• Ben Pechey

Reading is Fundamental


Oh hello darling and welcome to a brand new month off content, for the final month of 2019 I am tying up any loose ends, and giving you the last threads of thought on my mind. Welcome to Housekeeping Month.

To kick this month off, I wanted to discuss one of the key features of my year; the now legendary All-Star Sunday Book Reviews. My weekly Sunday book review has required me to read a book a week. Until I tried to do this, I have never read so much in my life. This may sound very inconsequential, but as someone with dyslexia, who struggled with English and Literacy all through school, this is an achievement.

By the end of 2019, I will have read around 50 books, which for me is a major achievement. In a year that has been emotionally hard going, books have offered me an escape, and in a sense have helped me massively.

On a purely practical level, if I didn’t read I wouldn’t be able to sleep, so for that, I am eternally grateful. Yet I have experienced thoughts and feelings outside the range of my own, brought cultures and experiences I have never been through, and in general had my horizons very much broadened.

I thought a good way to bring you some of the light and love that these books have shown me, is to share some of the words that have stayed with me this year.

I could have shared thousands with you but have reined it in, so you don’t have to read forever!

“Adversity is like a strong wind. I don't mean just that it holds us back from places we might otherwise go. It also tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that afterward we see ourselves as we really are, and not merely as we might like to be.”

― Arthur Golden, Memoirs of a Geisha

“If someone asks you how you are, you are meant to say FINE. You are not meant to say that you cried yourself to sleep last night because you hadn't spoken to another person for two consecutive days. FINE is what you say.”

― Gail Honeyman, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

“Make sure, as often as possible, you are doing something you’d be happy to die doing.”

― Matt Haig, The Humans

“No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow.”

― Alice Walker, The Colour Purple

“You live through certain things before you understand them. You can’t always take the analytical position.”

― Sally Rooney, Conversations with Friends

“If I do not keep on testing my limits, my comfort-zone shrinks back. Challenges that had seemed comfortable one year took courage to achieve the next. I do not want to get into that position again, so onwards and outwards.”

― Philippa Perry, How to Stay Sane

'It's not my body that's holding me back. I think it's more of a problem that people tell me my body should hold me back.”

― Bethany Rutter, No Big Deal

“If we hadn’t done this there’d always have been things we wouldn't have known, a part of ourselves we wouldn't have found, resilience we didn't know we had.”

― Raynor Winn, The Salt Path

“Happiness is not a possession to be prized, it is a quality of thought, a state of mind.”

― Daphne Du Maurier, Rebecca

These words have stayed with me, and have offered me a thought process that has offered me a new way to think. This has been a year filled with new perspectives that have enriched my life in positive ways I couldn’t have imagined. So in 2020, I am going to continue to read just as much, to boost my sanity and my welling.

If you want to see the books I have read and loved this year, as well as the ones I loved less, there is a highlight on my Instagram bio, with a review of ALL the books I have read.

Thank you as always, for doing me today. I hope I have inspired you to get reading, or given you book ideas if you are looking for your next page-turner! I will be back next week, where I will be discussing glamour, see you then…

Shot by Rachel Pechey

Shop my Lewk:

Coat: ASOS Curve

Jumper: Matalan **Gifted**

Trousers: Marks and Spencer

Boots: ASOS

Earrings: Becca Jewellery


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Ben Pechey

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