Sunday, April 16, 2023

A Different Approach

My last blog post was January 2022, and it was the only one of that year. Clearly I had good intentions that just didn't pan out.

I started this blog in 2014 when I was a library science student. I had a newborn and read him picture books all the time. I reviewed picture books and young adult books for classes toward my degree. I volunteered in a library and led reading programs for adults with disabilities. I did an internship. I worked in a public library. I worked in a public school library. I worked in a private school library. Then I left libraries completely when so many people, especially parents, had to change their work-life balance due to lockdown. But my relationships with libraries had already been up and down by that point, so it wasn't a bad situation for me.

While the current situation of defunding libraries enrages me, after seeing what librarians have to put up with, especially with public shootings (especially in my area), I'm not eager to get back to librarianship. I hate feeling that way because I do love libraries, loved my degree program, and would want to work in them again in an ideal world. But the required nights and weekends don't jive with being a single parent, especially since the salary is barely enough to live on even without considering the childcare costs I'd have to add on.

Along with leaving libraries, my son is now older and reads chapter books. I still enjoy the occasional picture book, and young adult novels will always be my jam. But these shifts in my life made me step back and assess my relationship to reading. Since 2020, I've felt like I need to use my time wisely. That means, in my downtime, I need to do something. I'll be honest - it's usually mindless scrolling on my phone. But I'm just as likely to reach for a book. I always read at least 100 books a year, so why haven't I been writing posts about them?

To be fair, I share many of them on Instagram because it's quicker and easier. But I feel like that's my biggest problem lately. I'm reading "just 'cuz." I'm checking out books and reading them to mark them "Read" on Goodreads and feel productive. But honestly, I miss writing more detailed reviews like I used to on this blog. Going back even more, I miss spending weeks on one book in college, reading so much into the language and the references and understanding the story on multiple levels.

I never focused on the newest releases on this blog. I always read what I wanted, often sharing more in-depth author studies that spanned several months or years. And I want to go back to that, to sharing thoughts longer than an Instagram caption. To spending time with one book, even if Goodreads alerts me that I'm behind on my goal. I want to be more thoughtful with what I'm reading and what I take from each book. And hopefully, that purposeful step back will give me more thoughts to share here.

Or this could be the only post I make in 2023. It's hard to tell at this point, isn't it?

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