every book I read in 2022

2022, 2023, books

Hello!

Although I didn’t read as much as I did in 2021, I still hit my 2022 reading goal and I’m proud of everything I did read – I started my tbr jar (‘to be read’ – a list of every book I own that’s never been read…) and promptly chose a series that I owned six books of but had 13 total… I’m yet to pull another title out of my tbr jar… but soon!

In December, I managed to read 7 books and I’m hoping to take that momentum into January. My goal for this year is 42 books – I started with 12 in 2020 so it would be one a month, then 25 in 2021 (because 24 felt weird) to be roughly two a month, then 2022 was 36 books. I read 39 total, so jumping to the next multiple of 12 to 48 felt like too much of a leap, so halfway between at 42 felt like a good balance and breaks down to three and a half books a month, which I think I can manage.

I’m nearly finished my first read of 2023 (Russian Roulette by Anthony Horowitz – the 10th book in the Alex Rider series) so I thought I’d do a summary of all the books I read in 2022, what I rated them and a quick summary of my thoughts – enjoy!

OneGet a Life, Chloe Brown – Talia Hibbert (audiobook, 4 stars)
This audiobook is a fantastic example of how the voice of the narrator can completely change your relationship with the story – I found the voice of Chloe so incessantly annoying that I really thought I wasn’t enjoying myself, but actually it was heartwarming, a fantastic representation of invisible chronic illness and an honest insight into how hard it can be to break away from what’s easy. I’d like to reread in paperback and maybe try the sequels as well.

Two – Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe – Benjamin Alire Saenz (audiobook, 5 stars)
I was in two minds about reading this one as it sounded a little bit pretentious, but when I had an audible credit and the narrator is Lin Manuel Miranda, I had to give it a go. Although it was a bit poetic and metaphorical in places, at it’s heart it was a story of two boys just trying to figure the world out. In my book journal I wrote: ‘It was wholesome and emotional and funny in the perfect balance. It was raw and real and unapologetic in a way you don’t often see in YA.’ It was a lovely listen and I hope to pick up the sequel at some point.

Three – Talk Bookish To Me – Kate Bromley (paperback, 4 stars)
I categorise this book as ‘one of those one’s that’s in the deals section of The Works that I’ve never seen anyone talking about but is actually fantastic’ and this is why I keep going back to The Works (I got 8 books for £24 last time I was there). Another sub-genre that I appear to love is books about people who love books, who are writers or work in publishing. This was a nice easy romance read that was very relatable as someone who also likes books and writing and Instagram. A lovely read!

Four – Albion: The Legend of Arthur – Robert Valentine (audiobook, 1 star)
I was so excited about this audible find – a full cast story about the Legend of Arthur, one of my favourite legends and one I love to see retold? It was one of the most painfully long audiobooks I’ve ever listen to and this was when I realised a full cast without a narrator is incredibly difficult to follow when the entire cast is posh British men who don’t sound that different, and I’m meant to somehow differentiate between? As well as having basically no plot and killing off the main character at the end, it was a huge waste of time. Glad it was on Audible Plus and I didn’t have to use a credit!

Five – Billy and Me – Giovanna Fletcher (paperback, 3 stars)
I only really know about Giovanna Fletcher as an author because of her husband and sister-in-law and it’s the only reason I own her books, but I was quite disappointed in the writing of this one. The characters felt fake and stagey and it made it hard to connect to them, but it was an easy enough read and engaging enough to make me actually pick it up and read it every night. An average 3 stars!

Six – Grand Theft Astro – Scott Meyers (audiobook, 1 star)
I don’t know if I just haven’t read enough sci-fi, or if this one in particular was just really bland. Having an emotionally devoid protagonist narrated by someone who sounded like they were bored out of their mind was so difficult to listen to. Most of the story was really in depth description of the main characters actions – she did this, then she did this, then in a really detailed long-winded way of explaining it, she did this. It was so dull and considering it was about a space thief doing a series of massive heists, it should have been so cool!

Seven – Always With Love – Giovanna Fletcher – (paperback, 3 stars)
I have this terrible habit with reading that I have to give everything a chance to get better – hence why I will finish a series I’m not enjoying and I only stopped reading (DNF – did not finish) one audiobook this year. It was the same, slightly-below average women’s fiction. In my journal I wrote: ‘Standard contemporary romance; easy to read, predictable proposal conclusion.’ The subplot with the protagonists’ mum’s wedding, how she was running the little cafe and her life in her little town was way better than the romance plot. In my journal I added: ‘Would have been a brilliant curveball if she’d met someone more settled and she and Billy parted ways amicably wanting the best for each other’ (and I think it would have made way more sense).

Eight – Ace of Shades – Amanda Foody (audiobook, 5 stars)
I adored this series. I knew there was a popular TikTok book called ‘Ace of Spades’ and I downloaded this in confusion but I have zero regrets. An epic YA fantasy that built the most brilliantly immersive universe with seamlessly integrated fantasy elements that it felt so real. The characters were sweet and flawed and self-aware and I adored this series so much – need to get myself copies of the paperbacks! Maybe even hardbacks if they’re pretty.

Nine – Cinderella is Dead – Kalynn Bayron (paperback, 2 stars)
Normally when I see books that are getting loads of hype online, I love them – I tend to have the same opinions as the majority but in this one I was so wrong. The concept was truly unbelievable, the laws and traditions make literally no sense and the ending was incredibly anticlimactic. The two main characters were so bland and I didn’t understand how anyone could feel any chemistry between them and it felt like shoving in some LGBT representation for the sake of it. I don’t understand. Donated this one immediately.

Ten – The Love Hypothesis – Ali Hazelwood (audiobook, 5 stars)
On the flipside, a TikTok book that I absolutely adored leading to me finding a new favourite author. What I wrote in my journal was: ‘Nerdy science shit? Enemies to lovers / fake dating / it was always you romance? YES PLEASE’ and there’s no other way to describe it. The characters were perfect, Adam the hero made my heart ache with love and wow, the spicy scenes were spicy. Considering I listened to most of my audiobooks while commuting to work, this felt borderline inappropriate and I kind of loved it. 100% adore Ali Hazelwood.

Eleven – The Kiss Quotient – Helen Hoang (audiobook, 5 stars)
Another fantastic book I saw getting lots of hype online but I was sold on it when I read the blurb on a random Waterstones trip and decided to use an Audible credit on it – an autistic main character! Whilst I’m on a waiting list to be diagnosed! The representation was beautiful and wow I love a dual narrative. Also incredibly spicy sex scenes again… oops?

Twelve – Where There’s A Will – Beth Corby (paperback, 4 stars)
I don’t know how or why I convinced myself this was a story about a guy called Will, but I really did. However, it was about an absolutely ridiculous challenge set by long lost Great-Uncle Donald in his will upon his death (no people called Will in sight) which leads protagonist Hannah to find out more about her family than she ever thought she could know, getting to know his assistant very well in the process. A lovely reminder to live in the present, take no shit and love wholly.

Thirteen – Heartstopper Volume 1 – Alice Oseman (paperback, 3 stars)
A surprise rating, but my first ever graphic novel and I think getting used to the format impacted my understanding of the story. Although I devoured it in one sitting and I found Nick and Charlie very cute, I found this format being so much faster pace meant I didn’t quite get to know them properly before it was all over. But I knew I needed to read Volume 2 before I watched the Netflix show…

But I also finished an audiobook in between so here’s that:

Fourteen – The Bridge Kingdom – Danielle L Jenson (audiobook, 4 stars)
I really thought this would be a smutty historical fantasy, but Audible Plus gave me so much more. Enemies to lovers, accidentally falling in love, manipulative political rivalry between Kingdom’s where a Princess has been trained as an intelligent killer. But by the time she realises everything she’s been told is a lie, it’s too late to save the Kingdom and it’s people she’s come to love. It was actually brilliant, though I don’t think it’s fantasy because there wasn’t any magic but it’s a bit historical and kind of mythical? The categories confuse me!

Fifteen – Heartstopper Volume 2 – Alice Oseman (paperback, 5 stars)
This is when I fell in love with Nick and Charlie. They’re the perfect representation of how wholeheartedly teenagers can fall in love, how difficult and complicated it can be to figure out emotions and sexuality and who your friends really are amongst the absolutely shambles that being a teenager is. And I’m going to take a moment to say Charlie’s casting in the Netflix show? Joe Locke was born to play Charlie – considering it’s a graphic novel and there’s less flexibility with what the characters can look like, it’s actually incredible how perfect he is to play Charlie.

Sixteen – The Traitor Queen – Danielle L Jenson (audiobook, 4 stars)
A fantastic second part to The Bridge Kingdom shows fantastic character development from Lara, the power of love despite betrayal and a fantastic demonstration of forced proximity and surviving in treacherous conditions to try and save the day. A lovely duology which I would happily revisit.

Seventeen – Love, Lucas – Chantele Sedgwick (audiobook, 2 stars)
I picked it because my now-husbands name is Lucas, but turns out the Lucas in this book is dead and his sister is trying to process her grief by reading a series of letters he left for her in his dying days. Angsty teenage romance that ended with the most ridiculous fight where she was definitely in the wrong and then the pivotal plot point was a shark attack? At the time of reading, I wrote in my journal: ‘An adult badly writing teenagers with no creative plot at all.’

Eighteen – Take The Shot – Susan White (audiobook, 3 stars)
Again, I keep making things up about books I download that aren’t true – assumed this was a sports romance, turns out it was a 14 year old with Marfan syndrome who loves basketball and is told he’s not allowed to play anymore. It was actually a harmless YA story of friendship, truth and lies that was easy to read and captivating. My first Australian audiobook too!

Nineteen – The Queen of Volts – Amanda Foody (audiobook, 4 stars)
Owing to an innate sexism I need to address, I made the incorrect assumption that ‘Queen’ came before ‘King’ in the sequels to Ace of Shades, so I actually listened to book three before book two which was only mildly confusing and still surprisingly easy to follow, which just further adds to Amanda Foody’s fantastic writing style and wonderful world building. I just wish I’d double checked the order before I listened to it.

Twenty – King of Fools – Amanda Foody (audiobook, 4 stars)
Though, there was an added suspense to reading them out of order that meant I knew of some major plot points that impacted book three and it was a waiting game as to when they would happen. The only reason I rated it four stars was because I actually found the supporting characters far more interesting than En and Levi – Tock deserves her own books, Jack and Sophia are really sweet and the introduction of Poppy Prescott was so fun. Definitely need to make time to re-read/listen to this (amongst my disgustingly long tbr…)

Twenty-One – The Mismatch – Sara Jafari (paperback, 5 stars)
I loved this book so much – I learnt so much about Iranian muslim culture and how it particularly impacts young people who’s parents grew up ingrained in the culture and figuring out where the line is for forcing that culture on their children now living in the UK. A wonderful intergenerational family drama/romance about the parallels and differences between a mother and her daughter’s romantic stories from the same age in different decades and countries. The romance was arguably the least interesting part of the story but absolutely wonderful nonetheless.

Twenty-Two – Doctor Who: The Ruby’s Curse – Alex Kingston (paperback, 2 stars)
The book that put me in a reading slump – a beautiful cover and one of my most anticipated books that I’d waited a really long time to get my hands on… and it was awful. The concept of the actress who plays the character writing a story about her was so interesting, but it just felt like a caricature of who River Song is and making a bunch of sassy, girl-boss jokes that didn’t land. Turns out, just because you play the character doesn’t mean you can write her.

Twenty-Three – Five Feet Apart – Rachel Lippencott (paperback, 5 stars)
Oh my heart. I’ve wanted to read this ever since I saw the advert for the film because I think Cole Sprouse looks adorable, but the story itself was just beautiful. I learnt a lot about cystic fibrosis and what it’s like to be a kid who lives with such a chronic condition, but on top of all that the characters were immediately so raw and authentic and real. My journal says: ‘It’s like John Green without the pretentious poetry and ‘I’m not like other girls’ attitude’ and that sums it up really.

Twenty-Four – Heartstopper Volume 3 – Alice Oseman (paperback, 5 stars)
By this point I am fully obsessed with Heartstopper and Nick and Charlie’s story – I love their characterisation, I love how inclusive the characters are and I’m starting to get used to the graphic novel style. Nick’s observation of Charlie’s mental health is the sweetest and most beautiful way to address such a heavy topic and, importantly, emphasise that it was not his job to ‘fix’ him. 10/10.

Twenty-Five – Heartstopper Volume 4 – Alice Oseman (paperback, 5 stars)
Perfection. I don’t cry at books generally, but this one had me on the edge of tears the whole time. How Alice Oseman has created such a compelling story with such loveable characters with so few words and some pictures is mind boggling. How I am full on obsessed with them makes me feel like I’m a fangirl on tumblr again.

Twenty-Six – Stormbreaker (Alex Rider #1) – Anthony Horowitz (paperback, 3 stars)
The first pick from my tbr jar! What I wrote in my journal was: ‘Nice, relatively short, generic YA read – nicely paced, not super obsessively in love with the characters but don’t hate them either – perfect middle ground’ and having just finished book 9 in the series, it’s funny seeing how I wrote about the first book. What I really learnt from Stormbreaker is how fantastic the 2006 film with Alex Pettyfer was made – a spot on adaptation.

I did accidentally have a reading slump for two months after I finished it as well as a mental health crisis, which might also reflect why I only gave it 3 stars.

Twenty-Seven – Love on the Brain – Ali Hazelwood (paperback, 5 stars)
My love, Ali Hazelwood. The one that brought me back from my reading slump and I started by reading this one by the beach in Brighton in October – cold, but lovely. Wonderful characters, really cool to have another science based protagonist and very, very spicy sex scenes. I could read Ali Hazelwood’s books on loop forever, I adore them so much.

Twenty-Eight – Nick and Charlie – Alice Oseman (borrowed, 5 stars)
I borrowed this novella from my sibling so had a time limit to read and return it, but I would have devoured it anyway. I didn’t think it was possible to love Nick and Charlie more but at seventeen and eighteen, going to parties with alcohol and not ashamed of talking about sex? Somehow Alice made them even better. I did prefer the novella format, though the intermittent drawings were lovely. I wasn’t sure what to write in my journal about this book that I hadn’t already written about the Heartstopper series, so I just wrote a list of things I love about Nick, Charlie and the Heartstopper universe and the point that just sprung out at me as I was looking back is ‘they’re big ol’ gay goofballs’ and honestly, that’s it.

Twenty-Nine – Point Blanc (Alex Rider #2) – Anthony Horowitz (paperback, 4 stars)
This was the point where I realised that just because it’s middle grade, doesn’t mean it can’t be dark and gripping – Alex as a protagonist may only be 14, but he’s been repeatedly put into life threatening scenarios and manipulated by MI6 and he’s aware of it. His awareness is a lot of the reason that makes the series feel so dark in a way. I believe the newer Amazon Alex Rider series starts with Point Blanc and I’m very intrigued to watch it.

Thirty – Skeleton Key (Alex Rider #3) – Anthony Horowitz (paperback, 4 stars)
With every novel in this series I’m more and more surprised that it’s recommended for 8-12 year olds and I have had a conversation with my god-mother’s 10 year old daughter about this series – Alex is put through so much and faces such evil that it really made me think about how there might actually be people like them out there in the world and it’s astonishing. In my journal I wrote: ‘It really does keep me guessing! Though that may be a poor reflection of my intellectual capabilities’. For now, we’re going to pretend it’s Anthony Horowitz’s genius, though.

Thirty-One – Eagle Strike (Alex Rider #4) – Anthony Horowitz (paperback, 4 stars)
Around this point I realised I wouldn’t be able to stop with the first six books in the series and I would need to acquire the remaining seven to have the full set of thirteen, though I would really like to use my tbr jar again. Another fantastic Alex Rider novel, which was actually the last novel I finished before I got married!

Thirty-Two – Scorpia (Alex Rider #5) – Anthony Horowitz (paperback, 4 stars)
The introduction of Scorpia and everything Alex learned about his dad in this one was honestly so enthralling I would consider bumping this one up to 5 stars in hindsight. Alex starts to scope out his own trouble without MI6 and I definitely don’t think this is suitable for children anymore, considering I found it heavy to burden a fourteen year old child with everything he’s been through, I definitely wouldn’t have coped with it when I was in primary school! Honestly, a fantastic addition to the series.

The rest of November was predominantly filled with writing for NaNoWriMo, so reading came back in December with the festive books I’ve been saving!

Thirty-Three – The Holiday Swap – Maggie Knox (paperback, 2 stars)
Although starting as a quirky, Hallmark-movie esque Christmas book, it became quite clear quite quickly that everything in this story would have been easier if the characters just talked to each other. How two women in a contemporary romance can be so detached from their phones (‘I lost it under the sofa and it ran out of charge for three days’… how!) would have been the least unbelievable bit, if it weren’t for the absolutely ridiculous epilogue.

Thirty-Four – The Christmas Murder Game – Alexandra Benedict (hardback, 5 stars)
I’m so glad I chose to read my Christmas books in this order because holy smokes The Christmas Murder Game was exquisite – I’m not much of a crime/mystery girl, or at least I didn’t think I was! The entire story was intriguing as I soon realised that not only was there lots that the protagonist didn’t know, but there was some things that the protagonist wasn’t sharing too. But the last 80 pages. I don’t want to say ‘everything’ happens in the last 80 pages but the story moved from nought to a hundred in a heartbeat and I am obsessed. Fantastically written, I’m definitely putting Alexandra Benedict’s ‘Murder on the Christmas Express’ on my list for next December!

Thirty-Five – This Winter – Alice Oseman (paperback, 4 stars)
Another story about Nick and Charlie, this time set during the Christmas of Volume 4 (I think?) told in three parts from the perspective of each of the Spring kids – starting with Tori, it was a heartwarming narrative of an outwardly heartless girl just wishing she could protect her brother from insensitive family comments during a difficult season for those with eating disorders. Then there was some lovely mushy stuff with Nick from Charlie’s perspective, all rounded off with a very sweet section from younger sibling Oliver’s perspective, showing how much little one’s really take in.

Thirty-Six – Ark Angel (Alex Rider #6) – Anthony Horowitz (paperback, 4 stars)
And with all my Christmas books read, it’s back on the Alex Rider train for the book that I met my reading goal with! I was seriously concerned I wouldn’t reach 36 books so I was really proud of myself for getting there. Ark Angel was a truly fantastic ‘end’ to Alex’s story (as it was meant to be, but of course an author that had worked so intently on such an engaging series couldn’t put it down!). The last few pages are an absolute rollercoaster that had me genuinely telling my husband about it in bed. Just astonishing.

Thirty-Seven – Snakehead (Alex Rider #7) – Anthony Horowitz (hardback, 4 stars)
The prettiest of the Alex Rider books that I have, probably a first edition from my husband’s collection when it was originally released. With more references to the organisation Scorpia, the promise of more information about his parents and working with yet another international intelligence organisation, Snakehead is as fast paced and exhilarating at the rest of the series, ending just days ahead of Alex’s 15th birthday.

Thirty-Eight – Crocodile Tears (Alex Rider #8) – Anthony Horowitz (paperback, 4 stars)
With more brilliantly written enemies, incredibly clever plot and an extreme attempt on Alex’s life at the end, I was as hooked on Crocodile Tears as I have been with every other book in the series. Though, at this point I think it’s pretty 50:50 that I’m trying to read these books quickly because 1) they’re very good and I’m enjoying them and 2) I’d really like to read about someone other than Alex Rider now!

Thirty-Nine – Scorpia Rising (Alex Rider #9) – Anthony Horowitz (paperback, 4 stars)
Scorpia is such a wonderful villain organisation and the reformed members plotting their revenge on Alex Rider by playing MI6 like a game was truly brilliant – the whole series continues to be clever, action-packed with just a touch of wit from a 15 year old who is bored of taking things too seriously. I was so determined to finish this on New Year’s Eve so I could go into 2023 with a brand new book, so I read over 50% of this book in a day (which is a lot for me) whilst sat in a broadcast truck at the Wolverhampton vs Man U football game (my husband took me to work).

This one is supposedly the last in the books about Alex Rider, with book 10 looking into the origin story of Yassen Gregorovich (which I’ve nearly finished and has been fantastic!) so I’m not sure what books 11, 12 and 13 are about but if you want to find out with me my reading Instagram would be the place to look! I post a review of every single book I read there plus I’ve just ‘announced’ (if you can even call it that) a new book club and the book I’ve chosen for January, if you’d like to read along.

If you’ve made it to the end of this post, congratulations! You just read 4000 words of rambling about books – I’ll have to come up with a shorter form of recap next year but in the meantime, I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and New Year and are reading lots of amazing stories!

Thank you,

Sophie xx

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March Goals ’22

2022, goals

Hello!

Another month has flown past and it’s time for some new goals for me to work towards.

Last month’s goals actually went really well and for the first time ever, I have amended my yearly goals to suit what I actually want going forward. I’d always given myself very strict guidelines and led myself to believe that changing or amending a goal was a failure and not ‘true to my intentions’. When actually, things change – now isn’t the right time to work on what I want to achieve, what I want might need more steps to be reached and what I want might change completely and that’s okay. I’m learning to be more flexible with myself and invest my time into the things that are truly most important to me.

And we’re only in March! Imagine where I’ll be at the end of the year!

So these are my mini goals for the month:

Seasonal Wardrobe Update – I started doing a seasonal wardrobe after (unsuccessfully) trying the project 333 challenge last year, but even though the challenge didn’t work for me, I found swapping out my clothes seasonally worked really well for me from a storage perspective (because ya gal doesn’t have a lot of space) but also it’s a great way for me to bring the seasonally appropriate clothes to the forefront and the out-of-season clothes can be tucked away. Part of the Project 333 challenge that I am trying to implement is parting ways with the clothes that I haven’t reached for in a whole season, because that’s a pretty good indicator that I’m never going to. This practice (and it does take practice, believe me) has really helped me refine my shopping habits over the past year as well, because I feel so much more in tune with what I actually wear and what I feel good in, I’m much less likely to impulse buy (please note: less; if it is soft, oversized and snuggly I cannot be held accountable for my actions).

Properly plan finances – this one is kind of already done as my payday is the 1st of the month, but rather than rushing to move money into different savings accounts, I took the time to look at how much our bills are in both the joint account and my personal account, allocate savings appropriately and then send my spending money to my Monzo account (a new thing for me, but I wanted to try having my personal spending and my personal bills in different accounts and so far, very good!). It’s not perfect, but I am working on being much more mindful with my spending with all these adult things on the horizon like a wedding and wanting to save for a house deposit etc. At least I started the month on the right foot!

House tidying and sorting – I feel like having your own space is a case of constantly rearranging, sorting, tidying and rearranging again! We’ve been in this house for nearly a year and there’s still piles of things here and there and stuff I want to sort through. But what I have learnt about goal setting is that generic statements like ‘sort and tidy the house’ are really difficult to achieve – my focus is to clear what has accidentally become a craft dumping zone in the living room and a pillow dumping zone in the spare room. One day maybe I’ll even get to the garage!

Wedding to dos – I’ve been banging on about monthly wedding tasks for the best part of a year and the wedding is still 8 months away! My intentions for this month are to make the final decisions that will allow us to select our invitation stationary (and maybe even send them?) and order my wedding dress, but the evil beast that is covid has already reared it’s ugly head and put a spanner in the works of going dress shopping this weekend. But I’m trying to remember what I’ve already said about being flexible and adapting and making arrangements for another time – it’s all going to be okay and it’s not the end of the world if I haven’t picked my dress by the end of the month!

And my monthly goals that I have every month are to read 3 books, do my weekly savings challenge, have a date night with my fiancé and work on a craft project.

I’m still working on January and February’s craft projects in the background, but I feel like I’ve ‘discovered’ crafting and watching TV in the last week or so and I definitely intend to be doing a lot more of it in the precious time I get to just sit and watch TV when I’m home alone!

The end of February and the beginning of March has already been a bit rocky between having covid and not taking enough time off work, getting back to work and my colleague who I sit next to every day then testing positive, a trip to go wedding dress shopping cancelled on the morning I was going and generally being very stressed and having bad mental health. It’s been a lot, but the only thing I can do it take one day at a time, one moment at a time. Everything else is a bridge to cross if and when I get to it.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

read at your speed – comparison is the thief of joy

2021, books
Hello! Growing up, reading as a hobby was never cool – using the library was weird, reading in your own time was ‘nerdy’ and don’t get me started on fangirling over books. I was definitely the geek growing up but so were all my friends, so I actually had the opposite problem… I’m a slow reader (or at least, I was always led to believe I was!) – my friends would read a book every couple of days and I would take weeks just to finish one. No one ever made a comment about it but it always made me feel silly for not being able to read as quickly. Fast forward to today with kindles and goodreads and bookstagrams and I’m feeling the pressure to read faster from a different place – I can generally get through a book in a week, depending on the length of the book and how much I’m enjoying it, so my goal for the year is 25 books which is the equivalent of two books a month with one bonus, or roughly two books a week. Of the people I follow on Instagram and book groups I’m in on Facebook, some people have already read 50 books this year and have goodreads challenges of 200 books and that is baffling to me. I’ve read 10 books this year and I’m 5 books ahead of schedule for my goodreads goal but suddenly 10 feels like nothing compared to people who’ve read basically a book every single day. But I was surprised that it didn’t make me feel like I wasn’t reading fast enough – it inspired me to make more time to read my books at my own pace! I don’t have the time or energy to read a book every two days – I’m not someone who enjoys reading in the morning or on my lunch break (because I would never want to stop to go back to work!) and whilst I would love to spend my whole evening reading, I also like spending time with my fiancé! So I manage to read for a couple of hours a night before bed and in the past couple of nights I’ve read about 100 pages which is a lot for me! Ironically I’m not enjoying this book as much as the last couple of books I’ve read but it’s somewhat addictive and I can’t figure out how or why. It’s so easy to compare yourself and your progress to other people, whether it’s life goals, careers, holidays or even reading but here is your sign from the universe – you are exactly where you are meant to be in this moment. Reading, in particular, is meant to be a relaxing thing that is done for joy! Take your time to enjoy reading as a fun activity, whether you read 10 pages or 100 – it’s not about numbers. It’s about the way your eyes start to burn a little bit because you’re desperate to just finish one more chapter, it’s about the way you tell all your friends and family about the character drama because you’re so excited about it and the way we feel everything our protagonist feels. I’ve properly fallen back in love with reading and stories over the last couple of years – I love statistics and numbers, I love setting my goodreads goals and reading as many books as I can but it’s not about numbers; I love the stories and the amazing characters and getting lost in the words. Reading isn’t a race – read at your speed! Comparing the amount of books you’ve read is like a squirrel and fish comparing how many trees they climbed – climb your tree however you like! Was that analogy too weird?

Thank you for reading!

Sophie xx

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