Thoughtful Thursday – How lockdown cured my book burnout

It’s strange to think that it has nearly been a year since the UK, and most of the world, went into lockdown in some shape or form. I think we can all collectively agree that the past year has been incredibly tough, with many people’s mental health suffering as a result of it. 

At the beginning of lockdown I, like quite a few other people, was trying to be optimistic about using time being at home wisely to learn new skills or to be productive in some way that I always claimed I didn’t have time for. However, it very quickly became clear that working from home because of lockdown isn’t the same as just working from home normally. Whilst I’m usually a homebody and happy to be inside, I was finding that I wanted to spend more time out in the garden but I was at a loss of what to do out there – sunbathing isn’t my thing!

I’ve mentioned this in previous posts but after I finished my English Literature degree, I suffered from major book burnout after three years of reading around four texts a week. At the beginning of 2020 I had started a book on my commute but didn’t really keep up with it. So, in order to spend some time away from the internet and social media, I decided to pick that book back up and start reading outside. 

Before I knew it I had finished that book, and another, and another… and another. It was the closest I have ever come to reading all the books on my TBR! It was just so nice having an escape by sitting in the sun and being transported to another world for a few hours, especially as I would have otherwise been anxiously refreshing the news. To ensure that this would continue after lockdown (back in the days where we thought that it would be over in a few months), I started looking over the books that were sitting on my TBR and was ruthless in deciding what should stay on there and what should go. This included books I had already bought on my kindle. 

By taking time out from reading and pursuing other hobbies, as well as having to stay at home giving me plenty of time to overthink, I realised that my reading habits and preferences had changed and instead of forcing myself to read something because I bought it years ago wouldn’t be beneficial for me. There was something really freeing about reorganising my shelves, physical and digital, and ensuring that I was just left with books I was genuinely interested in. 

Although this is something that I had thought of doing before lockdown, I just kept putting it off and didn’t feel any reason to do it. However, with lockdown I found that not only could I not put it off for any longer but I didn’t want to either. So, whilst I didn’t become fluent in a language, or strictly stick to a workout routine or learn how to play an instrument; I did rediscover my love for reading and be cured of my book burnout. 

Hello everyone, welcome to Little Bird Book Blog!

It’s been a very long time since I have dipped my toes into the book blogging world and I’m very excited to come back! Once upon a time I ran a book blog for a few years starting when I was doing my A-Levels, I was reading a lot for school and outside it that I just wanted to share all of my thoughts (even if I was just shouting them into the void at first!).

The blog continued into my years studying English Literature at university, even if I didn’t keep up with any kind of regular posting schedule. However, after university I was in a huge slump: I was totally burnt out on reading books after having to power through four in a week (even if I didn’t like them) every week, and job hunting was draining. The thought of picking up a book and reviewing it became overwhelming and the blog became dormant.

Once I got a job I thought the commute would be the perfect time to get some reading in, like it was when I was on my placement year. However, I’d forgotten how long it took me to adjust to the 9-5 lifestyle in London on my placement year and so my to read list continued to pile up. I read a couple of books here and there, mostly on holiday or, if there were problems with my trains and I ended up having to sit on the District line for well over an hour.

This year I resolved to travel more (which hasn’t quite worked out) and read more. Back in February I attended a Japanese Literature event at the British Library where authors and their translators spoke in depth about their works which excited me and I came away with nearly all of the books on sale (which made the journey home on a crowded, delayed, Central line train even more fun).

One of the books I picked up was Penguin Highway by Tomihiko Morimi and little Aoyama inspired me to start writing again. I was fascinated with the way the boy took notes about everything and it made me want to start journalling again. I now have three journals on the go and it was my reading journal that convinced me to start a book blog again. After reading 44 books this year so far, I feel like I have recovered from my book burnout and rediscovered my lifelong passion and enthusiasm for reading.

Okay, so I know this was long winded but I hope you stick around for more of my reviews and ramblings! I know this is going to be tough starting out again, and there may be times that I feel overwhelmed with blogging, but I think I’m in a better place for it now, and I’m determined for it to continue.

~ Rosie