Thanks to Facebook’s On This Day feature, I was reminded this morning that one year ago today I published a post titled Thoughts On The 2015 Goodreads Choice Awards. Which made me remember that I’ve been meaning to do a post about the 2016 awards. Well, kind of a post.
As I’ve mentioned before, 2015 was a particularly lackluster reading year for me, but in that post from a year ago I was purposely super vague about the reasons behind that bookish apathy. If you read that just now and guessed that it had something to do with mental health, then you’re absolutely right.
I feel like I’ve talked about mental health stuff a lot lately but hey, it’s my blog. And writing helps me to process things. Always has. So I’m going to keep doing it. You see, I’m a little frustrated with myself for not really being able to vote for many books this year but I’m trying to be kind to myself and not get too fed up with myself over something like this.
Obviously, as a Goodreads member I am allowed to vote in these end-of-the-year Choice Awards just like all the other members. So what was stopping me?
I hadn’t read most of the books. Like, even within some of my favorite genres. One of the reasons I read so many comic books and graphic novels is that I find them easier to concentrate on even on my worst, most unfocused depression-y days. (Hey, that would be an interesting subject to write a blog post about! I should do that someday.)
I read a ton of graphic novels and comic books in 2014 for that reason. (…and for many other reasons as well, such as I LOVE THE GENRE. But ease of concentration did have a lot to do with it.) I didn’t read nearly as many in either 2015 or 2016 because I simply did not read much at all.
I still add books to my TBR almost daily, but it’s hard to whittle down that pile of books you’ve been meaning to read when you’re so mentally drained that you can barely get out of bed, let alone focus on a story.
I did end up voting for a handful of books, but mostly I looked through all the nominations and felt bad about how many books there were on my TBR. Last week, I received an email telling me that Black Panther, Vol. 1: A Nation Under Our Feet by Ta-Nehisi Coates – which I’d waited ages for, and which had also been nominated (and made it to the semifinal round the last time I checked!) – was finally available at the public library, so I dutifully went there to pick it up.
It has sat, unread, on my desk for the past week while I think that I should read it because, after all, shouldn’t I have to choose between more than two or three books when voting for the best book in a certain category?
I know it’s just a book, but I’m hard on myself about literally EVERYTHING and so it feels like more than just a book to me. I’ve been making some plans, which I will talk more about later, to read a little more earnestly next year and I really really really hope they come to fruition. Which is not at all guaranteed because, as much as I wish I did, I don’t have 100% control over my brain and it might tell me that I’m too tired and sad to read a lot.
BUT. I’m hoping that by this time next year I’m more into reading. It certainly won’t be easy, but I want to use this moment as motivation to get back into one of my oldest hobbies. To look at a list of nominated books and actually recognize more than half of them. To have read multiple books in multiple categories and to know the stories that are found in the books that were published this year.