2023 was a fabulous year for reading ! I am so proud of myself for pushing through and falling back in love with books … find out what happened, what changed and some of my favorite things in todays post !
As many of you know, I am a HUGE book lover, but I slowed (darn near stopped completely), in 2020.
That may sound like a strange time for me to all but stop reading, since we were at home due to the pandemic, but for me it was a kickstart into a new era of business. That required more work and less downtime, which in turn meant something had to give, and for me it was reading.
My favourite time to read had long been just before bed. With more energy being put into my company, I was falling between the sheets at all hours, and the thought of picking up a book to read, usually ended with the book dropping onto my face while falling asleep before the end of a page !!
At the time it didn’t seem like such a big sacrifice, and I don’t know that I missed it in the beginning, as I was reading SO much for work. I needed to learn an entirely new way to connect with my community … and that took A LOT of my brain power. While it may seem that escaping into the pages of a book at the end of a day would be fitting, it was the opposite. My growing collection of books just kept piling up. Even though I wasn’t reading, I was still collecting !
GETTING BACK INTO IT
As 2020 became 2021, I slowly started to open the covers on books I’d been waiting to jump into. Sadly, it didn’t last … I was spending any extra time that I had taking online workshops to learn more about how to sustain and grow a business. Every second that I wasn’t creating or running the operations of my company, I was strengthening my knowledge through online education in a variety of areas.
By the time 2022 was upon us, I was desperately missing falling in love with the characters inside the pages of a book, so I made a decision … I was going to read one book a month for the entire year. While that doesn’t sound like a big goal, for me it felt like climbing a mountain, as I still wasn’t sure where I was going to fit it into my day.
Interestingly enough, while teaching an online workshop, I was introduced to an audio book app and this was a pivotal moment for me in falling back in love with reading. My desire to escape into the stories so beautifully written on the pages of my growing stacks of books was so strong, that I needed to let go of my overwhelming feeling that if I didn’t physically turn the pages, it wasn’t actually reading.
Next, I had to adjust my thought process to accept that HOW I enjoyed the stories didn’t matter nearly as much to me as actually getting to enjoy them at all ! Te way the words were relayed to me wasn’t as important as the fact that I was getting to finally experience the stories !
AUDIBLE TO THE RESCUE
I chose the Audible app and quickly spent some time moving through how to find books that I wanted to listen to AND enjoyed the narration too. One of the best parts of this app for me is that you can sample the book to hear the narrators voice. While you may not think this is important, it certainly can be if the book is 12 hours long and the narrators voice is like nails on a chalkboard to your ears !
Though I am not wanting to offend any narrators out there, it is the truth. We all have voices we can listen to for hours (hello Matthew McConaughey), and others we simply can not … so take my advice and sample a book before you buy it !!
Just a handful of books in and I was hooked. In 2022 I listened to (23) books !!!!! I was beyond thrilled since that was a 100% increase from 2020 and 2021 combined … the coolest part ?! In addition to those books that I listened to, I also read (2) physical books as well … a total win in my eyes !
Now, here we are at the end of 2023 … and as of today (December 18th), I have completed TWENTY NINE books … and am on schedule to make it an even (30) by the end of this month !
WHAT CHANGED ?!
This year I became the proud owner of my first set of Air Pods … GAME CHANGER ! I pop those babies in at every possible moment and press play on a book ! There isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t listen to at least one chapter …. and some days I have listened to an ENTIRE BOOK !!
- when doing my hair and makeup
- while cooking
- when out for a walk
- ALWAYS when I am driving (and yes, my Air Pods are on Transparent Mode LOL)
- … and my most favourite time is when I am painting furniture !!
Another app that I downloaded is Goodreads. This is a fabulous space to record the books I have read / listened to … rate each one, and write a review too ! You can even follow friends and see what they’re reading. This has been a fabulous way for me to get ideas for new books etc …
Though, I will say that I have not been great about recording the books that I have read to date. This is actually a goal of mine for 2024.
I am committing publicly (in this blog LOL) to put all the books I’ve listened to into the app … someone please hold me accountable !!
So here’s the things about sharing the genres that I find captivating … they may not be for everyone and you aren’t allowed to judge what I find to be an entertaining escape from reality LOL !!
- Business / Self Development
People have told me over the years that I am a natural interviewer. I absolutely love to find out about people and their journey that led them to where they are today. I find a stars rise to fame transfixing, an athletes rise to the top of their sport captivating, and an artist’s stardom equally enchanting. Learning who helped make them the person they are today, or who they are in spite of those people and their history is really special. If the author is also the narrator, I am all in !!
Who doesn’t love LOVE ?! I love to watch it, hear about it and read every word ! Having said that, I also love a really good sexy novel too !
While there may have been a time that I wouldn’t have admitted that out loud LOL … I can say that at 48 years old, I am A-OK telling you that a little erotica in a book isn’t a bad thing if it’s well written, and yes, some authors are better at it than others !
Like many of you did too I’m sure, I grew up seeing my sweet Granny read EVERY single Danielle Steele novel that was published and as I got older I started reading them too. She was the first author that I would read each new book as it was written !! That was for sure where my love of collecting romance books began !!
BUSINESS & SELF DEVELOPMENT
Even though this is the smallest number of books that I have read this year, it is not to say that I don’t think that I need them … but I find that lately I am looking to unwind into the characters of a story, and since I tend to listen to audiobooks the most while I work, I don’t have the concentration to give a book that I really need to absorb, the attention that it deserves !! BUT …. I do love them when I get the chance and have learned SO much over the last few years !!
- SPARE by Prince Harry
- The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
- In Pieces by Sally Field
- Did You Hear About Kitty Karr by Crystal Smith Paul
- (3) Book Series by Lucy Score (SPICY)
- Things We Never Got Over,
- Things We Hide From The Light
- Things We Left Behind
SO … all of this to say, I am back in love with reading again. It doesn’t matter if I pick up a hard cover, a paperback or my Air Pods … for me, it is all about the story and however I can take it all in, I will !
I have decided that my BOOK GOAL for 2024 is THIRTY SIX … and I can’t wait to meet more and more characters inside the pages of all these new books ! Do you ever miss them when the book is over ?! I absolutely do … at times I find myself falling deeply into the storylines, and sometimes miss having them in my life when the last paragraph has been read. I feel that the author has truly done their job if I put the book down, longing for the story to continue.
… and one day, I hope to bring an audience into my adventure, to draw them into the words I’ve written on the pages of my own book, and leave them longing for my story to continue too !