A new year means new possibilities and a chance to set some new goals. While we’re nearing the end of January (time flies!), and 2021 is still feeling a lot like 2020, I’ve already begun to add a number of things on my roster as far as leisure pursuits go. Here’s how I’m kicking off my 2021 in video games, TV, and books.
Some stories are just too good you don’t want them to ever end. You’ll want to spend as much time with the characters you have come to care about, or the world is just too amazing not to stay in it a little bit longer.
This is how I felt about the video game Final Fantasy XV. It’s one of the few games that stuck with me after I finished it and I welcomed the new content they kept adding onto it. When Square Enix announced the cancellation of their planned DLCs for episodes Aranea, Lunafreya, and Noctis, I was disappointed. I was really looking forward to playing them. When a book was later announced to finish up the story of the main game, I was quick to buy it as soon as it came out.
It’s hard to imagine we’re only a few months away from the end of 2020, which will go down in history as one of the strangest, tumultuous, and bleakest times we have endured. Just because the year hasn’t lived up to what we had hoped it would be doesn’t mean the world stops turning. I’m eager to put the summer heat behind me and welcome back the cool crisp autumn air.
While I may have been staring at the same walls for months now, I’ve managed to keep myself busy with plenty of books, games, and some movies. Here’s what I’ve been filling my days with.
One of the silver linings I found during this time of great upheaval and uncertainty is my easy access to a variety of reading material. Thanks to a small, but sizable pile of books I have in my unread pile, I have been ticking off books as read in the last few months. After discovering an Amazon Prime membership also entitles me to add a maximum of 10 e-books from their collection, mostly classics and older books, to load onto my iPad through the Kindle app for free, this hungry reader won’t be left wanting for books. As I devoured book after book, a curious pattern began to emerge—the need to swap the form my book took.
There have been times I wish I didn’t have a lot I was interested in like anime, manga, video games, classic literature, comic books, and writing. I often thought it would be easier if I just had less to focus my attention on during my downtime. I still think that way, but having your hand in so many pots does come in handy when you’re suddenly thrust into a global health crisis no one could have ever saw coming.
I’ve written about how some escapism is necessary right now to cope with the uncertainty we’re living in. It keeps you sane and prevents you from unraveling. The past four months in lockdown has me turning to fantasy as a way of dealing with a world that no longer looks familiar.
After making a better commitment to fit more reading time into my schedule last year, I thought it would be helpful to finally give the Goodreads app a shot. Although my adoption of the app has been woefully late, compared to other passionate book readers, I can’t imagine going without it. Since writing a post last year about my initial impressions of Goodreads it has continued to be one of my most used apps on a daily or weekly basis. Again, what took me so long to finally become a Goodreads convert?
When it comes to appreciating the smaller things in life, especially in this time of upheaval, I’m grateful to have such a wide and varied number of interests to get through this pandemic. If you’re able to stay home during this public health crisis to keep yourself and others safe, one of the things you might be wondering about is what do you do to keep yourself busy and sane until it’s all over? In my case I’m glad I’m able to hop from one hobby to the next without ever really getting bored. I’ve talked about writing, gaming, and watching shows to pass the time. Another thing I’ve been doing to keep my mind occupied, and taking a much needed break from the bleak news out there, is reading.
Everyone comes into a new year with the best intentions to do something different about their lives. Make a change or start fresh. But halfway into a month or two, we either procrastinate on the resolutions we swore we would do or the bit of progress we did make gets abandoned before the year even ends. I am certainly guilty of this, like so many others, but you get to a point in your life where you have to decide if the goal you want to achieve is still something you really want deep down inside. I’ve reached that turning point with my writing.
When it comes to reading books I tend to be more old school. I’ve been, for the most part, adamantly against adopting the new technological forms of consuming books. Whether it’s e-books or audio books, I’ve shunned them both in favor of the more traditional way of owning and reading a book. I enjoy the way a book feels in my hands and the smell of the paper when I open it to the first page. You can’t get a similar experience with an e-book and audio book. Just when I thought I would never ever download an e-book or listen to an audio book, I found myself in situations where my own words are coming back to bite me in the ass.
Smartphones are pretty nifty devices. All the conveniences and ease you could ever want is at the touch of your fingertips thanks to the millions of apps out there seeking to make your life that much simpler. Apps are changing the way we do online shopping, ordering food, or even paying for in-store purchases with a quick tap. The tricky part is wading through the overwhelming amount of options users have to find the hidden gems of the pack. One of those standout apps, especially if you’re an avid reader, is the Goodreads app.