Hey, y’all! Today’s post is one that I’ve been wanting to make for some time. I wanted to address this because it’s been a reoccurring theme in my life in the last year or so and I think it’s important to tackle it head-on.
When I was 14 years old, I started a Bookstgram (and book-themed Instagram account) where I posted pictures of books and chatted with others in the community about them. A few months later, I started a Booktube channel where I did the same thing, only in video form. I’ve had my place here in the online book community for about five years now, and it’s been great. In the last year, I started and finished my first year of college. This has brought the phrases “you won’t have time to read in school” and “I’d read more if I had time” into my life on a huge scale. And today, I wanted to address it.
When I was first preparing to start my first year of college, I gave into this mindset, and let it rule my first semester. I told myself it was true, I wouldn’t have time to read when classes began, and there was nothing I could do about it. I will admit that in the beginning, I had to adjust to my newfound workload and living space. I wasn’t at home anymore with my beloved bookshelves, and I had lots and lots of required readings. So, I started school, and I put my favorite hobby in the world on the back burner for a while. At the time, I thought it was for the best, and I swore to myself I would be grateful I did it after my first year of school. I wanted high grades and sacrifices had to made. This much is still true, I don’t read nearly as much as I did in high school, but that’s simply because I’m not in high school anymore. I had four years of secondary school to figure out how to add reading into my schedule. Sooner or later, I’ll find out what works best for me in college.
But I did feel completely lost without the comfort of my online, bookish niche. My Bookstgram and online interactions had been my crutch throughout high school, and I honestly didn’t remember a world without it. No one around me at college understood what my platform was, and I began to feel weird for talking about it. The people I knew weren’t interested, so I eventually just kept it to myself.
I was letting people close to me tell me that I wouldn’t have time to read, because they weren’t factoring it in as a priority. But for me, it was always a priority. Oddly, I felt disconnected from my reality when I wasn’t reading. I had to remind myself that even throughout my toughest high school years, I somehow managed to squeeze a book out because it was my happy place. I made the time because I loved it, and I knew it would relax me when my stress from schoolwork was running high. I did it then, and with some effort, I could do it now. Reading is valid hobby and deserves just as much love as others more “conventional” hobbies receive. We make time for what we love. Everyone has their passions, and I don’t think it’s fair to talk down about the hobbies of someone else, just because you don’t share them, or even understand them. Encourage your local readers! Let them know how proud of them you are! Reading is awesome and so are the amazing, time-bending, people that do it.