When I was younger, I would always be the one to read the most books in my class. Every time I took a personality quiz, I would put 'Reading' as my favourite activity to pass time. But as I grew older, I found myself reading less and less — and when I did read books, it was for the sake of classes instead of my own pleasure. Sure, I could use the excuse of not being able to find a good book to sink into, but I knew deep down, I had lost my love for books. It came to the point where I felt guilty of putting 'Reading' as my hobby, so I would put something else.
My diminished appeal for reading was probably the result of the increasing amount of time I spend on my electronics. I still read e-books on my iPad but it just wasn't the same. With homework that needed completing online and so many eye–catching videos on YouTube, there was no time left for me to sit down and read.
I did a little digging into my reading log to see how bad the situation was. I had a list of the books I've read every year on Goodreads. The results were.. quite shocking. I had read 46 books in 2016, 41 books in 2017, 36 books in 2018, but only 7 books in 2019, where 3 of them were for my English class. I remembered the time where I read every single day, and finished more than 100 books a year (though, to be honest, they were really short ones).
But even after visualising how little I read, I turned on my computer and went onto Netflix. There, I came across a show called 'Anne With An E'. It was based on the novel 'Anne Of Green Gables'. I remembered enjoying the book when I was younger, and with books on my mind, I decided to watch it.
And oh, my God. I loved every second of it. Anne was a wonderful heroine of the story, where the audience could see her character grow throughout the episodes. She was far from 'perfect' at the start and, unlike other TV shows, she still had some of her flaws in the end. But that made her even more real and likeable. And Gilbert — I recall wanting to marry a man just like him — was the epitome of a well-crafted protagonist of his own story. Aside from the nostalgic atmosphere and great stories in every episode, I also adored the fact that Anne loved reading. Anne using big words that confused her friends (and even her Aunt) reminded me of myself in school. I had the urge to read Jane Eyre once more as she restlessly talked about it, quoting beautiful phrases from the book.
By the time I finished the whole three seasons (#renewannewithane, please!) I fell in love with reading again. It also helped that my mum presented me with a detective novel (that had so many unexpected — but totally logical — twists, I couldn't let go of it until I was done). I have now finished three books already and I'm onto my fourth one of 2020. Watching Anne With An E seriously helped me remember how much I loved books. It's a great show so you should really try it out!
To help me continue with my reading journey, I downloaded an app called Bookly (compatible with both Android and IOS). I've tried a few others, but when it came to having all and more tools I wanted in a reading tracking app, Bookly was the one for me. It wasn't free but I deemed it was worth it. Oh right — you can get a 30% discount for Bookly Pro if you use this link (you can thank me later 😁).
**Just to make sure, I'm not affiliated with Bookly in any way. I just wanted to share my honest opinion about a great app!**
To tell you a little more about it, you can add almost any book in the world by either scanning the ISBN barcode, searching it up in their database, or putting in the information yourself. You can also set monthly/yearly reading goals and count your continuous reading streak. When you start a reading session, there are tools that allow you to add new words to your list and pick out great quotes you want to remember. There's also an option for background noises like 'ocean waves' and 'soft rain'. One thing I love about Bookly is the fact that it automatically generates an infographic using the data it acquired after you finish a book! It was really interesting to see my reading journey on a poster.
I hope to read at least 30 books this year!