Happy New Year Readers.
We start yet another year within the confusion and constrains of a worldwide pandemic. Although the latest variant offers some glimpses of hope, it’s still bleak, particularly within a global context. Quite possibly the only good thing to come out of the past 21 months of Covid is an increase in, or maybe a return to, reading habits. It’s certainly the latter for me. I started my Bookstagram account in earnest in 2020, before that I would occasionally share the books I was reading but since 2015, the year I got married and fell pregnant, I was averaging 3 books a year! Before marriage and children, I was a Librarian, and contrary to popular opinion, we don’t spend our days reading. I loved to read, but between working full time and having a social life I wasn’t reading anywhere near as much as I do now. 2020 was the year I got back into reading and over the past two years I have read over 100 books, probably more than the entire decade before.
I started last year with a very fixed idea of what I wanted to achieve with my reading. I set myself a challenge for fun and as the months went by, I kept a tally. Some months I was able to read 8 books other I hardly looked at a book and consequently I discovered a few things about myself. I’m a mood reader. The downside of that is that I’m forever buying books imagining myself reading them, but in reality they spend months (read: YEARS) sitting on my shelves waiting for me to remember them again. Earlier this week I was going through my shelves, and I have at least 27 books I bought last year and still haven’t read. Although I promised myself I wouldn’t buy any new books this year, Waterstones had a 50% off hardbacks sale. So, I’ve rejigged the terms and conditions and decided that I won’t buy ANY MORE BOOKS until I have read at least 50% of my new acquisitions (I bought 7 books!)
I’m not setting myself any goals this year, but I will continue to keep a record of the books I read and will do my best to share them, possibly as a monthly update if not individual reviews (those will be on my Instagram). I do enjoy reading books on literary awards lists, and some of the books I bought are from The Women’s Prize For Fiction and The Booker Prize nominations. Both 2022 longlists will be announced in March so maybe I’ll go on a spending spree then. Actually, another thing I need to be better at is sourcing my books from my local library!
The goal I absolutely missed last year was weekly blogging, and I’m determined to do better this year. Blogging is, believe it or not, the most fun I have online, yet somehow I always neglect it. I think its because it requires more concentration and commitment, and as we’ve established, I’m flaky! I do really appreciate you all showing up here and supporting me so I will endeavour to do better.
Before I sign off, I’d like to share my three favourite reads of 2021. I read some excellent books last year so this list could be so much longer, but I thought I’d really home in on the ones that excelled, surprised and bought something new to my reading experience so * DRUM ROLL* my top three books of 2021… (in no particular order)
- Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson
- No One Is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood
- Beautiful World, Where are You by Sally Rooney
What are you reading this year? I’d love to know what your favourite books of 2021 were and if you’ve set yourself a reading goal? Do let me know in the comments below.