Back in January I decided to not make a bookish wish this year. Making a wish this year just didn’t quite feel right, so I decided to not do it. Actually, a lot of how I had been reading didn’t quite feel right, so I’ve been working on changing things so I’m a lot happier with my reading life. That included not feeling like I was pressuring myself to find a certain book.
But, if I had made a wish for this year, it would be this:
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 2023:
That I find the book that both makes me excited to read it and keeps that excitement high throughout the book. It’s simple, really. I want a book that makes me excited to read it and excited to keep reading it.
In 2021 I started doing my First, Middle, and Last Impressions posts every other Wednesday (now migrated to my Weekly Highlights post on Fridays). It’s been so much fun to see whether and how my thoughts on a book changed throughout my reading progress. It’s also turned into an interesting study of how the first and second halves seem to follow a pattern where the first half is, sadly, relatively boring while the second half gets all the action and interesting stuff. No wonder I usually feel bored during the first half of a book! No wonder I can’t help but look at my progress at the bottom of my Kindle and feel irritated that I’m only 37% of the way through!
What happened to the days of starting a book and feeling like I was on the precipice of falling into a really good adventure? What happened to wondering what was going to happen next from chapter one? Instead, I’m just pushing through to get to the interesting things.
Now, there are definitely some books that just hit the ground running, and I adore those, but it leaves me wanting more of them. And, sadly, there seem to be fewer every year. Or maybe I’m just putting my faith in the wrong books. Or maybe I’m right and this is the state of books these days and just how sad is that?!
Well, I want 2023 to change that for me. This year I want to find a book that holds my interest ALL the way through, from the first page to the last. I want a book that has me turning page after page after page and doesn’t have me taking a peek to see how much further until that magical 50-60% mark.
There’s a book I’m hoping to find this year.
I’m hoping to find it.
Now, why am I sharing a wish I decided against making? Well, I found a book that fulfilled my wish. It won’t be published until May 30th, but I can’t stop thinking about it. I hated having to put it down, and found every spare minute I could to read it. It’s very rare when I decide I need the physical version of an ebook, but, well, I really feel like I need to caress this one.
The Wishing Game by Meg Shaffer had me flying through the pages. It captured my attention from the first page, and just never let me go. I finished reading it far too quickly about a month ago, and it hasn’t let me go. It’s not perfect, but it’s lovely and soft with so much heart and love. It also made me nostalgic and remembering all the books I adored throughout my childhood. It was rare when picking up this book didn’t make me tear up.
Initially, I had thought this wish was too impossible, and maybe that’s why I decided not to go ahead and make the wish. I had struggled to find books to fulfill my wish for the past two years, and just really didn’t need the pressure to hunt for a needle in a haystack.
But The Wishing Game just kind of fell into my hands. One day late last year I received an email from someone with Penguin Random House with a link to this book on NetGalley. It sounded interesting and, since I was already preapproved, I decided to take it. I’ll admit I was a little on the fence and, had it been sent any later, I probably would have forgotten all about the email, only finding it when it was too late. But it came at just the right time. Though I’ll also admit that, when I got to this book on my list, I wasn’t exactly thrilled.
I’m so glad this book proved me so wrong. It was beautiful and gorgeous and everything I could have ever wished for wrapped up in a book. There’s a young woman who will do anything to adopt a young boy who was tragically orphaned and with whom she already has a strong bond, but she just lacks the resources to make it happen. Just that alone was so lovingly written that it brought tears to my eyes. Then there’s the author who has finally written another book in his children’s series and the contest he puts out for four specific people, all of whom have a special connection to him and his island. And those stories were so heartbreaking, but all too common. But then there’s the romance to offer something beautiful, and an incredible island that just feels like magic but isn’t. I loved feeling immersed in nostalgia while reading this, and always hated having to put it down.
I was wary of this book, but found myself glued to it from page one. In a way, I’m glad I didn’t make my bookish wish, because maybe this book wouldn’t have hit me so powerfully. Or maybe it would have and it would have been torture to wait until the end of the year to reveal the book that fulfilled my wish. This book held my heart from the very first page. Probably the very first paragraph.
All in all, though, I’m just glad I found a book that I couldn’t put down, that held my interest all the way through. Just proves there are books like that out there.
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3 thoughts on “My Bookish Wish of 2023 That Wasn’t”
You seriously need to stop talking it up! I might buy it.
(Look into A Man Called Ove and The Ten Thousand Doors of January.)
I’m glad you found a book that made you love reading it!!! I hope you find many more of them!
I think it’s a bit sad to (temporarily) lose the excitement of reading—and I’m not sure our reading situations are the same but these days I also find I need something edgy and odd to get sucked into a book. It’s why I made the shift from romance to psychological thrillers. But I know if I read a lot of those too, I’ll get used to it and start seeking something different again.
Right now, I haven’t been reading much but instead of panicking, I’ve decided to accept that, so maybe when the reading bug comes back I’ll be wholly excited by the books I pick up and very easy to impress haha.