I was originally going to post this back in March to celebrate my two year anniversary since I made my blog, but also to celebrate the fact that I’d become a born again reader just over 5 years ago. I missed that opportunity but decided that I wanted to post it around my birthday, so here I am.
I always find it a bit funny when I say ‘oh, I became a reader 5 years ago’ because I’ve always been able to read, firstly, but I’ve also enjoyed books my whole life. When I was younger, I was absolutely obsessed with the Rainbow Magic books which I called ‘the fairy books’. I collected all of them and would read them over and over again. I also had a very mild obsession with any book by Cathy Cassidy which then led me to spam the author’s ‘send me a message’ box on her website about how to become a writer because I so desperately wanted to be like her.
That was then followed by my Twilight phase, which was closely followed by my Harry Potter stage, which I haven’t ‘grown’ out of and never will. I proceeded to read basically nothing but Harry Potter and hate on a book that used to be my favourite, Twilight. Honestly, if you took any of the seven books by J.K. Rowling off my shelf between 2009 and probably now, I can guarantee that there is a bookmark in at least one them. It got to the point where I would open Deathly Hallows up and I could start reading from wherever it had fallen open to.
After that, I read The Hunger Games and that was the main subject of my last bookish obsession which was over the Christmas of 2010. Following that obsession, I didn’t really read much up until 2014. I hope you’ll appreciate that I had to go to back 5 years on my Amazon account to find out the date that I bought the book that would push me back into the world of books again. It was the 19th April 2014, I was just out of college, working full time and not entirely sure what I was going to do with my life. All my friends were at University and I didn’t really know many others who were working like me.
It’s safe to say that I felt a little lonely without my friends around which is how I came across book blogs. I can’t remember exactly how I even stumbled onto book blogs, but I did and now I’m here, 5 years down the line. Book blogs were my little safe haven over that year when I was working. I probably shouldn’t admit it, but sometimes when I was bored at work, I’d quickly check over all my favourite book blogs to see if any new posts had gone up. I’d say the most influential blog that really helped me get back into reading was Jamie’s of The Perpetual Page Turner. Jamie introduced me to quite a few books, but the main book I have to thank for me becoming a reader is Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. It will always have a special place in my heart because of the fact that it helped me get into reading again. I haven’t stopped since!
So what does being a reader mean to me?
Being a reader has become an experience I never expected. Being a reader has given me so many opportunities. I became a bookstagrammer because of it after seeing others use the platform to encourage a love of books and to talk about current reads, I started up a (failed) book blog and I started up this blog. This blog has taken a lot of work and I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the best person for consistently posting but it’s something I’m really proud of. As well as the opportunities I’ve had to create content, I’ve also been to book conventions and signings which have enabled me to meet some of my favourite authors.
The most unexpected but best thing that being has reader has given me over the last 5 years is friends. As I said, when I joined this community, I was feeling a little lonely but I feel far from that now. I have friends from so many different places and I speak to people from all over the world. Being able to make friends and bond with people over books is something truly magical. I’m so lucky that becoming a reader again has given me the chance to meet so many amazing people and I am truly grateful for all the friendships that reading and being a member of this community has given me.
Being a reader is more than just reading books, it’s everything to me now.
Because of reading, I’ve been able to meet authors I love the work of, travel to completely new worlds, gain a better understanding of the world and people. I’ve also been able to go to YALC every year which I never would have known about if I hadn’t joined the book community and I’ve been able to work with several different publishers which has been an incredible and unbelievable experience. Sometimes I do ask myself, how in the world did any of this happen? The simple answer is that I found books again and that has given me all of this which I am so grateful for.
I’d love to hear from you if reading has changed your life too! Have you always been a reader or, like me, did you always enjoy books but properly fall in love with them more recently? Is there a book that made you become a reader?