Reading for me is a stress reliever, it’s a time to get lost in words, to reflect, to learn, to dream, to laugh, and even to cry. It’s what I love about picking up a good book, there’re so many feelings that come with it. Unlike watching TV, I don’t feel like reading a book is ever a waste of my time, I love those solidarity moments getting lost in a page-turner of a book. Plus, finding a book you want to read from cover-to-cover is one of the best feelings.
For 2016, I’m challenging myself to read more, as well as to read more thought-provoking books, and those books I see receiving literary acclaim that for some reason I never get around to reading. This year I want to use my downtime not checking my smartphone for social media updates, editing pictures ready for Instagram, or even reading online news, but rather getting fully absorbed into a new book.
There’s a challenge doing the rounds to read 52 books in a year, I think that might be a little out of my reach, when I used to commute into work every day this probably would have been easy with two hours going spare every day, but working from home there isn’t much commute time from my bedroom to my office. So, I’ve decided to challenge myself to read at least one book a month, which I think is a great start, and I’m already onto book 2 this year so I’m doing pretty well.
I’m not sure whether I will do book reviews, I might share a few book wish lists over the course of the year, but I will be sharing on social media the books I’m reading and my thoughts, so make sure to follow me on Twitter @FashionNBarbie and on Instagram @FashionistaBarbie. I would also love to hear which books you are loving reading, as then I can add it to my now very long reading wish list.
My first book of the year was a Lindsey Kelk novel, ‘A Girl’s Best Friend’. I decided to ease myself in gently for the New Year, with a witty book that would normally have been my companion on the plane, the beach, or even to relax to in the bath. It follows the lives of Tess Brookes and her quest to find love and become a photographer, and her best friend Amy, who’s just got a fancy fashion job, it really was the perfect start to my reading challenge.
To keep me on track, and so I’ve always got a book waiting in the wings, I’ve started a reading wish list on Amazon, and my next books arrived over the weekend. It was hard choosing which one to go for next but I think it has to be ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving A F**k’ by Sarah Knight. I’ve been recommended this a lot by my Twitter followers, it’s a book geared to helping you cope if you are overwhelmed by life. I’m not saying that I’m stressed out, but I do get anxiety, and I thought this book with its ‘Not Sorry Method’ might help me free up time.
I’ve decided that not all books in my reading challenge have to be fiction, my normal go-to type of book, and these actually mark my first self-help style books, other than the fashion kind, and I’m excited as I also can’t wait to read Shona Rhimes’ ‘Year of Yes’. I’m totally obsessed with Scandal and come on why wouldn’t you want to learn from one of the most powerful women in Hollywood. I wonder whether I would be able to go a whole year committing to saying yes? Well, I reckon we will see once I have read the book.
My third book that I’m excited to read is the ‘All The Light We Cannot See’ by Anthony Doerr, which was winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction last year and has been on my wish list for a while, and when a lot of friends and family recommended on a shoutout for book suggestions on Facebook I knew I had to get it. If you haven’t heard of the book it is about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II. I can already feel that this is going to be a page-turner of a book and I can’t wait to delve into it.
If you’re thinking about starting a reading challenge and not sure which books to start with, first up look in your own library of books. I love revisiting my favourite books every couple of years, and I would recommend anything by Iain Banks, Tech Bitch by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza is amazing, and I do love the classics like Secret Garden and The Great Gatsby.