Do you consider yourself a reader? That answer isn’t so easy to come by. How many books do you need to read a year—or a month—to qualify as a true reader? And does it matter what kinds of books you read? Do mystery novels count? What about young adult fiction or business books or graphic novels? Do you need to have read all 100 of the top books ever written to confidently claim you are a reader?

If you’ve ever felt like an imposter when it comes to being well-read, this conversation is for you. In this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson kick off their fall series based on the value of reading, in all its forms. Erin and Hannah share about their own reading habits and gaps, and how they’ve often experienced imposter syndrome when it’s discovered they haven’t read a certain book that others deem important. Reality is there are simply too many great books to read. And that is a glorious problem to have! With thousands of new titles released each year, and thousands of great books from centuries past, there is simply no way any of us could read everything. With that pressure removed, we are free to enter into a new book to experience it without shame. Reading in this way allows us to glean all we can from the prose and the lessons embedded within. For this series, Erin and Hannah will host a series of discussions around a classic that’s rich with meaning: Frankenstein: A Guide to Reading and Reflecting from B&H Publishing (Karen Swallow Prior, Mary Shelley). Each episode, Erin and Hannah will dive into this classic by Mary Shelley to discuss how the themes speak to our lives today. We hope you will read along, but even if you don’t, there’s no shame! You will still enjoy the series of conversations covering themes of identity, formation, creation, and community.

B&H Publishing has graciously contributed three copies of the title for Persuasion listeners! Share a post from this episode on Tuesday, September 14, for a chance to win a copy.

Conversations for our fall series will center on Mary Shelley’s original 1818 edition of Frankenstein. We will be reading from the recent release from B&H Publishing, Frankenstein: A Guide for Reading and Reflecting, edited by Karen Swallow Prior. Here’s the reading schedule (page numbers match the B&H edition) if you want to read along with us:

  • 9/28 EP 223 Reading 1: Volume I, Preface–Chapter 3 (pp. 27–78)
  • 10/5 EP 224 Reading 2: Volume I, Chapters 4–7 (pp. 78–121)
  • 10/12 EP 225 Reading 3: Volume II, Chapters 1–4 (pp. 129–162)
  • 10/19 EP 226 Reading 4: Volume II, Chapters 5–9 (pp. 162–206)
  • 10/26 EP 227 Reading 5: Volume III, Chapters 1–4 (pp. 211–256)
  • 11/2 EP 228 Reading 6: Volume III, Chapters 5–7 (pp. 256–306)

This episode of Persuasion is sponsored in part by B&H Publishing Group, publisher of Frankenstein: A Guide to Reading and Reflecting (Karen Swallow Prior, Mary Shelley). B&H Publishing seeks to provide intentional, biblical content that positively impacts the hearts and minds of people, cultivating lifelong relationships with Jesus Christ. Learn more at


Erin Straza: Web / Twitter

Hannah Anderson: Web / Twitter


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Frankenstein: A Guide to Reading and Reflecting, Karen Swallow Prior, Mary Shelley

How to Read a Book, Adler Mortimer

How to Read a Book, Kwame Alexander

How to Read a Book Roundup

Did you enjoy this episode of Persuasion? Give these a listen:

Persuasion 196 | Just Getting By

Persuasion 93 | Adults Reading Kids Stuff

Persuasion 59 | Judged by Your Language

Theme music by Maiden Name.