Vivatramp

adventures, books & creative lifestyle.

On Rediscovering My Love Of Reading

how i rediscovered my love of reading
(gifted: I was sent one of the books in the above photo, All Men Want To Know, by the publisher but wasn't asked to feature it in this content. I just needed a photo for illustrative purposes). 


There was a time when my name was synonymous with books to a very, very, very, very tiny section of the blogosphere. I'm taking minuscule. 

I was a relatively voracious reader.

I would share monthly book reviews and book hauls, focusing tons of my time and energy on sharing my reads and recommendations, and then...that all stopped. 

In short, I lost myself

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I sort of restored myself back to factory settings and forgot about all of the things that I loved doing. 

I say forgot but that wasn't really it. 

I knew I loved to read. My bookshelves brimming with books, both old and new, were a testament to that. I just...couldn't read.

I couldn't give myself time and space to decompress and things fell by the wayside for a while.

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Fast forward a year or two to me packing a couple of tote bags worth of books before I entered lockdown at my Mum's house back in March of this year. I took them just in case the miraculous happened. 

I settled the selection of books on one of the bookshelves I used to blog from back in the day, promising to read at least one or two if I could. 

As the days and weeks went by, I found myself reaching for books again. It felt alien yet wholly familiar at the same time. I read and then I read some more and some more and some more. 

I have since read 25 books so far this year. I know that's a small number in comparison to some but I don't care. Reading isn't about point-scoring.

I'm just really glad to have rediscovered a passion that I lost along the way. I hope it stays. I felt like marking this accomplishment by sharing how I got to this point...just in case you ever find yourself in a similar position. 

Here's to finding our way back to ourselves. 

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H ow  I  r e d i s c o v e r e d 

m y  l o v e 

o f  r e a d i n g . 

 

 

1. I GAVE MYSELF PERMISSION.

 
Being able to focus was one thing but being able to acknowledge that I'm allowed to enjoy things on my own time has been a real joy.  

As I mentioned in the introduction, I have lost a lot of time over the last couple of years to various anxieties and unusual headspaces. 

With the sunny weather and new environment, I decided to view my time at my Mum's as some kinda retreat...albeit one where I still had to work. And so, I let myself read when I wanted to. I'd drag a chair outside and park myself there for an hour or two, reminding myself that I could only do my best work if I was well-rested and content. 

I even carved out late afternoons for family reading time where Mum and I would sit down together with our current reads and quietly read until it was time to go inside and make dinner. 

It felt like coming home on multiple levels. 

I now find it much easier to give myself permission to start my day by reading a couple of chapters or tuck myself into bed a little early for some quiet reading time before lights out. 

It's so sad to think of all the ways we often deny ourselves the gift of a little bit of peace and quiet because we think we have to be switched on 24/7. The minute I gave up on that idea was the minute I began to reclaim my identity and that felt so damn good



2. I SOUGHT OUT BOOKISH SPACES. 

I shied away from all of the communities I was a part of online when I lost enthusiasm for reading. I felt like I couldn't talk about books online if I wasn't actively reading on a regular basis. That is, of course, total bull but y'know.,,

As I re-emerge from this weird years-long malaise, I've begun to involve myself in communities again. I've re-jigged my timelines, filling them with bookish accounts, and I've dusted off my Goodreads 'to buy' shelf and filled it with books that I've stumbled across on my travels that sound right up my street. 

I got to grips with 2020 releases and starting boring loved ones again with my long, one-sided conversations about books. I am the bookish Colin Robinson



3. I TOOK AWAY THE PRESSURE. 

I have spent a lot of time reading books quietly, perhaps sharing a story or two over on my private Patreon IG but otherwise just enjoying being an active reader again. 

A reader who could read a book, maybe give it a star rating for old times sake, before moving on without having to worry about wording the perfect mini-review. 

I loved and still do love writing bookish content but I needed to step back from it whilst I emerged from my reading hibernation. I needed it to just be me and the book I was reading and not me, the book, the notebook full of notes, the blog, the post schedule, etc. 

I'm ready to talk about books over here again, as you may have seen from my recent posts, and I think quiet downtime definitely helped to restore my enthusiasm. 


4. I GAVE MYSELF A FOCUS. 

I was away from my bookshelves from March-July and part of me thinks I benefited from having a singular shelf that was visible to me from my bed, as at home my books are tucked away in a room that I don't really venture into very often. 

Giving myself a smaller stack of books to choose from made reading feel less daunting in a way and I ended up reaching for books that had been warming my shelves for a while which was a real treat. 

I would highly recommend paring things down and breaking your reading into smaller TBR piles, perhaps organised by season or by area of interest or genre, if you're feeling similarly overwhelmed. 



5. I READ WHAT I WANT. 

I would usually try to ensure that I'm switching things up as I read, opting for different genres or subject matters as I move from book to book, but the minute the sun put its hat on the only thing I wanted to do was read thrillers. Not even necessarily stonkingly good ones either. 

Instead of forcing myself to read something I perhaps wasn't entirely in the mood for, I decided to go on a bit of a thriller kick. I've read around 12 thrillers this year - some really good, some good, some quite good - and I have really loved reading instinctively. Sometimes all you want is a twisty page-turner and it's totally okay to give in to that impulse. 

If you want to read an author's back catalogue for a month straight, do it. 

If you want to re-read books you have read 101 times before even though you have lots of new books to read, do it. 

Read what you want. It's meant to be fun fgs.


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Those are just a few of the things that have helped to turn my reading around in recent months. 

What has your reading life been like so far this year? 

Has lockdown helped you to dedicate more time to yourself and the things you love doing or have you found that it has fogged your brain up somewhat? 

If you're reading this post thinking about how you haven't been able to enjoy anything of late, I just want you to know that's a perfectly valid response to the weird world we find ourselves living in right now. 

Go at your own pace. The weirds are weird.  


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I'd love to hear from you so do leave your thoughts below as well as any further advice for people who are looking for further ways to fall back in love with reading.

I've posted lots of bookish posts lately so stop by if you've got some spare time

/ Birthday Book Haul

/ 24 Books On My To Buy List

/ Country Pubbing & Book Shopping


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This post originally featured on my Patreon page, as a matter of fact.

Comments

  1. I love this post so much Bee! In the past few months, reading has felt really hard even though I've been doing quite a lot of it. I'm definitely going to try your smaller TBR trick!
    Imogen’s Typewriter. <3

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  2. As we haven't had as many children in school over lockdown, all the teaching assistants have been on a rota which means I was only working like one day a week/every 2 weeks. So I've read a lot more than I was expecting to this year!

    katiejreads.co.uk

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  3. Hard relate to "I have lost a lot of time over the last couple of years to various anxieties and unusual headspaces." - I often feel like I'm always trying to make up for lost time, which never really helps. I've been going through quite a long reading drought this year, but managed to work my way through Frankly in Love over the weekend and felt so accomplished for doing so. It was nice to visit someone else for a while. I am definitely in the not-being-able-to-enjoy-anything-as-of-late group, which has made me feel like I'm stuck in a tumble dryer, but reading your words has made me feel a lot better x

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