Today I have a rather honest post and, if I’m completely truthful, I am quite embarrassed about the subject matter, but I really wanted to share this not only for myself, but in case it helps others who are maybe experiencing the same issues or feelings in any way.
So here goes…..
According to my Goodreads account which I started the back end of 2014 I read….
63 books in 2015
37 books in 2016
I openly admitted that I was disappointed in my reading last year in 2016. Although by my own admission I had not kept track properly of everything I read so at the start of this year, 2017, I was all set and raring to go! Books in order on my shelves. Exciting proof copies ready to be read. Debut authors to discover along the way with firm favourite authors with exciting books coming out that I simply had to get me hands on.
2017 was going to be my best reading year yet!
And then I caught it! That rare thing that seems to happen every now and again. Only this has stuck with me nearly all year…..
So let me explain a little….
Its November 2017 and so far this year I have read a grand total of…..
Wait for it……
Yes that’s right! 8!
*scoffs at my measly 8*
*hides in complete embarrassment*
Recently I’ve been looking at this evil number 8 and reflecting on why this has exactly happened. I’ve been busy in my personal life with work, family and fitness more this year and have had my fair few reading slumps where the last thing I wanted to do was pick up a book, but I hit the nail on the head whilst talking to a friend this week.
I have a case of Pick-Up-A-Book-Read-At-Least-Half-And-Then-Put-It-Down-I-Tus or as it is more commonly known the actual inability to finish an actual book!
*shrieks in horror*
Without realising it and whilst I have been punishing myself for my number 8 I have been starting books and not actually finishing them. There on my shelf were gorgeous books full of curious worlds with brightly coloured decorated book marks sticking out of the top of them. They were literally sitting there waiting to welcome me back into their pages where I had left characters in the midst of an adventure, running away from danger, falling in love or even going through their own trials and tribulations. I added how many of these I could find scattered around my bedroom and office…..29!
29 books that I have actually started reading and then never went back to. Not because the books were bad or awful, but because I appear to be unable to finish an actual book!
For someone who normally has a one book at a time rule this is just shocking!
What am I even doing?!
Why has this happened?!
Who even am I?
I’m such a blogging let down!
All of these questions have been running around my mind more than once or twice this year and causing me to retreat further and further away from books even though I know they give me such solace and love in their individual ways.
So what on earth happened? It could be the distraction of shiny new books in my possession or the fact that things have been busy or do I really have some underliying issue with actually finishing a book. It could be a number of these things or, as I’ve come to realise, a combination of all of the above. For the past few weeks more than ever I’ve been beating myself up about just that, my inability to actually pick something up and actually finish it. And thinking about my number 8 has just made it all worse in my head. I have been beating myself up about it and in turn added to my list of reasons for all of this. Pressure is never a good thing really is it?
I sat down to write this as a kind of talking to myself to get it out of my system kind of post to help with the fact that I feel so ashamed of everything to do with my reading this year, but whilst writing this I realised that 8 and 29 are just a number. It’s as simple as that. It does not take away the fact that I have supported and showcased amazing authors and books on my blog or the fact that those 8 books I have read have been great books that I have enjoyed from page to page. I’m telling myself whilst typing this that it’s actually okay. It’s okay to have had a bad reading year and it’s okay to be able to put a book down and come back to it another time when the timing is better or you’re not so tired and just want to binge watch Stranger Things in your PJ’s.
It’s okay to still be passionate about something and not feel like a complete failure because of your inability to actually finish a book for example! Those books will still be there with their stories and glorious worlds and unforgettable characters in the future.
So I am taking a big deep breath and starting a new page where a number is just a number and a good book can be the absolute best cure. But most of all I am saying that it’s okay to have not read as many books as everyone else or that I am going to completely fail my Goodreads challenge this year. Sometimes it’s the little things that count even if that’s a little number.
So to me when I am reading this back or to anyone that is feeling the same as me this year or any other year in the years to come…..it’s okay. Take your time. Enjoy new things. Take the pressure off a little. But most of all don’t worry about your number or how little you feel you are reading or doing. Even a couple of pages a night is better than nothing at all, but if that’s not even possible then that’s totally fine too. You are amazing and totally not defined by the number of books you read every year. Characters and worlds will always be waiting with open arms whenever you are ready.