This is a bit of a breaking my promise not to blog over the Summer type post – that’s even lost me already, so bear with.
I said at the start of the school holidays that I was only going to do the two Blog Tour Posts I had promised, and that would be it. I would spend the rest of my time simply reading what I liked, when I liked, and doing video reviews.
The thing is, over the Summer, not having the pressure of writing a blog post has been a revelation for me in terms of reading. My notebook hasn’t been opened, I haven’t had to wonder what the heck I was trying to say when I decipher my notes, and best of all, I could just wallow in the knowledge that the only thing that mattered was enjoying what I was reading.
It’s also given me time to think about my Book Blogging, and being part of the Bookish Community on Twitter and Instagram. I wrote in an earlier Blog Post this year (which you can read here ), how I was wondering why on earth I was bothering, and needing to rediscover my joy of reading too. I have definitely moved on from that, but the last few weeks have also led me to question a lot of things about me and my relationship with Bookish social media, and that I have honestly been relentlessly comparing myself and my content to other people.
The conclusion I have come to?
When you are a Book Blogger, it is so easy to get caught up in the Fear Of Missing Out, the need to be seen with the latest book, making sure books are photographed, Instagrammed, Tweeted about, added on your IG stories, making sure you tag and thank everyone, replying to any comments, then retweeting and doing it all over again, that you are in danger of losing the most important thing.
The simple pleasure of just picking up a book and reading it.
I will admit quite freely that there have been so many times I will happily scroll through Twitter and Instagram for an hour, then moan about the fact I have no time to read! We all do it, but why? What are we so concerned we are going to miss if we put our phones down and read? It’s still there, whenever we go back to it, and chances are the Bookish world hasn’t ended while you read a couple of chapters.
I think it is so important that we have to learn to stop comparing ourselves to other people, to understand that this is a hobby, something we do when we’re not doing everything else we’re supposed to be doing, and not to try and keep up when we just can’t. There is no shame in saying ‘no’.
I do what I do for the love of books. I am not on a deadline, I am not being paid for what I do (but fingers crossed, maybe someday!), and most of all, my simple mission when I started Years Of Reading was to spend the rest of my days on this planet reading and shouting about books I love.
I know I needed a break to think about all this, to work out what was important for my mental health and for continuing this passion which takes up so much of my time. Some wise advice from the always fabulous Bookish Chat also helped me realise what I knew anyway, that we all need to step back at certain points, and not worry about what everyone else is doing, but instead to think about why we started doing this in the first place.
There is no right or wrong way to be a Book Blogger, you do what works for you when you want to do it. It’s your Blog, your Social Media, your Rules.
The only thing you need from the start is a love for books and reading, and the rest will follow.
Anyway, I’m off to get an almond magnum and my book to read, and I’ll tell you all about it soon- maybe.
Lots of love,