I Read 52 Books In 2021…Here’s What I Learnt 

16,487 pages. 52 books. 2 books over my goal. 

Ever since I can remember, my relationship with books has been volatile. I have gone through years in my life where I read over 100 books, and years where reading 10 was a stretch. 50 seemed like a stretch when I set the goal at the start of the year, and having given myself the same goal for 2022 it still feels like a number that I won’t be able to conquer. 

I learnt a lot about myself as a reader last year which was both exciting and unsettling. The year felt so long that I can barely believe that it was only a few months ago that I battled through tombs like A Little Life or devoured reads like The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. These are just some musings that I have picked up upon to reflect on a year of reading before moving to the next one. 

  • I need to stop forcing myself to read books I hate. I can absorb some books whole even in the busiest of work times because I love them so much. I need to stop forcing myself to finish a book even when I hate it just to be able to tick it off because it often holds me back more than propelling me forward. 
  • I need to read more outside my course. In 2021 it felt like I was only reading for my degree and never for pleasure which left me with a sour taste in my mouth. Only reading for my degree has always stunted my relationship with books and often puts me off them completely. 
  • Sometimes the hype is worth it. Since creating this blog and this instagram I have found that I have picked up books I never thought I would…and I’ve really enjoyed them. As much as I also love reading those undiscovered gems, I do really enjoy the way that Bookstagram has brought so many amazing books to my attention. 
  • I’ve stopped reading to seem smart. I’ve given up on forcing myself to endure pages of classics that I just don’t care about. And it is so much more freeing! I like that the books I choose to fill my time with are often ones that I actually care about and enjoy. 
  • As a reader, my interests are changing. I read with a new set of eyes now, and I can’t really place where the change has come from but I’ve found myself being so aware of recurring objects in texts now. It has become a bit of a hyperfixation in my degree for me – I am obsessed with noticing things like mirrors, food, and doors. 

I think often as readers it is important to have a look at the way we are reading and consuming as well as being focused solely on the fictional worlds themselves. I can’t wait to see where 2022 will take me.

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