My Bookish Wish for 2022 Revisited

bookish wish 2022 revisited

Take a look at the wish I made at the beginning of 2022:

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.

And that, my friends, was the wish I put out there in the world in January. Unlike last year, I never forgot my wish. I looked for it in every single book I read, asked myself every couple of weeks if a new bookish memory was starting to coalesce. I can look at every title I read this year and remember feeling immersed in it. Just looking at the title takes me back into the world, the story, and back beside the characters. What I have a harder time doing is forming a memory of my physical body reading the book.

Perhaps it speaks to how badly I needed an escape. It was only in mid-August that I finally learned what a still, quiet home felt like. Until then, at least one of my kids had been home with me for 8 years. I was starting to think I didn’t know what words like quiet, calm, and sanity meant. Exactly one year ago I was teaching both of them, bouncing like one of their bouncy balls between them every five minutes, if I was lucky. It feels more chaotic now than it did then. I suppose it’s reasonable to feel like I needed to escape into books.

But, the question is: Did I find that book?

I like to think I have started to form some new bookish memories. Of course, I’ll have to see if they stand the test of time. Ask me again in a decade.

First up is actually a book I read in 2020, but I didn’t write my review until earlier this year so I say it counts. Almost 2 years later, I still vividly remember reading Quaking Soul by Jennifer M. Zeiger. My husband had gotten it for me for Christmas that year and I didn’t last long before I had to break it open. I remember curling up on the couch with it while my kids were monkeying around, fully immersed in the story, hardly able to turn the page as quickly as I read.

Quaking Soul by Jennifer M. Zeiger, a YA fantasy

Next is The Justice of Kings by Richard Swan. This didn’t make it onto my top 15 science fiction and fantasy reads this year, but I still managed to develop memories of reading this one. Orbit kindly sent a physical copy signed by the author and my husband got me a reading light for Christmas last year so I could read such physical books to my daughter while putting her to sleep at night in near darkness. I distinctly remember trying to figure out how to position the light so it wouldn’t keep my daughter up. While this wasn’t the only physical book I read to her, it’s the only memory that comes to me with ease. Hmm, maybe the story was more interesting than I thought. Or it just stacks up better in comparison to the other physical books I read.

the justice of kings richard swan

Lastly is The Spice Master at Bistro Exotique by Samantha Verant. I enjoyed this one so much that I think I read it too fast. But I just couldn’t stop and wait until the next day to find out what happened next! I distinctly remember coming out of my daughter’s room with it after she’d fallen asleep, desperate to read more. So I curled up on the couch, turned on my Kindle, and read and read and read, ignoring the, erm, lots of reviews and other posts I was supposed to be writing. I don’t think I even moved much, and I’m someone who can’t stay in the same position for long. I just fondly remember feeling like I was curled up around this one.

the spice master at bistro exotique samantha verant

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2 thoughts on “My Bookish Wish for 2022 Revisited

    1. Ugh, I keep thinking of deleting my account, too, but I also can’t stop looking at all the books. But since the big publishers don’t seem to care about book bloggers, I’ve just learned to get to those books when I get to them and to only read what really piques my interest. 2022 wasn’t great for finding books I love for me as well, so hopefully 2023 will be better for both of us!

      Liked by 1 person

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