.
9:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.: *Actual* Reading in Bed
The only time I really read books is before bed. This is typically whatever title I’m reviewing next—right now it’s Trust Exercise by Susan Choi. I'm about 100 pages in, and what I first thought was a straightforward high-school love story is quickly becoming something much darker—and totally compelling. It's a physical copy of the book—I don’t do e-readers. I know they're modern and portable, but for me, nothing beats holding a physical book in my hands and (yes, I admit it) dog-earring the pages.
Total Time Spent Reading: 3 hours, 50 minutes