It’s hard to believe that Amy Reads has been up, in some form or another, for over 8(!!) years. While for the last number of years I’ve been mostly offline and fairly inactive, in the past couple of months I’ve started to jump back in. I have been nervous to post about returning because I’m scared I will jinx myself and go back to being mostly offline… but here goes.
Early this year I switched jobs. I went from one that had a heavy expectation of (unpaid) overtime and with very frequent travel (which often included weekends) to one with a much stronger belief in a healthy work/life balance. I am also no longer travelling (although there will likely be occasional travel, it should be Mon-Fri instead of Sun-Fri or Sun-Sat). All of this means I am less stressed and have more time.
I don’t know if I’ve always been anxious or if it’s newer to the last few years, but I do know that I usually do not want to leave my house. Too much social activity leaves me with a strong need for a lot of down time to recharge. Online never felt social in the same way that real-life did, but somehow a couple of years ago it became that kind of social, making it harder for me to participate – whether it be twitter, responding to emails, blogging, commenting, or etc. HOWEVER, new job and having less stress and more time has significantly lessened this. And the more I return to twitter and bookish conversations and discussion groups, the more I realize just how much I’ve been missing. The more I’m participating, the less anxious and depressed I’m feeling overall.
I didn’t realize quite how much my previous job was affecting my mental health until I left. And now, looking back, it’s a little bit horrifying…
In addition to having more time and less stress, I am also feeling much more of a need to participate in life online, due to current events. There is so much that is terrible in the news, and reading and voicing criticism and pushing back seems more relevant than ever. Seeing others resisting and learning and sharing makes the world seem a more hopeful place. Reading and writing are political acts – every book is written from a specific worldview, and even if an author claims to be apolitical, that in itself is a political message. Now, more than ever, it is important to see this being acknowledged and discussed, and I feel a need to be a part of this.
What does this mean? I doubt I’ll blog about all that I read, but I do know that I want to talk about important (to me) books. I want to do more personal projects. I want to have conversations and get feedback. I may also talk about the genre reading that’s gotten me through busier and more stressful years. I am a huge documentary nerd, I may write about some of them on here too. Basically, I have no real plan, I’m just taking it a day at a time and seeing where I feel like taking this site.
I’m also participating in Bina’s Diverse Study Group. I’ve requested to join the Social Justice Book Club. I subscribed to Noir Reads, which also has a book discussion forum. Any other recommendations for me?
Many, many, many thanks especially to some of my favorite people online who are helping me get back into bookish conversations: Cass, Ana, Iris, Bina, Jenny, Renay, Memory, Rhiannon, and so many others.