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Reading Books

Bibliophilia in the Time of Corona: Remembering How To Read

There were times during the postpartum haze when I felt like I was losing my words. My main companion spoke in gurgles and “ahhhhs” and there weren’t nearly enough adults around with whom to throw around thought-provoking banter. I remember thinking, “I used to read…I used to know big words.” 

Somehow along the line, screen time came to replace books, and the intricate landscapes painted by lush prose were superseded by emojis and memes. Post-mass migration to social media platforms for our reading pleasure, humanity was hit by the likes of something we’ve never seen before: COVID-19. The rapid-fire unfolding of this pandemic is changing our routines, our sense of freedom, and our access to normal pastimes. Many are finding themselves jobless, with children at home to educate, and scrambling for activities to busy themselves and escape the paranoia and apocalyptic predictions jumping out from their screens.

To me, it seems like the perfect time to get back to the basics: plant some seeds, cook some food, be with nature, read a good book. Except…I’ve almost forgotten how the heft of a hardback feels in my hands. I don’t know that my mind can handle all those words at once, without photos of friends and their pets dotting the page to distract me from anything too deep.

So how does one go about reading books again? How do we find favorite authors, subjects to explore, classics we never covered in school? I have endeavored to present you with some resources and recommendations in this nifty little list. All is not lost, friends! You can become a book reader again. It may take some practice staying away from your phone for longer periods of time…but I’m guessing you’ll stumble upon an especially captivating read and will be struggling to put it down at bedtime before you know it. Remember how that feels?

How to Become a Book Reader Again:

  1. Ask for recommendations. No one said you have to abandon social media entirely. Utilize it to reach out to friends and ask what they’ve been reading.
  2. Read more of our blog! We are often featuring noteworthy books and have many, many lists according to category, features on specific authors and genres, and posts about books by subject matter.
  3. Find out what everyone is raving about at The New York Times Best Sellers list.
  4. Browse used books by genre and subject matter at Biblio here.
  5. Get lost at Publishers Weekly for a moment, and read reviews on new publications.

Here are some books I came up with while poking around that I plan to tackle. Post a list of books you plan to read in the comments below!

  1. The City Gardener’s Handbook: The Definitive Guide to Small-Space Gardening, by Linda Yang.
  2. Untamed, by Glennon Doyle.
  3. A Song for a New Day, by Sarah Pinsker.
  4. A Field Guide to Mushrooms of the Carolinas, by Alan E.; Bessette, Arleen R.; Hopping, Michael W. Bessette.
  5. The Geography of Bliss: One Grump’s Search for the Happiest Places in the World, by Eric Weiner.

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