My Lockdown Life | I Built a New Bookshelf & Organised My Sock Drawer…

Lockdown Life Update

So, this is a strange new world we’re all living in. I’m in the UK – where we have been on lockdown for almost three weeks now – and oh my gosh I have never accomplished so many random jobs around the house. As the title of this post alludes to, I have built a new bookshelf (it was from IKEA, I’m not bored enough to make furniture from scratch yet), organised my sock drawer (along with every other drawer and a good portion of my wardrobe), and started scheduling little activities into my calendar just to feel normal again. But honestly? In an embarrassing turn of events, it turns out my normal everyday life looks a lot like a enforced government lockdown. Uh, oops.

When you find out your normal daily life is called "quarantine"

Now I know everyone’s situation will vary, depending on where you are in the world and how much the virus personally affects you. In the UK we’re still allowed to go out to work, if jobs cannot be done from home. I pack and send orders for an online company, which could not be done from home even if I wanted to move a whole warehouse of stock into my living room. (Hint: I don’t.) Therefore I do still get out of the house for a reasonable amount of time every day. Still, this hasn’t stopped a certain amount of stir-craziness creeping in. So, I thought I’d share some updates on the random things I’ve been doing to occupy my time.

πŸ‹ I Built a New Bookshelf πŸ‹

I finally have a BILLY bookcase from IKEA! Am I one of the cool kids now? Jokes aside, I can see why every single bookstagrammer owns at least one of these bookcases now – they’re cheap, as easy to build as you can reasonably expect flat pack furniture to be, and they look good.

My new bookcase is on the right, with the old one on the left. The new one is in need of a few more books (in my opinion, anyway) while the old one is just glad to be relieved of some of its load. My creative stacking techniques for cramming more books than should rightly fit on a shelf has caused the top one to bend! You can probably see it in the picture. We bookworms may struggle under the weight of our TBRs, but think about the poor shelves that have to hold them!

πŸ‹ I Took Up Life Drawing (Again) πŸ‹

In the throes of boredom, and with no plans to look forward to, I decided to set myself a challenge instead. With the help of the Croquis Cafe I’ve been doing a virtual life drawing session every night. It helps to have a routine and something to anticipate doing every night. It’s always good to practice your skills and I honestly can’t think of a better time to start doing it. As a side note, do you like my creative censoring technique? πŸ˜‚ Just a little something I remembered from my old Instagram days.

πŸ‹ I Built a Reading Nook πŸ‹

Lucky for me I’d redecorated my bedroom just before the pandemic actually earned that name. This meant I had a lot of new furniture and decorations to play with. And so, the reading nook was born.

My reading nook
Can you guess what colour my room is?

In all honesty, not that impressive, it’s a rug and three cushions. But it’s comfy and quite soft, so it’s been a nice little spot for me to hide from the world and bury my nose in a book (or two or three).

πŸ‹ I Planted Some Windowsill Seeds πŸ‹

My mum discovered a bunch of half used packets of windowsill seeds so we planted them all on various windowsills around the house. The original idea was to race them. My cress is winning by a mile, and the mustard next to it is starting to come up too. It’s the little things in life.

πŸ‹ I Ordered Bookish Merch πŸ‹

Nevernight shirt

So Jay Kristoff brought out clothing and I threw my money at him. If I’m going to be stuck in my house then you’d best believe I’m doing it in style.

πŸ‹ I Made a TBR Jar! πŸ‹

Okay, this is probably my favourite thing I’ve done so far. I found myself looking at my bookshelves, getting completely overwhelmed and panicking because I just had no idea what to read next. How could I choose when there were so many good options?? So I took the choice out of it. I sat down with a notebook and wrote out the title of every unread book I owned. Then I cut out each one and folded it up so I couldn’t see what was written on them. With that, I shoved them all into a pretty cup, shook it up a bit, and made a vow to never choose what book I was reading again. It’s up to fate now.

So far I’m on my third book from the jar and I’m absolutely loving what it’s done for my reading. The anticipation of finding out what book I’m going to read next just makes me that much more excited to read it – even when it’s something that I would never have chosen before. Reading feels so fun again.

πŸ‹ I Found Out I’m Terrible at Wii Sports πŸ‹

Wii Sports baseball score 0

What do you do when you can’t go outside? Resurrect the Ninendo Wii, it seems. I think me and my mum settled the score once and for all when it comes to who is the worst at Wii Sports baseball: both of us. For starters, I’m British and therefore have no idea how baseball is played. Like, at all. And second, I’m just not that good at Wii Sports. I’m sure going at least 6 years without practising hasn’t helped.

πŸ‹ I’ve Stopped Watching the News πŸ‹

Honestly, I recommend everyone stop watching the news. It’s not good for anybody’s mental health right now. But my favourite thing about this point is what I’ve been watching instead. Rather than putting on the morning news, I put the TV on a kid’s channel and watch cartoons. It’s actually the best way to start your day – they’re so positive and uplifting, full of good moral messages and brightly coloured characters. I’m actually jumping out of bed earlier because I’m excited to go watch Paw Patrol while I eat my breakfast. Seriously, try it! I bet you’ll fall in love with this uplifting start to your day, too.

You may be thinking, “This is all well and lovely, Abi, but where are the books? This is a book blog, after all.” Fear not, my friend! Here is a breakdown of everything I’ve read (so far) during lockdown.

Darkdawn (The Nevernight Chronicle #3) by Jay Kristoff

πŸ‹πŸ‹πŸ‹πŸ‹

I did it! I finished The Nevernight Chronicle! Wowee, what a ride. There’s not much I can say about the last book in a trilogy without venturing into massive spoiler territory, but I will say this: while I’m satisfied with the ending of the story, I think these books were always more about the journey than the destination. Savour them, safe in the knowledge that you’re already enjoying the best bit. You can read my full review on Goodreads.

The Joy of Missing Out: Live More By Doing Less by Tanya Dalton

πŸ‹πŸ‹πŸ‹πŸ‹

Sometimes when I don’t feel too much like reading I’ll just put a self-help audiobook on while I’m working. It’s my personal favourite way to keep my reading goal of one book a week up without forcing myself to put too much effort into reading. It’s quite a cheesy title, but this book explains simple ideas and processes to help you pinpoint your goals and embrace true productivity. Nothing too revolutionary, but I enjoyed listening.

The Accidental Further Adventures of the Hundred-Year-Old Man by Jonas Jonasson

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Ah, Jonas Jonasson – my go-to books when I need cheering up. His particular brand of storytelling is one involving a wacky cast of characters and a ridiculous set of coincidences. Each of his books is brilliantly funny, making me laugh like not much else can. So basically, exactly what I need when the world seems to be falling apart. Lucky for me I had one book of Jonasson’s left that I hadn’t read – this one. So I promptly stuck my nose into it, and came out feeling a lot better than I did before. Nothing lightens the soul quite like laughter.

Silence is Goldfish by Annabel Pitcher

DNF

This was the first book to be picked from the TBR Jar! And after 112 pages I DNF’d it. It was just really not working for me, and when I found myself skimming across whole pages I knew it was time to find something else to read. In all honesty, this was a bit of a cover buy in the first place.

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

πŸ‹πŸ‹πŸ‹

So along came the second book to be pulled from the TBR Jar! A really old NetGalley ARC that was supposed to be reviewed by… wait for it… January 2019. Well, better over a year late than never, I guess. This was a very quick read (I got through it in 3 hours sitting in the garden – the UK had sun this weekend!) which presented an interesting family dynamic. I was slightly disappointed by the lack of humour, considering it was billed as a “blackly comic novel”. In the end it was fairly ‘middle of the road’, so I rated it 3 stars.

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

πŸ‹πŸ‹πŸ‹πŸ‹

Most of you will probably have heard of Jandy’s other novel I’ll Give You the Sun, but I don’t see much about her earlier release The Sky is Everywhere. The two are very similar in terms of the vibrant, exuberant writing, which seems so energetic it just flies off the page. This is a love story intermixed with a tragedy, following Lennie Walker as she falls in love in the wake of her sister’s death. It’s moving and beautiful, as heartbreaking as it is heartwarming. It had everything I adored about I’ll Give You the Sun – magical, passionate writing, crazy, vibrant characters and big, all-consuming love.

So, all in all? This lockdown has helped me get a lot of things done and read a bigger number of books. It doesn’t sound too bad when you think of it that way. Life is going to be a little strange for quite a while, but we all just have to do our best to keep positive and stay safe. Use this time to spend some time focusing on you! Read a book (or two or three or ten). We’ll make it through.

Love and lemons, Abi

18 thoughts on “My Lockdown Life | I Built a New Bookshelf & Organised My Sock Drawer…

  1. Ahh, you’ve been so productive during the quarantine! That’s amazing.πŸ‘πŸΌI’ve been keeping occupied with online school and online dance, but I’ve had a ton of free time as well, and I’ve been reading more and cleaning things out, haha. Your new bookshelves look great! I also absolutely love the idea of your TBR jar, and I might implement something like that as well. It sounds like it’s making reading such an adventure, which is great.☺️ I hope you’re staying safe and healthy, and lovely post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooh, online dance sounds fun! I think tidying up has been everyone’s response to getting trapped indoors, haha. The TBR jar is so much fun, you should definitely give it a go! It is like a little adventure, it’s so fun finding out what you’re going to read next, and it’s taken me to books I might never have gotten round to reading otherwise! πŸ˜„ I’m so glad you enjoyed the post, stay safe!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, you’ve been getting up to so much good stuff! Oddly I sorted out my room before lockdown, so I’m not doing any of that haha. Blogging is keeping me busy, and reading of course! Take care πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You’ve gotten so much done, I’m a little bit envious. πŸ˜… But I’m happy you’ve managed to keep yourself occupied! I’ve been home four a little more than five weeks – I think our lockdown (in Hungary) started a bit earlier than yours, but even before that, when universities closed on the 11th of March, it was pretty obvious we were supposed to stay at home, and not go all around. So that’s what I did.

    Either way, IKEA billy shelves are amazing! I have four of them, the white ones, and I love them so much. I bought them last summer and I agree, putting them together is pretty easy. I’m glad to hear the tbr jar works for you! I’ve created a tbr jar twice in my life, made them all fancy, and then I never, not once read what I picked from it. πŸ˜… I’m a huge mood reader, and cannot be controlled apparently. πŸ˜‚

    Great post, and I hope the rest of your April will go well! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, it turns out I can be quite productive when bored! Oh yes, we’ve only been in lockdown for 3 weeks now so you’ve been stuck in the house for quite a while longer than me! Hopefully you now have some ideas to keep you occupied 😊

      It’s such a good shelf! I would definitely get more of them if I ever get the chance to build the bookworm library of my dreams! I do love the TBR jar but I can totally see why different types of readers wouldn’t – I tend to think I’m a mood reader but then I can never decide what I’m actually in the mood for πŸ€¦β€β™€οΈ so it’s much easier to just have fate tell me what I’m reading πŸ˜…

      Thank you, I hope you have a wonderful month! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  4. HAH I totally relate to awkwardly realizing that my usual routine isn’t that different from quarantine πŸ˜…Oops, indeed. That’s good that you’re still able to get out of the house for work, though – hope you’re staying safe!

    Picking up random hobbies is a great way to spend quarantine, in my opinion. I LOVE your drawings!! Appreciate the creative censoring πŸ˜‰ And your windowsill plants are so cute πŸ˜€ I’ve also been hugely cutting down on the news I read/watch, and it’s definitely improved my mental well-being. Glad to hear you’ve been reading some good books, too! I hope your quarantining continues to go smoothly πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m staying as safe as I can outside the house – I don’t remember the last time I touched a door handle with anything other than my elbow, haha πŸ˜‚

      The random hobbies are definitely good for staying entertained. Windowsill plants are adorable and tasty too – I got to eat some of the cress in a sandwich today 🌱 I’m glad to hear it, it can be such a relief to just turn off the news.

      I’m really focuing on getting through my physical TBR – I’m actually trying to race the lockdown, haha. Though I’m conflicted because if I win I won’t be able to go out to the bookshop. Hmm… πŸ€”

      I hope you’re doing well and that you get to read some good books 😊

      Like

  5. Ahh… I loved reading this post!! Also this ” In an embarrassing turn of events, it turns out my normal everyday life looks a lot like a enforced government lockdown.” I can relate to, obviously there have been changes but it hasn’t been the biggest life change on a personal level!!
    YES I was so excited when I got a Billy bookshelf and it felt like I could join the community haha, it is a thing!!
    Your life drawing is so good, I love it!! (and did like the careful placements of your pens). I have been drawing more lately, it has been so fun to do with audiobooks!!
    Wii Sports, yes I used to love it so much. I think tennis and golf were my favourites!! I was terrible too but it was fun!!
    And you’ve read quite a few books, I’m glad you found some good ones!! Also I finally read The Gentlemen’s Guide to Vice and Virtue and I really enjoyed it. I did know what scene you were on about, so funny!! Monty is hilarious!!
    I hope you are staying safe and well!! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, I’m glad I’m not the only one!!

      It’s totally a thing! They’re like THE bookshelf and now I understand why! Ooh, I don’t think I’ve tried drawing while listening to an audiobook but it sounds like a great idea. I get so fidgety, I can’t just sit and listen to one without doing anything else so drawing would be ideal.

      Ah yay, you read it!! It’s so great, I just want to go reread it for a good laugh. I love Monty, you want to shake some sense into him at times but he’s undeniably funny!

      You too, stay safe! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Not at all!! πŸ˜…

        Haha yep !!! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ Yes I love it because I’m the same I struggle to just sit and listen but it works really well with drawing I find !!

        Haha it was really good and yes that is a great way to describe Monty !! πŸ˜‚

        Thank you πŸ’›

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I went on a bit of a cleaning binges & rearranged my desk & my bookcases (rainbow 🌈 yes I definitely have too much time on my hands)
    A TBR jar is defo a good idea I just don’t have many physical TBRs at the moment. Anyway, continue trying not to die πŸ’•

    Liked by 1 person

        1. I just had a look round again to see if it had improved since last time, all of my books are black, white, blue, red, or yellow, and there’s one orange. That’s it! Maybe one day I’ll get a rainbow *sighs wistfully*🌈

          I feel like green is very rare for books! Fangirl is the only green book I can think of πŸ€”

          Liked by 1 person

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