It is a new year, it is a new me.
I cannot tell you how much that phrase grates on me. What is wrong with the old you? We are not cars to be replaced or mobile phones to be upgraded. We do not go up in worth when we stick to one of our New Year’s Resolutions. We are complex human beings who deserve love, and the person we most deserve love from is ourselves.
I look over 2020 and I think, how did I survive through that pandemic of loneliness, anxiety and fear. There were many elements that got me through, from fell walking to baking, and (I hate to say it) even zoom quizzes had their place in there. But there was one activity that really inspired me.
I read a tweet this week that said books were something that never rejected a reader, they always welcome anyone who wants to read them. I found this extremely profound, but I also found it really realistic.
2020 was isolating for so many of us. Whether that was because many were vulnerable and had to shield, or because we were all stuck in our houses with little human contact apart from a daily walk or run, it was the same feelings that surfaced about being distanced from the world around us.
I have never kept on top of my Goodreads account and I could not tell you the amount of books I read last year. But, what I did do was to actively seek out books that would support the feelings I was going through at that particular point. When I was stressed with what my future held, I would read a book about a twenty year old trying to find their way in the world; when I was upset I would read a book about somebody coping with life’s traumas; when I was feeling content I would read a comedy, because who doesn’t’ love to laugh every now and again?
My point is, that books are always there for us. Whether you read one this year or whether you read one hundred, books will be waiting for you. Books never need you to change, and they do not ask you to set quotas for how many you will read this year. They will be waiting for you to open their front page and to get invested into their fictional world. I really do not think that there is anything more magical than that, and so I cannot wait to see what 2021 has in store for me in the literary world.
Words by Sophie Wilson
Image by Asal Lotfi on Unsplash