Looking Forward

So, it’s been 18 months since I reviewed a book. It’s been the best part of a year since I read a book. The blog has been on hiatus officially since January last year. But I’ve decided to actually give this another shot. I miss reading, I miss interacting with the bookish community. Last year I decided that I needed a break, that it was just too much pressure. I had to stop watching booktube, I had to stop reading reviews. I had to just stop because I feel like I lost what reading was about for me. But then our family had a few bereavements and I just didn’t pick up a book for 6 months. Looking back, I think a “year off” from reading, from reviewing, has absolutely been the best thing for me, but I want to get back in to it again. So hi, welcome. Hello. Nice to see you again.

Last year wasn’t the best year. For anyone. While we were all in the same storm, how we were hit by it varied, what things we had going on around us varied. For me 2020 was a proper shitter (see my last post) but it was also full of moments of light, I found new hobbies and picked up old ones. I learnt how to drive (last test in Norwich before March lockdown) and I bought a car in May. I BOUGHT A CAR! I’m now officially 2 years in remission with fibromyalgia, bad days have been few and far between. I’m off all medication (save for my antihistamines) even though my mental health tanked. And I learnt to make focaccia.

So rather than reading, what have I been up to? I replayed my favourite video games (Horizon Zero Dawn, Lego Harry Potter, Subnautica, Shadow of the Tomb Raider and lots of The Sims). I started playing Animal Crossing, then stopped, then started again.

I became obsessed with podcasts – All Killa, No Filla has been a fun one and I genuinely love the community built around that podcast. Honestly? It’s in part down to them why I’m reading again. I’ve also really, really enjoyed We Are History with Angela Barnes and John O’Farrell – something that may become obvious in some of my reading for 2021 as they have recommended so many good books that I can’t wait to get my hands on. In a similar tone I’ve enjoyed You’re Dead to Me which is hosted by Greg Jenner (author of Dead Famous which is on my TBR and will hopefully be read early 2021). I’ve enjoyed Fingers on Buzzers with Lucy Porter and Jenny Ryan (from the Chase) which is all about quizzing. And if I need cheering up I’ve resorted back to My Dad Wrote a Porno which never fails to crease me.

I learnt to love myself and be unashamedly me. I’ve addressed some things in my past that have been weighing me down a lot more than I thought, and have been working through them. I feel more confident, and braver, than I think I ever have. I’m both terrified and excited about the next steps and what the future holds but I think whatever comes my way, I’ll deal with it.

Reading has been something on the backburner, something for ‘later’ – books will always be there after all. But now I think I’m at a point were I’m ready to start trying to get in the habit of reading again. Because it is a habit, and one I need to get back in to my daily routine. I’ve set my goal for the year low – 25 books – and I want to actively start reviewing again. I may even dig out a few reviews from last year that I wrote and just never shared – Girl, Woman, Other being one. I can’t wait to explore 2021 in books, and share that with you.

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