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.