How my reading life changed in 2017

Hello, beautiful people!

The end of the year is coming upon us and while, like every year, I’m planning to make a list of the best books that I read, I’ve come to realise that many things have changed in my reading life this year. When I came back to blogging a few months ago, I realised I couldn’t be the blogger I used to be, posting book reviews most of the time, because that wasn’t necessarily the way I wanted to focus on books anymore, as I wasn’t even reading the same books as I used to. That’s how I came up with this blog post, which is basically a reflection about what changed for me this year and who I became as a reader.

I joined bookstagram

Now, you’ll tell me that it didn’t exactlyimpact on my reading life, but it actually did. Trying to work on a bookstagram account was one of my goals for this year, and while I was, at first, dreadful at it, I have to say that I improved over the past few months and I’m somehow proud of myself (now, if I could live in places with lighting, it’d make my life easier). Bookstagram made me discover so many new books, especially beyond the young adult genre (but more on that later), and it was way easier to share about books for me this way (that’s also why I’ve been blogging differently). I’m now talking with so many people who share my tastes in books so easily, I don’t regret this decision for an instant, because this community brought me so much. However, I have to confess that because of bookstagram, I bought way too many books this year, mostly because I wanted to take pictures with all the books… But I shall come back to my e-reader in 2018. That was my bad, haha. 

I don’t think about the number of books per month/year anymore

Maybe it won’t be a big revelation for some of you, but I used to challenge myself when I was reading and that’s how I ended up reading more than 200 books in 2015. I’ve certainly calmed down since then, even though I still do read a lot. Trying to read more and more made me feel guilty to read books I wouldn’t get through as quickly as others, and I don’t want that anymore. As it’s the end of the year, I keep seeing people being worried about not reaching their Goodreads challenge, when I haven’t really looked at mine for the last six months. Yes, it’s easy for me to say, considering I completed it a long time ago, but still. When I write my wrap-ups, I don’t even count how many books I read anymore, I just make the list. I have noticed that I haven’t read as much as usual in December and I… don’t mind? WUT. I don’t like to think of reading as a competition – even with myself, because that’s what it was – and that’s why I’m not even going to set a proper Goodreads challenge for next year: I want to see how much I will read without it.

I stopped being scared of books because of their length

This statement is directly linked to the previous one, because while I started to read longer books in 2016 (aka the Outlanderbooks and a German classic), 2017 was definitely the year I stopped being scared of them. It goes with not really looking at how many books I read every month: I’m not scared because of a challenge, and I read the books I want to read, even though they might be longer than what I’d normally read. I read a couple of bigger classics such as Wives and Daughtersby Elizabeth Gaskell, and then… 

I read Les Misérablesby Victor Hugo. 

It probably is the longest book I have ever read, but it’s also one of the books I have loved the most in my life. I read it so quickly, because I couldn’t stop, and it still is on my mind, a month and a half after. A few months ago, I had told myself: ‘hey, maybe I’ll read this someday’, but I wasn’t sure. One day, when I was way too obsessed with the musical, I went to the bookstore, picked it up, started it the next day and finished it in three days. Afterwards, I was so proud of myself and felt so accomplished. I also realised that no book could stop me, if I had managed to read this one. Ever since then, I’ve added a lot of lengthy books to my wishlist, and I cannot wait to get to them, War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy being the first on the list.

I discovered buddy-reading

This isn’t completely true, because I started buddy-readings in 2015, but it didn’t always work out, to say the least. I’m a fast reader and always ended up finishing
the book we were reading way before my buddy (it actually still happens, oops). The truth is, we don’t all have the same amount of time to read, we don’t all read at the same pace and because of that, buddy-reading can be hard

But sometimes, you find the right buddy, someone who reads at the same pace than you, who will love the same books than you, and it somehow becomes natural, after some time. That’s how I ended up buddy-reading so many books with my friend Clara this past year: we started by buddy-reading Tess of the d’Ubervillesat the end of March because we wanted to read more English classics*, and nine months later, we have read fifteen books together**, we’re in the middle of Anna Kareninathat we’re reading with a friend, and we’ll buddy-read Lord of Shadows around Christmas time (the ultimate non-Christmas read, but anyway). I discovered how fun and motivating buddy-reading could be and I’m already looking forward to doing it again next year!

* spoiler alert: we read way more classics than we had anticipated and got addicted, so that was a success.
**according to my calculations, but keeping track of how many times we read Lady Midnight can prove tricky.

I opened up myself to more genres

I kept the most important thing for last, so here is a not-so-shocking confession: I don’t read a lot of YA anymore, when it was all I used to read. At the beginning of the year, I wanted to challenge myself by reading different genres, and while at the beginning, I was actually trying, by the end of the year… It felt natural. Over the past few months, I rediscovered my love for classics and historical fiction. I hadn’t realised how much I was talking about that until I was asked for recommendations, which surprised me and made me so happy that someone would trust me with such things. I also read more crime fiction/mystery (I had missed it) and got into non-fiction. I discovered that switching genres all the time prevented me from getting bored, getting reading slumps, and I felt way more fulfilled in my reading life, because everything was different. I have become quite a picky reader for YA, because I read so many of them in my entire life (like, really), but I still enjoy it and I’m definitely not looking down on YA. However, I grew so much as a reader and now need so many genres for my brain to be happy.

Overall, I couldn’t be happier with my reading year: it wasn’t the year I read the most, but it was the year I (re)discovered some genres and shared more and more with fellow readers. Here’s to hoping that 2018 will be equally as good or even better!

What has this reading year brought upon you? Have you noticed a lot of changes in your reading tastes in the past few years, like I did?

Lots of love,

    3 thoughts on “How my reading life changed in 2017

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