I know it’s been the new decade for nearly a month now, but I still wanted to discuss how the past decade saw a complete change in my reading life. I started out the 10s (is that what we’re calling them?) as a teenager who had lost their childhood love of reading somewhere along the way, and I’m ending it as an avid reader, who reads more widely than I ever would have thought.
So here’s a bit of a timeline of my reading life over the past decade:
2010 – 2013
At the beginning of the decade, I was just going into my second year of college, and getting ready to head to university the following year. I can’t say I was at the happiest point of my life back then: after years of being bullied at high school I had become so shy and withdrawn that I found it impossible to make any friends once I got to college. None of my high school friends had the same breaks as me at college, so I kind of just hung around on my own a lot.
This means I should have had tonnes of reading time, but somewhere along the way I just stopped reading for pleasure. Perhaps it was my college workload, or just how unhappy I was, but I just stopped.
When I went on to university I had to read a lot for my course (I was doing English Literature, so obviously!) and I started to regain that love a little, but I still wasn’t reading any books of my own choosing. I enjoyed university a lot more than college, even though I was still painfully shy, as although I made no friends, I really enjoyed the lessons.
It was in my last summer at university that I finally found reading all over again. I’d heard this big fuss about a TV show called ‘Game of Thrones’, that had then been on for a couple of years and wanted to check it out, but decided I wanted to read the books first (because in my opinion, the books are usually better!). So I got hold of the first book, and that was it. I was hooked! I devoured the whole series to date in that summer, and rediscovered a love of reading along the way (and I’m still waiting for George R.R. Martin to release the next ASOIAF book!)!
2014 – 2016
By the time I graduated from university in 2014, I was a fully fledged reader again. I was devouring books like there was no tomorrow, mostly in my preferred genre of adult fantasy. I seem to remember reading a lot of Raymond E Feist around that time, and particularly loved the Riftwar Saga books.
It was during the time after university when I was working part-time whilst searching for a full time job that I started considering the idea of a book blog. I’d been lurking around the book blogosphere for a while, finding book recommendations and seeing what people were writing about it, and there was no denying it: I wanted to join in. But I didn’t know how to start, what to write about, what I would call it…so I put it off and for, until I finally just took the plunge one day.
I had recently read The Great Gatsby for the first time, and absolutely loved it. So I chose a quote from the last line for my blog title, and just started from there.
And wow, it changed my reading life for good! I knew hardly any other readers in my real life, and suddenly I was meeting loads of other people who loved books as much as I did (only virtually, but it was still awesome!), and I was being inundated with book recommendations. I had never been much of a YA reader, even as a teen (I don’t remember YA being a thing, to be honest when I when I was a teen – the teen section of the library was a tiny stand with a few cheesy looking contemporaries on it!), but YA is huge in the blogosphere, and I ended up trying our a few of the popular series, like Throne of Glass. I absolutely loved the YA I was reading, and it soon became one of my staple reading genres.
I also rediscovered the joy of the library around this time. In 2015 I moved out of my parents house and got a flat with my sister and my friend. We left the village where we all grew up and moved to the nearby town, and just so happened to live within walking distance of a reasonable sized library, which was amazing!
2017 – 2018
2017 and 2018 mostly saw a huge change in the formats in which I consumed books. I had always been a die-hard physical book fan – paperbacks to be specific, as I hate hardbacks – but that started to change.
Even though I’d had a Kindle since the second generation of Kindles, I’d never got into the whole ebook thing. It just didn’t have the same magic for me as a physical book. However, my friend (who briefly got into reading) got one of the newer generations of Kindle, with a new slimline design and touch screen, and I was kind of curious about ebooks again. Since the new Kindles were fairly inexpensive (only around £60) I decided to go for it, and wow, was it worth the money!
I found that it was actually super comfortable to read on such a small, light device, and I found loads of great deals on Amazon, meaning it was much cheaper to buy ebooks. My reading gradually began to change, beginning with reading the odd ebook, to slowly starting to read a higher proportion of ebooks to physical books.
I also read The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins around this time (it was cheap on Kindle!), and discovered that I actually really love thrillers! Crime fiction was always a genre I assumed I wouldn’t be into, but turns out I was wrong!
2019 – Now
2019 was actually a pretty revolutionary year for my reading life.
Excitingly I moved closer to an even bigger library (it’s like I’m seeking them out!), as I moved to Liverpool to live with my boyfriend right at the end of 2018.
I also discovered how much I like reading contemporaries, which is a genre I’d always previously assumed wouldn’t be my thing, and found a love of manga.
I feel like my reading tastes are widening and diversifying all the time, and to be honest a lot of it I can chalk up to blogging. I get so many incredible recommendations that it encourages me to step outside my comfort zone, and as I find more things I like, my comfort zone just grows and grows.
It really does seem crazy now to look back at where I was in both my life and my reading life then years ago. So much can change!
Reading wise, I had totally lost my love of books at the start of the decade, and I think that was a reflection of where I was as a person. I wasn’t particularly happy, and I feel like that had taken away all the joy I had for something that had always been a huge part of my life and my identity.
Thankfully I got readdicted to reading after rediscovering my love of fantasy, and after I started blogging I just kept discovering more and more genres and books that I loved. It’s truly been a great decade for reading!
So how has your reading life changed over the past ten years? What new genres have you discovered? Do you read mostly ebooks, audiobooks or physical books?