Happy Holidays, fellow nerds! This is the second in a series of posts wrapping up a different year in a different way. Between now and the start of 2021, I’ll be recapping my year in media not through traditional “Best of” lists but instead through snapshots of how my relationships with TV, books, and movies reflected my journey through 2020. If you’re looking for great “Best of 2020” content, I highly recommend heading over to Marvelous Geeks and TVexamined for their lists and listening to the 2-part podcast I recorded with the wonderful women behind those two sites, where we recapped our TV favorites from this year. And if you’re in the mood for more book discussion, Mary wrote a fabulous guest post for NGN earlier this month about her favorite books of 2020.
I read 22 books this year.
(Technically, it’s more like 21.99 books at the time I’m writing this, but let’s round up for the sake of simplicity.)
For me, that’s a huge number. It’s almost double the number of books I read in 2019.
And yet I still found myself slightly nervous about sharing it. I found myself writing long-winded explanations about why I don’t read more—defenses mostly centered on a job in publishing and a past as an English major who read so many books in college she burned herself out for the next decade.
I found myself comparing my reading habits to those of everyone around me—and coming up short.
That’s when I knew I had to write about it.
Because that’s been my experience through much of 2020. Comparing myself to everyone around me—and coming up short.
I didn’t become an expert chef (or even a particularly functional one). I didn’t learn a new language or meditate every day or take up running. I didn’t write more blog posts or start a new hobby or even spend that much more time outside appreciating nature.
I didn’t become a more voracious reader or a reader of more respectable literature.
And for most of this year, I beat myself up about all of it.
But then, I thought about those 21.99 books. And like they have for my entire life, the books guided me to the exact lesson I needed.
Your story doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s to be good enough. You should never feel bad about or downplay something that makes you happy. You should embrace it. And if you have the strength, you should share it.
And if the way I shared books with loved ones, talked about them with friends, and got excited to read them with my morning coffee was any indication, every single one of those precious 21.99 books I read this year made me happy.
And now I want to share it.