This post isn’t going to be a specific wrap up or list like the rest of my end of the year posts, but rather a reflection on what books brought to me in 2018. This was a year of massive change for me; I graduated university, moved back home, passed my driving test and started a new job. With all of that changing, I’ve still kept reading but there have been some other big impacts that books have had this year.
Flashback to 2017, I was barely reading. Whilst at uni I didn’t read much at all – maybe 10ish books a year, if that, and then only really during the holidays. I’d always read a crazy amount as a child, I was never without a book, but I think the craziness of uni combined with how inaccessible I felt books to be, slumped me. I was too poor to buy books and my unpredictable schedule, coupled with living half on either side of the country, meant that borrowing from the library didn’t really feel like an option. However, in late 2017 I discovered booktube. All of these super passionate people talking about books I’d never even heard of reignited my passion. When I walked into my local bookshop and saw the beauty that is ‘The Bear and the Nightingale’, I fell headfirst back into reading and never looked back.
This all meant that I was starting 2018 with a world ahead of me filled with all the books I’d missed whilst being out of the loop. The last few years of YA releases had completely escaped me and the amount of books I discovered that I wanted to read was INSANE. By this point I’d also discovered this gorgeous community on Instagram called Bookstagram and I honestly don’t think I’ve ever felt more inspired and excited. I spent half my time reading and the other half filling out online surveys in exchange for Amazon vouchers to afford those books (all jokes aside, this was an excellent way for me to afford my book buying habit without spending all of my food budget on books).
Eventually I plucked up the courage to start up my own instagram called ‘cosybookcorner’. I believe it was the very end of January that I opened my account and posted my first photo. It was a really shoddy flatlay with no props, but it was mine and I was so proud. I don’t think a lot of people realise that I’ve only been doing all of this since the beginning of 2018. Before then there was no cosybookcorner! No blog, no instagram, nothing. This year truly has brought all of this to me and I’m so grateful for it. My absolute dream has always been to receive books from publishers in exchange for reviews. The idea of getting books that I’d love to read but can’t really afford to own for free, and all I have to do is read them and tell people about them seemed like a dream come true, but completely out of reach. I’ve googled ‘how to get sent books for review’ every year for probably 6 or 7 years but I never knew how to make it happen until now. I don’t think many people can say that they have achieved one of their life’s biggest goals by the age of 21, but I can!
I feel like I’m bragging here, but all I’m trying to say is that my own hard work and commitment in 2018 has brought me something special. I’ve worked so so hard on all of this and learnt so much along the way and I’m really grateful for that. Maybe 2019 will be my year for youtube…
I’ve very almost made it to 75 books this year, and I’m sure I will have done by the time this post goes up. This number pales in comparison to how much some people read, but to me this number is enormous! I set my goodreads goal to 50 at the beginning of the year and I remember thinking that I’d be really chuffed if I managed to make it to 50, without knowing that I’d reach it easily! I honestly don’t think I’ve EVER read as much as I have this year!
On a more serious note, I went through quite a tough time this year. I lost all motivation towards the end of my uni course, my boyfriend moved away and my anxiety was catching up with me. I ended up so completely miserable on the other side of the country from my family, I don’t think I’ve ever struggled more than I did in those months in early-mid 2018. With all that said, the books were there for me. Hiding away in some fantasy novel so completely removed from my situation really got me through. Series like The Mortal Instruments (which I only read for the first time this year) were so special to me and helped me a lot. I became so invested in those characters and their stories that I could completely escape reality. It got me out of the house – I went to coffee shops and beautiful sunny spots to read. Reading completely saved me from curling up binging Netflix endlessly, which I’d done almost constantly whilst at uni before I rediscovered books. I spent most of my final summer term in Bath layed out on the grass in the middle of The Circus or The Royal Crescent with a book. It was the most glorious break from the stresses of uni and that place is always going to be very special to me.
So, this has been a bit of an aimless ramble, but I just wanted to say all these thing. The message I’m leaving 2018 with is that hard work and community can help you achieve anything. I’m so glad that books have become as important to me again this year as they always were growing up. Whilst this has been one of my toughest years I’ve had to face, it’s also been one of the best!