Let me interrupt my bookish British month by writing something a little more personal today. Don't fear, there is a small book-related thing at the end!
I was talking to a friend recently about shyness. She'd heard somewhere that using the word 'shy' to describe people (especially children) becomes sort of self-fulfilling. And it had me thinking. I'd always thought of myself as shy, ever since I was a little girl. And that one comment made me reconsider it all. Or at least see things in a different light.
Another unrelated day, I was walking to pick up Eldest from school, and I had my music blaring through my earbuds, I was strutting along, nearly dancing in the street - and for some unknown reason, I flashed back to myself as a high school student, walking home from school. I remember it clearly: my shoulders would be hunched, my head fully down looking at the ground. I wouldn't look at anyone. I'm not the most self-aware person so when I compared the two it hit me all at once. That a lot of my 'shyness' through the years has been more a lack of confidence than anything else.
Because while I'm not fully comfortable in certain social situations and I do have a problem with worrying about what other people think of me, there are lots of times when I'm not shy at all. Like at blogger events. There's something really wonderful about the UK YA book blogging community. It's wonderful to go to events and have those bookish conversations that I so crave and am missing in my normal every day. I have almost no problems, when in a comfortable environment like that, in initiating conversations, speaking to strangers.
And I haven't talked about it on the blog as yet, but I took part in World Book Night this year and it was an amazing experience. There was a slight nervousness beforehand, but I think that feeling was more of a habit than anything else. Because WBN was brilliant.
I really wanted to share books with people this year, having missed out on it last year. I looked at the (really great) list this year knew I wanted to give out a YA book. I'm passionate about young adult fiction and really wanted to share that with the parents and carers of my son's primary school.
Of the three (I believe? was it three?) YA titles on the list this year, I really wanted and was thrilled to have been chosen to give out How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff. I am, as always, keen to celebrate British authors (even when they are originally American like Rosoff!) And it is an incredible book. The best part of the whole event was speaking to people I'd not spoken to before. There were several women I spoke to who told me to pass the books along to other people, as they are voracious readers already. Others I spoke to about making time to read with young children, finding the right type of book to keep you interested after a long, tiring day.
It brought me back to my days of bookselling. Those were the best, the days I miss the most as a stay-at-home mother. That interaction with other people about books and authors and reading. I do miss it.
Sorry this post has been a bit all over the place, but I just found it interesting that at the ripe age of nearly 30, I've finally found my confidence, for whatever reason. And I couldn't be happier about it. And I wonder if some of it can be credited to you, my lovely blog readers, who have given me the confidence through your wonderful support and encouragement. Either way, thank you.