An Introverted Actress

Reading My Way Through 2021

Well, here we are. The end of a ghastly year. The beginning of a new one. I had such high hopes for 2021 until another national lockdown was announced yesterday. I wasn't under the illusion that everything would change as the clocks ticked over from December to January but I suppose some small part of me hoped and prayed the last year had been one ginormous prank. That someone would jump out and shout "GOTCHA!", press a button and reset us all back to January 1st 2020 so we could live out the year we were meant to have. No such luck. 

I know I'm one of the lucky ones. I have a nice house, someone to share lockdown with as well as a furry feline friend to cuddle, the people I know that have had Covid have only had it mildly and pulled through and as far as work goes, I've had my writing. However, spending a year out of the theatre and not having a regular income has been emotionally difficult and quite scary. Especially when we're a year on and there's still seemingly no end in sight. 

So, I'm going to try my hardest to make the best of a bad situation. There are few things within my control right now and only little goals I can work towards but I'm going to grab them by the horns and throw myself into them with all my might. The biggest and currently most exciting to me is reading

My reading has suffered tremendously since I started working solidly on my novels. I find it hard to concentrate on someone else's creation without feeling guilty that I'm not working on my own. I can always feel the open file on my laptop judging me when someone else's novel is in my hands. So I feel like I'm a million miles away from my teenage self. Now she used to devour books in single sittings. I would immerse myself into novels so fully that the line between my life and the character's life would blur. I'd wake in the middle of the night worried about fictional problems that weren't mine to lose sleep over. I'd have this constant longing to be back in a story, like a gravitational pull towards my school bag where my book would wait until I had a few spare moments. Then I would grieve when I finally turned the last page like I'd lost a close friend. And I miss that. I miss feeling so fulfilled by something as simple as reading. I miss the sense of achievement too. I used to puff out my chest with pride when I returned a book to my school library and the librarian would say "back so soon?". Even now, my extensive collection of books is my pride and joy and yet I've started to feel embarrassed that so many of them have been on a 'to be read' pile for years. A 'to be read' pile that's now probably five times my height. So it's high time I did something about it. 

I handed in the first draft of my new novel a few weeks ago and so whilst I'm waiting for the first batch of notes from my editor, I've thrown myself at the mercy of my bookshelves. My good friend Hiba told me just before New Year's that she read eighty books in 2020. EIGHTY. And it was the kick up the backside I needed. I started off the year reading 'The Flip Side' by James Bailey. It was fun, inspiring and lovely to read at the start of a new year as that is when the book is set.


Then I moved onto We Just Clicked by Anna Bell. I had a PDF proof copy of this book and having never read a book on my iPad before, it was a real game changer! I feel like I whizzed through it! Again, I really enjoyed it. I loved reading about someone who is as addicted to instagram as I am however, when they take it a step too far it had me cringing. Definitely a fun read for social media lovers and for those of you who love a good romance! 

Now I'm onto 'Mix Tape' by Jane Sanderson. Everyone I've spoken to who has read it only has good things to say about it so I'm looking forward to getting stuck in.

I keep saying I'm not setting myself any goals but I think that's because I'm scared of not reaching them. If I could read 3-5 books every month, I'd be absolutely chuffed with myself. Any more than that and I'll consider 2021 to be a success should absolutely nothing else happen! 


  1. Hi carrie! I have also been struggling reading books in 2020 because of university (I’m a literature major) and it’s made me so upset! I’ve read 5 books since uni wrapped up last year and I feel so fulfilled, I hope I continue reading in 2021!

  2. I love how much you've been talking about reading, it's getting me excited for my own reading goals!! Mix tape is on my tbr for the year, can't wait to see what you think 😁

  3. When I have trouble sinking into something, I go back and reread something I’ve loved in the past, that I know I can finish quickly but it brings back the reading joy and then I can get into a new book on my “to read” pile. It’s been a few years since I last read Harry Potter so that’s my choice for the beginning of this year. After that, I’ve heard rave reviews about “Bridgerton” so I was going to watch it until I found out it’s a book series 😱 so that’s my next read!

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