Two weeks ago, I embarked on something I knew I was going to be a challenge. I was about to go on holiday, and there was going to be – shock horror – no WiFi! While that statement is somewhat sarcastic, I did feel a sense of trepidation at the knowledge that I would not be able to access the Internet for over a week. I spent a rather large amount on the Internet, for social media and blogging purposes, but also for school and independent research into extra tasks. However, I did want to really test my dependence on the Internet, so I decided to add an extra layer to the challenge and say that even if I somehow did find free WiFi while away, I wouldn’t use it. If I was going to do this, I wanted to do it properly.
A lot of the time if I have a few free minutes, I will spend them on Twitter, and if I have a free hour, I write a blog post. Seeing as I didn’t have the Internet or my laptop, in my free time I went back to what used to be my reaction – find a book. Seeing as I was offline for just over eight days, this meant that I had rather a lot of time which I spent reading.
On Day 1, a Friday, my Internet ban started just after UKYA chat (if you want to know more about Twitter chats, I wrote about Twitter chats for book bloggers here). I finished Bone Gap by Laura Ruby, which I’d started previously, and then I began The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson, as I wanted to tackle my middle grade TBR.
On Day 2, I finished The Goldfish Boy, and then moved on The Road to Ever After by Moira Young, which I had been meaning to read for over two months. Then I started Welcome to Nowhere by Elizabeth Laird, and got about halfway through.
On Day 3, I finished Welcome to Nowhere and then read the whole of Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index by Julie Israel, a proof which I received from my local independent bookshop because of my role as a youth reviewer for them. Then I continued reading Optimists Die First by Susin Nielson, which I’d already started.
On Day 4, I finished Optimists Die First, then started Octavio’s Journey by Miguel Bonnefoy, a very short novel (under 100 pages!) which is translated from French, set in South America. Then I kicked off with Nutshell by Ian McEwan, which I reviewed very recently on my blog.
On Day 5, I finished off Nutshell, and then got started on One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus, another book I received from my local bookshop. I had heard so much about it, so I was very excited to read it.
On Day 6, I finished off One of Us is Lying, and then moved on The Colour Purple by Alice Walker, which I was technically reading for school, but was also very interested in reading anyway – a mixture of fascinating and at times horrifying in my opinion.
On Day 7, I finished The Colour Purple, and then made a start on How to Be Both by Ali Smith, which I felt I had to read as I’ve had it recommend to me by so many people, and because it has won so many awards.
On Day 8, my reading started to slow down a little as I realised that I hadn’t done much homework, and that I should really be doing that! Nonetheless, I managed to finish off How to Be Both and made a (albeit brief) start on Orangeboy by Patrice Lawrence, a book I’ve been meaning to read for ages.
On Day 9, I simply continued reading Orangeboy. My reading pace was certainly a step down from what I’d managed previously, but I did do three hours of homework, so that probably had something to do with it (and it was a good use of time!).
On Day 10, I was reunited with the Internet! I still managed to finish off Orangeboy. My blog didn’t particularly feel my absence, as I had some posts scheduled, and some tweets lined up to promote them, but I did miss keeping up with the happenings of the bookish world on Twitter.
So this is my reading wrap up for the eight and a bit days during which I was WiFi-less. While I do not want to repeat the experience any time soon, I think it helped me appreciate the impact WiFi has on my life, and I saw how much I managed to do without the Internet to distract me. I might try it again – although definitely not for a while – and would recommend doing so to others (although maybe not for eight days, as it was quite a long time!). My sister did the same challenge, and she wrote a wrap up on her blog, My Shelf & Myself as well.