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Booky Thoughts - Clare Reynolds: Blogging In The Time of Corona

Liz Robinson

By Liz Robinson on 27th March 2020

We would like to introduce you to a new monthly feature called 'Booky Thoughts’, written by a selection of our members who are fabulous reader reviewer ambassadors for LoveReading. Our selected ambassadors will get the opportunity to spill their booky thoughts to us all, whether it be top tips, favourite books, or individual opinions and feelings about all things books. Most of our ambassadors have their own blogs, and they are all passionate about sharing book love, which is something we at LoveReading care deeply about. So, over to the first of our super reviewers with her blog piece: Blogging in the Time of Corona.

It’s all about the love of books.

Enjoy!

Name

Clare Reynolds

Bio

Clare Reynolds has been an avid reader ever since she could hold a book. Having spent most of her childhood reading, she fulfilled her dream of studying English Literature at Leeds University. After realising she was always recommending books to friends and family, in 2017 she started her Book Blog called Years Of Reading Selfishly.

Since then, Clare has blogged and recommended books relentlessly, has been a shadow judge for the Sunday Times/University of Warwick Young Writer Award and has live-tweeted from both the Henley Literary Festival and the inaugural Tring Book Festival. 

She has also worked with LoveReading as a Super Ambassador and has also been a guest on Booktime Brunch with Antonia Honeywell, a dedicated book programme on Chiltern Voice Radio Station.  

Blog: www.yearsofreadingselfishly.blog

Twitter name: @yearsofreading

Instagram name: @yearsofreading

Blogging In The Time of Corona

It’s funny isn’t it, how all our lives changed in a single day.

One minute it’s all school runs and schedules, supermarkets and dog walks, reading and blogging, and then it all stopped. 

I’ve been self-isolating with my family since 19th March - my eldest son has special needs, my youngest son’s school closed, my husband had to work from home and suddenly all our daily routines and family life was instantly all of us together all the time.

Although it was clearly a very different routine, I was secretly pleased that we would be all in the house together, a chance for us to stay safe and to slow down, and dare I say it for me to attack my reading pile with relish.

I sorted out my bookshelves, put away the books I didn’t want any more, and even put them into date reading order! Notebook ready, I pulled my first book off the shelf ready to snuggle down on the sofa and lose myself in the story, and I just couldn’t. 

I probably lasted ten minutes before I picked up my phone to see what was happening on Twitter and Instagram about the Coronavirus and didn’t read another page that night.  For the next few days, I started to resent reading, the very thought of picking a book up to blog about it just seemed so ridiculously pointless. I mean, surely I should be doing something much more worthwhile like insulating the loft, or batch cooking, or working out the best strategy to find a shop that still had some bread and milk. 

I know that at the moment, I am finding it really difficult to write blog posts - my blog views have gone down considerably, and my heart just isn’t in it.

The thing I have realised during this time is that you don’t need to blog about a book to show how much you love it.  If you read something without the constant worry of how you are going to put it into a post, it changes the way you read.  Little by little, I started to relax and enjoy my reading for what it was - just me and a book.  I wasn’t worrying that I had missed some vital plot point, or was looking for a quote to use, instead I learned how to lose myself again in reading, which is what I should have been doing all along.

It was only by going on social media that I realised that authors who have books being published were feeling bewildered and disappointed as their launches and events were getting cancelled more and more, as the world around us became smaller and smaller. I knew that I had some of their books on my shelves, and that as a Blogger, instead of worrying about writing posts I could do something much more immediate and meaningful.

Taking the time to #ShareTheBookLove for authors doesn’t cost a penny, and if I have read a book and loved it, all it takes is a minute of my time to tell everyone.  It’s easy, heartfelt, and I love doing it. For the next few weeks, or until I find my Blogging Mojo (possibly hidden under my stash of almond magnums and rose wine), I will do video reviews, or write a tweet or simply retweet something to support authors and events.

These are unprecedented times for all of us, trying to live, work and support our loved ones when we truly don’t know what the next day will bring, let alone the next week.  It is sometimes hard to find the joy in reading when the world outside seems to be such a different place to the one we knew even a few weeks ago.  The last thing any of us need at this point in time is additional stresses, and for anyone struggling with reading and blogging, all you have to do is whatever you want.  It is your blog, your social media, your rules.  

Maybe the one thing that will come out of all this, is that we finally take time to stop and really think about what works for us as Bloggers. We need to realise that any sharing of our love of books and reading is what matters. 

I started blogging because I love books and reading and when all is said and done, surely that’s the most important thing of all.

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