Rediscovering the joy of reading, one book at a time

For some, it’s like love at first sight. For others, it’s a hard-earned slog, resulting in a grudging degree of respect and a slight tinge of resentment.

When I was young, I hated reading. The words all seemed to move around the page in a strange jumble. Why did I need to read, anyway, when I had audiobooks to tell me the stories I loved to hear? If the books were any good, then why weren’t they made into films I could watch while I played?

It wasn’t until I was around eight I began, grudgingly, falling in love with the written word.

As I entered my teens, I discovered manga and fanfiction; two loves that have dominated my life ever since. While the still count as a kind of reading, it wasn’t until much, much later that I would realise that my love of the printed written word had fallen by the wayside. Sure, during my time at university – first as an eager undergraduate, then a dedicated postgraduate – I discovered a new love, one of factual texts and academic examining of exciting new concepts and ideas. But this still left little time for reading for pleasure.

During the last few days of a truly dreadful year for the world, and a fairly wonderful year on a personal level, I spotted several reading challenges on my Facebook feed. It seemed like perfect timing.

I planned on taking the 26 books challenge; that’s one book every two weeks. However, after starting a new job, I’ve regained a lot more time previously lost to commuting (trying to read between train to train to bus changes, all the while packed in like sardines with your fellow commuters rarely leaves time or low enough stress levels to pick up a book). 18 weeks in (as of May 1st), I’ve just hit 21 books.

That sounds a little more impressive than it actually is, as many of those are children’s books I’ve read for work. Rather than following a ridged reading challenge, I’ve decided to just read a little bit of everything; to see what takes my fancy, book by book. I’m hoping to hit 52 books before the end of the year, so I can try and up the amount of young adult and adult fiction on my list.

If you aren’t already, it’s not too late to start in on your own reading challenge for the year. It doesn’t have to be a book a week; just try and see if you can make a little more time for reading than you did last year.

I’d love to hear how your reading is going this year! Let me know in the comments below.

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