So 9th March 2020 was the date I decided to re-establish my book blog after seeing a news article about a young boy who was bullied because he posted his reviews of books on Instagram. I thought, my God, this boy has a fantastic idea posting about books via Instagram and when I went to investigate, a whole world of bookstagramming and book blogging was opened up to me.
So I created a logo, my brand colours, a WordPress site, an Instagram and Twitter account and away I went!
So in my first month as a new Bookstagrammer and Book Blogger, I was finding my feet and looking back I would say that this was the time I was most creative. I was reading some incredible books (e.g. Daisy Jones and The Six) and I was creating some great content too. Obviously being furloughed from work due to the new Coronavirus pandemic sweeping across the globe and this time off was doing wonders for my new blog and bookstagram!
In May, it was becoming evident that I needed something to fill my time. I was reading a hell of a lot of books, but because I spent all my day reading, when it came to the evening, I was finding myself needing to do something else. So I started blogging more, and I also started writing for a website called ‘Quite Literary’ and I became one of their resident contributors.
I was also missing my boyfriend by an incredible amount so in May, I went to stay with him and his family so we could enjoy the summer nights together.
In June, I created the ‘Let’s get Classical’ Book Club which is hosted over on Facebook as I saw that a lot of people I was interacting with on Instagram were afraid of reading classics because books like that are usually left to the more academic amongst us to read. I wanted to change this perception, whilst encouraging everyone to pick up a classic and not feel daunted by the language, length or story. Over the past few months, we’ve read some incredible books and I hope that I am helping others to love classics just as much as me.
In July, five months after badly injuring my back, I found myself starting to do more workouts and as the restrictions allowed for you to meet up to 8 people in the park, I went with my family to do workouts in the park with other members of our gym and it was so fun. If it wasn’t for the dog poo that someone was guaranteed to stand in every night, I’d take park workouts over gym workouts every day!
In terms of books, I took part in the Reading Rush and pushed myself out of my comfort zone with a few genres that I don’t tend to usually read such as fantasy and erotica.
In August, I think the furlough life was inevitably forcing me to be creative and stay active in whatever way I could and that led to the creation of my book shop, Milton Books. Although I have had to unfortunately close my shop since due to moving out and being swamped in a full-time job, I loved the journey that Milton Books allowed me to experience. I will never forget the support that the bookstagram and book community showed me and hopefully one day I’ll be able to re-open!
I also joined my local book club and went on a week-long staycation to Brighton with my boyfriend!
In September, I visited the beautiful Brontë Parsonage in Haworth and what a day that was! I got to go on a train for the first time in months and spent the day with my lovely feminist friend, talking all things women empowerment and equality.
I also FINALLY got the chance to go out drinking with my friends and looking back, this seems such a long time ago. Although there were social distancing rules in place, just having the chance to still go out drinking and have fun with friends was all I could ask for.
MY BDAY MONTH! And probably the strangest birthdays I’ve ever had. My boyfriend had planned for us to go and stay in Haworth for the weekend but as my birthday falls in October half-term here in the UK, our Government put the UK on national lockdown to help stop the spread of Coronavirus from schools and colleges. So I managed to get birthday waffles from my favourite waffle place just before lockdown but that was about it.
October was also the month I was made redundant from the job I had been on furlough from since March. It hit me pretty bad and having to re-do my CV, apply endlessly for jobs and attend brutal interviews over Zoom was an experience I hope I don’t have to do again any time soon. The job market was crazy and it was soul destroying applying for job after job with no response from most of them.
In November, I managed to secure myself a job pretty quickly which I am extremely grateful about, and began the next steps of my career with a local company in Manchester. I joined the rest of the country in WFH and had to familiarise myself with my colleagues over Zoom. It was strange and to this day, I’ve still not met most of my team.
I also took on a running challenge for a disability sports charity, Arctic One, in which I pledged to run a marathon over the course of a month. Through the challenge, I rekindled my love of running and especially after the stress and confusion caused by starting a new job in the middle of a pandemic, the pavement pounding was a necessary break.
In December, me and my boyfriend on a whim started looking at available flats in our area and found the most perfect flat that suited us to a T. We put a deposit down and before we knew it, we were accepted and given a move-in date of 23rd December. So the majority of my December was spent getting everything ready for the big move-in and Christmas as well. Truth be told, I hardly did any reading. I had a BUSY month and found myself too tired (and excited) from all the changes going on.
I did, however, manage to read a few Christmassy rom-coms which were just what the doctor ordered and I even got involved with the Twelve Days of Clink Street Publishing where I reviewed a different book every day which was FAB!
January was mine and my boyfriend’s first month living on our own together in our brand new flat. There were some slight teething issues but for the most part, we both found ourselves loving our new sense of freedom and adulthood (as scary as it sounds, it mostly consisted of weekly food shops and cleaning days).
In January, I got my favourite bookstagrammers to pick my 2021 TBR for me and if you’re interested in seeing what they picked for me, click here! I also read some amazing books and was invited along to join the Bloomsbury virtual event in which they showcased some of the amazing upcoming literary stars of 2021. Some of which I’ve pre-ordered straightaway!
In February, I fell back in love with bookstagramming and book blogging, posting consistently and noticing my creativity and love for bookstagram engagement slowly creeping back. Me and my boyfriend had a stay-at-home Valentines Day slap-up meal where we actually got all dressed up for once which was a breath of fresh air for both of us individually and as a couple. I even read some FANTASTIC books, one being Daughters of Night by Laura Shepherd Robinson and you can find my review and an exclusive extract from the book here.
I think somewhere in the middle I lost my way a little but once I took all the pressure of posting EVERY day and posting good and engaging content instead of just posting when and what I want, I’ve found my love for all things books and book blogging is stronger than ever.
Now let’s see what another year of Stuck In The Book has to bring! Thank you to all my followers and readers who have made my journey so far so brilliant and worthwhile. I hope you enjoy my content, reviews and images and I hope you will continue with me for lots more bookish posts!