Last year, I made a bookish wish. It was kind of thought out, kind of on a whim. It was a hope put out there into the world without much hope of it being fulfilled. Against all odds, and amidst a lot of mostly okay reads, I did find a book that fulfilled my wish. This year, I’m making another one, another wish close to my heart.
There’s a book I want to read this year.
I don’t yet know what that book is.
But it’ll make me fall in love with reading all over again.
This is my bookish wish of 2022:
That I find the book that sweeps me off my feet and makes me fall in love with reading, books, and words all over again. That I read a book that reminds me of times gone past. That I read a book that brings the joy and pleasure back with every word. That I read a book that plants a new, beautiful bookish memory in my mind. That I read a book I’ll remember twenty years from now with nostalgia, happiness, and a longing for times gone past. That I read a book that makes me fall in love with reading again and will bring back fond memories for years and years to come.
Just like every reader, I have extraordinarily fond memories of certain books. As I fell in love with books long before I could actually read, some of my fondest are from my childhood. I remember lounging in a rocking chair when I was around 11 or 12, reading through the three Nancy Drew books I received by mail every month, while my mom repeatedly told me to read them slower and go outside and play. I remember that, for years and years and years, I faithfully picked up The Circle of Magic series by Tamora Pierce and read all 4 books once I year. I remember spending an entire Spring Break with my nose buried in The Lord of the Rings. I remember spending my first summer as a high school student sitting on my bed, reading my way through books 2-4 of The Wheel of Time, not bothering to turn on a light until I literally couldn’t see to read another word (I know; it was terrible for my eyes and I definitely heard all about it from my optometrist). I remember sitting, all alone in an airport with War and Peace, and a man commenting on it. I remember falling in love with the first Coffeehouse Mystery by Cleo Coyle right before I started college and hoping the local bookstore within walking distance of my college had the next book (I bought the next 2 in the series there). I remember obsessively reading The Savage Garden by Mark Mills over and over and over again when I studied abroad in Denmark. I remember sobbing at the ending of The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein while home alone the weekend before I started my third year of grad school, when my husband was away.
I have few fond memories of reading since.
A couple of years ago, I signed up for NetGalley on a whim and started accepting books for review. Of course it turned reading into a bit of a chore. I couldn’t stop thinking of what I would write about it in a review. I couldn’t stop thinking about how I would rate it. And I certainly couldn’t stop thinking of the deadlines I’d given myself. When those deadlines loomed and I hadn’t even read the book yet, well, panic started to set in. Reading was still enjoyable, but it also started to feel like a chore.
I don’t want that anymore. I read because I love it. I need to find the joy in it again. I need to feel so swept up in a book that a new memory cements itself into my long-term memory storage. I need to read a book and not even think about the review to come, to so thoroughly enjoy it that I fall in love with books again. I want that itch in my fingers that makes my hands pick a book back up.
I want a book that gives me the spark of magic and memory back.
I’m ready for a new, strong bookish memory that I’ll carry in my heart for the next 20 years at least (because goodness knows I’ll never forget lounging in a rocking chair with a Nancy Drew book while my mom pleads for me to go out and play).
There’s a book I’m hoping to find this year.
I’m hoping to find it.
Do you have a bookish wish this year?