I’ve been thinking a lot about my little book blog over the last few days, the reason why I started it, how I currently use it and how I can help to make it more engaging and more insightful over the year ahead.
When I’ve taken time to look over it and reflect I realised that I started it when my children were very young and I did it almost as a bibliography of what I’d been reading and as a way of getting down on paper my views on the books I’d read and maybe allowing others to share in my thoughts, helping them to maybe find their way to a book they would enjoy and so I could feel that my thoughts might reminisce with people about books they had already read.
It’s been a really fun journey but as I think about my blog currently I’m critical of how little I’ve used it to engage with those of you who have been kind enough to follow me and to those who have stopped by and read my reviews. I’d like 2016 to be the year where I take my blog and take it to a place where I can begin to create a little community of book nerds like myself and a place where we can all feel safe to share our thoughts and feedback.
The thing I’ve been thinking about most the last few days is that my site was called ‘Mummy Loves Books’ for a reason, I’m currently a stay at home mum who dedicates nearly all her time to raising my 4 children. As they grow I find myself called upon more and more to take them to different after school activities, to help with homework, make sure our house runs smoothly (or as smoothly as 4 children will allow) and to deal with all those little every day things that seem to eat our time away. Somehow along the way I’ve moved from being a very social person to one whose social encounters seem to be at the school gates or in the dance school waiting room, suddenly I find I don’t have as many opportunities to meet new friends as I did when I was younger and as I’ve moved to staying at home my old work friends have moved on. I am sure that many of us stay at home parents can find ourselves in that situation and it suddenly makes you realise that engaging in adult conversation can sometimes be the thing you miss most.
Even for those of us who aren’t raising families modern society can often mean we don’t engage with real people as much as we used to years ago. Home working, long commutes, growing pressure and hours at the office and we find that the sociability we used to have time and energy for has dipped and the only time we find to relax is climbing into bed at night with a good book, or the stolen 40 minutes on the train to greedily consume a chapter by your favourite author. Social media has meant we often don’t pick up the phone to friends any more and say “Hey, how are things? Want to catch up?”, because why would we need to catch up when we can see on Facebook exactly where they holidayed (we’ve even seen the pictures) and we know if they’ve got a new job or a new partner.
So with all that in mind I realised that maybe I’m not the only person out there craving some like minded people to share my thoughts with, to delve into a chat about the books I’ve read, the TV shows I’ve enjoyed, the general challenges of finding time to read and also how as a parent I want to allow my children the opportunity to enjoy the wonders that great literature and drama can bring.
I’ve always wanted to join a book club and therefore one of the first things I’d like to do is develop a Mummy Loves Books book club for 2016, I’m still ironing out all the details in my head but I will post soon with how I’d see this working and would love to have people join me on the journey. It’s a sad fact that with the demise of local authority provisions many of our libraries just aren’t in a place to be able to provide facilities like book clubs any more, and even if they did I’m not always able to commit to attending at a regular time and date each month, never mind if I’d manage to read the book. So therefore I’m hoping it will be a place where we can safely get together and share the joy of reading, and even if people don’t want to contribute and just want to read along and digest others comments then that is okay too.
I’m really happy to be taking more time out to get my thoughts down on paper this year, despite my mummy brain most days I know I’ve still got a lot I can share with others and an desire to make people feel welcome, comfortable and part of something special. My hope is that we grow together as a group, have an opportunity to all contribute and to become friends.
Would love for all of you to come on this journey with me, I’m excited and over the next few weeks I’d like to start sharing my excitement and way ahead with you all.