It does not go unnoticed that my first (and only) post of 2021 is on the very last day of the year itself. Woo! Go me! A frustrating if not also very funny realisation. Because this year was, to put it mildly, insane! Crazy! Filled with ups and downs, ins and outs, laughter and tears, and interestingly (for me) not a lot of books. (More on that in a moment.)
So here I am, at the tail-end of what was a horrifying and harrowing year, wondering what happened, where the time went, and how to get ready for the next year coming.
I feel as though I owe some sort of explanation for the year-long hiatus that I took from this space entirely unannounced. Work plus pandemic does not make for a productive blog space, let me just say. And even combining the two—working during a pandemic—leaves me one very tired, very uninspired blogger. Hence my intense and prolonged hiatus—from which I do hope to return from.
In the coming year, and the subsequent months, weeks, and days it brings, I hope to write more. No—I plan to write more, and I will write more. Writing is and has been the one place I have felt truly alive and connected throughout this pandemic. Reading, too, has provided me with much-needed solace during the darker, quieter days, and both of these activities have safely ferried me to the end of the year and have deposited me at the horizon of the new.
Writing more means more posts, more reviews, and dare I even hope, more work on the various novels and novellas percolating in my brain space*. With more writing comes more reading! I have plenty of titles gathering dust (sorry) on my TBR pile, and it will be a journey again to hit my reading goals in 2022.
A Year in Books
To provide some background: for this year’s Goodreads challenge, I had set myself up with the task of reading 15 books in 2021.
A confession: I had only succeeded in finishing two books by the end of November.
Shocking. Terrible. “An all-around poor effort!” I lament and wail to myself.
As the months went on, and Goodreads continued to inform me (rudely, if not altogether accurately) that I was x number of books behind on my goal, I began to despair. By November, I was convinced I would never meet my goal of 15 books. Woe is me! Can I even call myself a reader if I don’t meet my Goodreads reading challenge?**
And then something happened. A switch flicked—I was reading again. I finished a book in two days. Another two days later. Another in a single day. What was happening? Could I actually meet my goal for the year?
I read five books in one week. How?! Two books finished on my reading challenge became seven. Seven became eight, then nine—!
Book by book I was hurtling towards my goal and the end of the year, and I was ready to seize the challenge from the digital hands of the Goodreads app.
But I didn’t make it.
Despite ravenously devouring a stack of books in mere days, despite the drive and desire to accomplish my reading challenge—I didn’t.
I read nine books this year.
My Goodreads sits at a calm 9/15, with the progress bar coloured in at a soft 60%. And that’s it. That’s my year in reading.
I can’t believe I made it this far. Not meeting the challenge aside, I put in so many reading hours—hours I didn’t realise I had in me, after eleven month of stagnation—and shot up from two books to nine in the span of three weeks! Are you kidding me?! What a sprint!
This year has been so incredibly hard, in all manners of personal, professional, hobby, and social. Lockdowns, COVID exposure scares, isolation periods, political and social unrest—it’s been an absolute nightmare of a year…and something tells me I said the same thing about 2020!
And yet we’re here. We’ve made it. Another reading challenge done and dusted. Phew. On to the next year…!
Wishing you all a Happy New Year. Be well, stay safe, be kind.
*All as yet untitled, but not undeveloped.
**The answer, thankfully, is yes.