A year on from the first announcements of lockdown and there’s been a lot of lessons learnt in the last year:
– The NHS are incredible. We knew it already but we believe it even more so now.
– Small businesses keep our towns alive. They gave us a sense of community when we felt disconnected.
– Being outdoors was taken for granted. Fresh air did (and does) something magical to those who could venture out.
– We need human contact, desperately. Screen to screen isn’t good enough, a 2m distance is just too far and we all just want a hug from our mums.
One thing I’ve noticed this year is how much I needed to schedule time for myself and how much I needed to keep finding joy in an otherwise gloomy era. If you’ve read any of my previous articles on here then you’ll know I look for joy in books when I can’t find any elsewhere (i.e. when the news was making me want to curl up into a ball). I need that escape into a book, into a happier place. I seek out those light reads that I know will end well.Reading is time I’m scheduling for myself to relax and recalibrate.
If you’re looking to make some time for yourself (even if that’s just ten minutes before you go to sleep) then I’ll always recommend reading. And I’ll always recommend reading something that you actually want to read, something that you actually enjoy! It sounds easy saying that but if you’re pushing yourself to read something that you can’t stick to or just don’t want to then it’s probably doing the opposite of what you set out to do when you started reading it. Put down that miserable or boring book and pick up something that excites you – you can always come back to it another day, or maybe not even at all and that’s fine too.
Choosing new reads to loose yourself in can sometimes cause stress rather than the reading itself, it’s just another thing to spend time on and it can be a minefield when you start to search for recommendations. The Bookish Mindset started for me as a place to connect with other like-minded bookworms and share a love of books. It’s since become a monthly book subscription box service to help those people find their next read. Each month we swap between a fiction and non-fiction book to cover a wide range of topics. The books are bought through independent bookshop Pigeon Books right here in Southsea. The boxes are tied together with a theme and also include some brilliant small businesses from around the UK and a tea to enjoy with your new book.
Since starting I’ve had some incredible conversations with those that have bought the boxes about their contents, the important themes that run through and how they’ve fell in love with reading again. It warms my heart to know I’ve brought so much happiness to so many and if you’re reading this and thinking you need to get in on this then I’d love to help you too. All the subscription information can be found over at my website We offer single boxes, rolling subscriptions and three month and six month blocks too.
Over on my Instagram handle my DM’s are always open for a natter about anything bookish. Head over there if I can help at all with any recommendations, I’d love to help.
Feature Photo – Liberty Photography