We’ve packed away the Christmas decorations and we’re facing the cold dark months of January and February. This time of year can feel rather bleak, particularly as we’ve had a challenging time of it in the new, Covid-altered world. Nothing feels ‘normal’ anymore, and the world feels like a threatening place to be. We’re broke, sluggish from too many festive chocolates, and cold. But there are always new books, a new year and a new perspective.
It’s also a time for retreat and introspection, setting intentions for the coming year and perhaps making resolutions, and judging by the flurry of social media content this seems to apply to books and reading too.
I asked Willoughby staff their reading resolutions for 2022, here are a few!
‘In 2022 I would like to focus on reading more books in translation. I have read only one title by a non-English speaking writer this year (Nicolo Ammaniti) and I want to explore translated works a little more. – Olivia
‘My intention is to carry on as I am doing, just to read books that I enjoy. I’ve never set a target for how many as some weeks I read more than others, and some genres take me longer to read than others.’ – Chloe
‘I’m going to go with the flow and just read what I know I enjoy’- Lindsay
‘I’ll be re-reading Marian Keyes’ early books in anticipation of the release of Again, Rachel in February. I can’t wait to revisit these old favourites’ – Danielle
‘I’ve just moved house, and with a baby on the way I won’t have time to read much fiction. I’ll be sticking to gardening and recipe books this year’- Chloe
‘After a bit of a reading slump in 2021 I want to concentrate on re-building the habit of reading back into my life’- Alisha
‘This year I want to read more non-fiction. I really want to broaden my knowledge in all kinds of subjects and read widely’ – Ruqayyah
‘This year I’m going to read more diversely, and try to read outside of my comfort zone’ – Aishah
However we may have struggled with staying on track with our reading habits in this last couple of years here at The Willoughby Book Club we have never lost sight of the importance of books and reading in our lives.
Reading provides a small sanctuary from the everyday, and can help reduce stress through improving concentration on something beyond ourselves. Reading fiction can significantly improve levels of empathy by opening our minds to myriad lives and viewpoints other than our own. If you are struggling with sleep, layering the habit of reading into your bedtime routine can help with a pre-sleep ritual.
We are gifted one wild and precious life, and reading voraciously is part of the hunger to live and experience life beyond the confines of the day to day. Rather than feeling your stack of books to be read as a chore or a burden, embrace the limitless potential held within. We all tend to overestimate the value of what we know, and underestimate that of the unknown, and a library of unread books is the perfect antidote to this tendency.
Whatever you set out to achieve, we’ll be reading alongside you, and here to offer suggestions and encouragement along the way.