The first thing I ever really focussed on writing about was books. I did book reviews and discussed issues that books raised or were raging on in the book community over on one of my old blogs (that is now well hidden). It is also where I first got a real ‘journalism break through’ as I was one of the original members of the Guardian Children’s Book Site and did reviews on there and it helped me to get work experience so easily.
But sadly books are one of the things that often end up falling by the wayside when I get stressed or lose my routine a little. I literally have hundreds of books. They are scattered across this flat and there are still loads that we need to have brought over here. And I think it is not helped that most of the books we have here are factual so are a lot heavier (mentally and physically to read). So many of them are not read and I occasionally pick one up, start off reading it enthusiastically and forget about it for several months. I get into a never-ending circle of feeling that reading is a lot of effort and that I can somehow fail at it and as a result I avoid it which means I do fail at it and the failure of reading is the thing that sticks in my mind next time I go to pick up a book.
The odd review does occasionally find its way to this site but not as often as I would like and I do not know why I end up so inconsistent with them. As soon as I finish a book I will review it on Goodreads so there is no reason for me not to have popped them up here as well and that is something I am going to attempt to remedy. Finishing a book is an achievement and I should give myself more praise for it (especially when the book is god awful but I have battled through to the end anyway) but also give other people an idea whether it will appeal to them and it is worth them investing their time (and sometimes money) in.
Reading is something that I really want to get back on track with in my life. My partner reads on his way too and from work and therefore is able to keep up with a pretty good reading routine and this is something I used to do on the way to university or work. Now though I rarely go anywhere and even less by public transport so I have little chance to whip a book out and get a few pages ticked off.
One of my 2016 goals that I set myself, that I keep saying are just silly meaningless points, was to always be reading a book and read at least one page a day. I have read several books since the start of the year so I have read more than one page a day already but I feel like I am letting myself down. Without university to keep me reading things and without much journalism work coming my way I have little reason to read something and get my mind going. I feel so stupid a lot of the time and like I know nothing to be able to bring to a discussion or bring up as a talking point.
For me a book is more than just an escape to another world or something that I can relate to but an opportunity to expand my knowledge and understanding. Not just of events that have happened in the world and peoples takes on them but I also use them as a way to understand events and the emotions that come with them and how they make people feel. I massively struggle to understand emotions and how other people might feel at times so being able to try to understand them in a false situation really helps me if it should happen to somebody in real life so I can try and say the right things.
So this is partly a reminder to myself of who I used to be and also who I want to be. Books are great in so many ways and I think talking about them and how they make us feel or what they make us think (depending on the kind of book) is really useful. Books serve so many purposes and I really do love them. So hopefully this time next year I will be back into reading and feeling a little bit less mind-numbed because I will have information and new things going into my brain to stimulate me and provide me with new talking points and facts for discussions.
Do you struggle to get the enthusiasm to read? Do time limits stop you from getting to the end of a book? if you feel the same as me how do you get around it to pick up a book? I would love to hear your tips and tricks and if there is anything you do to make reading feel more worthwhile.