Well, 2018 has been quite a year. Being able to escape from the realities of the ever increasingly baffling world outside into the one of books and reading has been the best thing!
I wasn’t sure what to post for my final blog of 2018.
When I was walking my dog, Bertie, with my youngest this afternoon, I asked him what he thought.
‘Simple’, he said. ‘Say Thank You.’
He’s right. We spend so much of our time worrying about what other people think, or trying to be the one that’s heard, that very often the basic things that make people feel appreciated are ignored.
So, Thank You.
Thank you to all the authors without whom there would be no Years Of Reading Selfishly. Thank you for every time you replied to one of my comments, or liked what I had written, it means the world to me and gives me the confidence to keep going.
Thank you to all the lovely people in the Book World who have entrusted me with their proofs or novels and given me the opportunity to read amazing authors and fabulous books. You can never underestimate how much joy Book Post brings, and how much we want to shout about it for you!
Thank you to Buckinghamshire Libraries, who have been fantastic in helping me get hold of the novels I really wanted to review, and being interested in why! Libraries have been such a fundamental part of Years of Reading, and I can’t imagine a world without them..
Thank you to every Book Blogger who has been a brilliant support every time I write a blog post, or have posted something on Twitter or Instagram.
Especially to @thelitaddict_@be_reading @BooksBucks @Bookblogs79 @xMissEmmaxx @bestbookforward @notmaudgonne @ShortBookScribe @corkyorky who are always kind, thoughtful and supportive, and make Twitter a brighter place to be.
To @podsticles @rubiesforjuly @readbynight and @rhode_reads on Instagram, who are endlessly helpful, kind and take the time to chat – thank you.
Thank you especially to @BookishChat who is quite simply the person who has made my Book Blogging journey a blast!
It was fantastic to finally meet her in person at the @YoungWriterAward Ceremony. It might sound cliched to say it, but it really did feel like we had known each other forever, and she has been a wonderful friend and support as we both try to find our paths through the Book Blogging World! Thank you Mand – you are bloody awesome!
Thank you to @YoungWriterAward for inviting me to my first literary event, and the chance to hear @girlhermes @FJMoz @adamweymouth @LauraSFreeman read from their shortlisted books. It was a wonderful experience, and everyone was so welcoming – to be among people who loved books and talked about them with such passion was phenomenal.
Finally, Thank You to my ever patient family -my husband and two sons, who understand what this all means. They no longer raise their eyebrows every time the postman knocks on the door, with another delivery of books! They keep away from the very pretty book mountain which is teetering precariously in our living room!
Without their love and support, Years of Reading Selfishly would just be another one of those thoughts I had in a fleeting instant and felt I wasn’t able to do anything about!
I want to finish by saying this.
Maybe you have been talking about books to everyone for a long time. Maybe you are just starting out, or wondering whether after all this time all the effort is really worth it. After all, there are thousands of people blogging, tweeting, or instagramming about books aren’t there?
I am a 48 year old, stay at home Mum, who has loved reading for ever – I honestly never believed I could do this.
To you reading this – believe me you can.
You read, you have an opinion, and that’s important. It might be the same as everyone else – it might not. That’s what makes this Bookish Community so amazing – your voice matters, it really does. It takes time and effort, and you have to work at it, but little by little you realise that people are listening to you, talking back, supporting you and are interested in your opinions. That’s why I do what I do and you should too.
Having the courage to start Years Of Reading Selfishly is honestly one of the best decisions I ever made. I really feel like I have found my tribe!
Life’s too short not to try- or to read books you don’t love.
Here’s to 2019, and to talking about lots more fabulous books with you all.
Happy New Year,