So it’s the last two days of a year that has had every sort of adjective attributed to it … I guess everyone’s descriptor for 2020 will vary especially as our experiences of it are not the same but I am sure we can all agree that it’s a year that we will not forget in a hurry.
I remember writing Read more in 2020 around this time last year. At the time I was completely oblivious to what 2020 was going to turn out to be. Like a lot of my other blog posts, it was me basically writing out loud my thoughts and sharing it with others.
I reflected on my reading journey in 2019 and what had worked for me. I shared those tips as I knew that a lot of people (similar to myself in the recent past) often had the goal of ‘read more’ as they approached a new year. If you do click on and read that blog post, I still believe that all of the tips I shared are still relevant and would put you in good stead to cultivate and maintain an effective reading habit moving forward.
So as we approach the dawn of another year, I am once again reflecting on my reading journey this year and thought to share my highlights and lessons I have learned.
Despite initial struggles at the beginning of the pandemic, I was able to keep up a consistent reading momentum. Yes there were peaks and troughs,but reading was one of the ways I was able to entertain,educate and enlighten myself through the quarantine periods and even when things loosened up a bit in the summer.
Reading was also the activity that made me tap into the more introverted side of myself. It was a part of myself that really shocked me because I thought that I would get cabin fever after all of the time that we spent at home. I realised that I did not resent staying home as much as thought I would. In fact with a good book and good food I actually found that I ENJOYED it.
So yes, I did miss certain elements of human interaction but no, I actually did not (and still haven’t) gotten fed up of being stuck at home. I guess we evolve because even my husband who is more the home body has been shocked at how I eventually adapted to staying at home.I do believe having a steady supply of books(Amazon can attest to this) contributed to this.
In total I read 42 books and finished 41. And like my tastes,passions,interests they were an eclectic mix. From non-fiction books on writing,to prayer,to habits,to change to productivity to finance etc And fictional titles ranging from mechanics to serial killers, it surely was a varied mix.
Other noteworthy reading news from me in 2020 was me hosting two Bookclubs. I had always wanted to host or build a sort of community around reading and had started and stopped a number of times. 2020 gave me the opportunity to not just do this but twice!!
I started hosting the Chapters bookclub in the Super Abundant Woman (SAW) community in January. I can’t even begin to describe what a privilege it was to host and read with such an amazing set of women. Being the host,meant that I had to challenge myself to read all of the books and prepare the structure of our sessions where we met to discuss the learnings and takeaways from the books. These sessions proved me to me that we all read and process information differently. It was also an avenue for me to learn and glean insights that i might have missed while reading. It really is an amazing community and was one of my highlights of 2020.
In June, after a lot of persuasion from people who had followed some of the content I shared on social media,I also started the BookMark bookclub. This bookclub was open to people who might not be members of the SAW community and wanted an opportunity to rekindle or cultivate a reading habit.Like I shared in my previous blogs,it is my hope that adult women especially those of African descent begin to view reading as an activity that they can enjoy. It was always a relaxed fun atmosphere when we met on Zoom(like everyone else LOL).We read six fiction titles in total.
You would think fiction =stories =no learning? WRONG! The amount of lessons I learnt from all of the women in the bookclub over those six sessions on empathy,kindness, love,parenting were absolutely phenomenal. The sense of camaraderie is second to none and I feel a sense of gratitude that I have been able to bring together a great group of women around a shared love of reading.
This blog is getting far longer than I intended it to and I haven’t even touched on the book review videos, podcast appearance,book interviews and a host of other reading/book related things that I also got the opportunity to do this year. I even had the opportunity to proof text and edit a book that was published in December 2020. So yes,2020 was not all roses in some other areas of life but it surely was a fulfilling one for me on the reading and impacting others to read front.
All of the above said though, I am always one to review,reflect and respond. And as great as 2020 was on the reading front both for me and the reading communities that I serve,I know there is always room for improvement.
My reading focus for 2021 will be much more immersive.I might read less books than I did in 2020 and believe me that will be tough as I am always stumbling on books I want to read. My Want to read Bookshelf on Goodreads currently has 462 books and I keep stumbling on new books every single day.
That said though, I am going to be a bit more intentional about my reading choices.They will become more concentrated and focused around areas I want to grow and improve in. This doesn’t mean that I won’t read for entertainment(as most of my fiction reads tend to be) but it means that 2021 would be far less about quantity but more about reading for growth.
It has also meant-reconsidering the quantity of books that we will be consuming in both Chapters and BookMark book clubs. We might be reading LESS but we will be reading BETTER. There are also loads of ideas that are forming on the content and ways I can serve people to become better readers(and learners).
I am really grateful for the gift of creativity deposited by God in all of the authors I read in 2020. I am also grateful for all those who have allowed me to be part of their reading journey in 2020. As a result of all this I am really looking forward to my reading journey in 2021 and beyond! I really do hope that you will come along with me.
As usual thank you so much for reading and wish you a healthy,happy and peaceful 2021.