Sunday 3 January 2021

Looking Back on 2020

2020, huh? You don’t need me to recap how truly awful this year has been. We’ve had Covid in the news every single day for the whole year, and we all know how bad the situation is. Instead, I’m going to talk about my own bookish year and also explain why I’ve been so quiet for the past couple of months. 

TW: I’m going to be mentioning illness and the death of a loved one in this post. 

If you follow me on Twitter, then you might already know why I haven’t been posting much for a while. In November, my dad was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer, the type that typically doesn’t show symptoms until it’s far too late to treat. A matter of weeks later, on December 12th, he passed away in hospital. I don’t want to talk too much about it right now because it’s still very raw, but it has completely turned my world upside down. 

My dad was only 57. He had to spend in final birthday in hospital, alone because of restrictions. I’m devastated, I’m angry, and it’s happened so quickly that I’m still trying to wrap my head around it. I’ve been finding comfort in books over the past couple of weeks and it’s helping to provide a much-needed distraction, but I don’t know how much blogging I’ll be doing over the next few months whilst I adjust to this new chapter in my life. My dad was my biggest supporter in everything I did, and I know I’m going to struggle without him, but I’m trying my best to keep doing the things I love because I know that’s what he’d want for me. 

Despite all of the hard times this year, I feel like I’ve achieved a lot in terms of reading. For the first time since 2016, I hit my reading goal. It wasn’t a huge goal, but I reached it. This year, I stopped putting pressure on myself to read certain books, to wish I had the latest releases, and instead focused on picking up books that have been sitting on my shelves for quite some time. I finally ticked some long-standing books off the TBR list, like The Cruel Prince and Vicious. I actively sought out more black authors and Own Voices stories. I discovered some wonderful UKYA gems, like Heartbreak Boys and Loveless. I delved into more genres and styles that I tend not to read as much of. 

Looking back at the goals I set for myself in 2020, the major one was to redesign my blog and make it more mobile-friendly. After years of trying and failing, I finally managed to create a design I love. It was a learning curve with a lot of frustration included, but I’m so happy with the result, and proud that I can tick this one off the list. 

Over on my booktube channel, I got back to video-making and managed to film some videos I’ve been meaning to tackle for a while. I finally posted a bookshelf tour after five years! I’m beyond proud of the content I created, despite everything that was going on in my life. 

In terms of 2021, I think this might be a year in which I don’t set myself specific goals to achieve. The past year has been so brutal that I’d rather just take each day as it comes. All I want is to discover exciting new stories and discuss them with other readers. I’d love to connect with fellow bloggers because I often feel quite lonely on my little corner of the internet, so feel free to drop me a message on Twitter any time. Other than that, I’m just going to let things be. 

What I hope for is that 2021 is kinder to us all. If you’ve lost someone or something over the past year, I’m so very sorry. I hope that the stories you read manage to give you some comfort and hope. 

What have been your top bookish moments from 2020?

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