Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Reading in times of covid

41 Comments

I thought I had lost my love of reading somewhere in the middle of this past year of covid testing and isolation. But Goodreads says I entered the year not enjoying my very first book, Writing in Flow, Keys to Enhanced Creativity by Susan Perry.

“I just couldn’t get into it. I’ll try again.”

I didn’t try again.

And the last book I reviewed, Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout didn’t fare any better.

“I love her writing but I’m glad this one is done.”

There are other reviews for the thirty-four books I read in 2021, but I don’t have the patience to go read the reviews I wrote to find out how many I actually enjoyed. And when I puruse the list I can’t remember the plot to any of them.

In October when I finished the Strout book I had no idea that I wouldn’t read or review another one the rest of the year.

Not reading is troubling. I have always loved to read. I miss reading. You’d think in times of stress that reading would give me an escape, that I’ve be buried in books.

And, in fact, I have plenty of books to read. I’ve started several. There are books about my camera that I need to read, books I’ve seen on daytime television that I’ve purchased impulsively, a book my aunt lent me sits on the table next to my chair.

I have no “number of books read” goal for 2022. Rather, I think, my goal this year will be to find again the pleasure of reading. I should probably start soon. January is almost half over. Who has a recomendation for something light, happy, hopeful or heartwarming?

I could sure use a librarian about now.

My anti-reading dog.

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

41 thoughts on “Reading in times of covid

  1. The pandemic certainly takes its toll, mentally as well as physically. Did you read as a child? If so, what were your favorite books? Perhaps you could revisit some of them. Their simple, direct storylines just might do the trick. For an adult book, I would recommend “The Fortnight in September” by R.C. Sherriff. Written in the 1930s, “Fortnight” is a quiet book about an English family going to their favorite seaside place for a yearly vacation. Nothing much happens, but the the passing of time thrums through the novel. And despite the family’s quirks, it is clear that Sheriff loves and respects them all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • What a great suggestion, to go back to reading books you liked as a child. First one that came to my mind was Anne of Green Gables. Hard to not be cheered by even the memory of that one 🙂 Another cheery book I recently started to read is Factfulness. Hans Rosling, the author, shows by using a LOT of data and boundless humor, how things are actually improving despite what we may think to the contrary (disclaimer: the book was written pre-Covid…)

      Liked by 1 person

    • Love this idea about reading our favorite childhood books! I suggest The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame … such a Classic.
      And just think while you walk in the woods with your sweet Katie, this book makes you think of all the “Life” that is going on in the forest. ☺️
      I joined a Book Club with a few Gal Pals and it has brought back the love for reading for me. Hope you find your way back………

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    • Thank you for the recomendations!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I would also recommend any of the Miss Read books, if you haven’t already read them.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Katie! And hi to you, too, Dawn. 🙂

    I went through a spell of having trouble reading and it concerned me, too, because reading is something I have always loved. I finally started reading again sometime towards the end of last year. I wish I had some good recommendations for you. The best book I’ve read in ages was The Overstory by Richard Powers (read it in 2019) but I don’t think it would meet your qualifications of being light, happy, hopeful or heartwarming. I do enjoy the weirdness of Haruki Murakami but again, not sure he’s considered light or heartwarming.

    I received a gorgeous card in the mail yesterday. It has a beautiful hummingbird on it, one that I will frame. Thank you so much. It means a lot.

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  4. Dawn, I’ve enjoyed reading the books by Viola Shipman. This is an author who lives in Michigan and the settings are around places on the west coast of Michigan. The Charm Bracelet, The recipe Box, The Heritage Garden and the latest, The Secret of Snow. The author uses his grandmother’s name as his pen name.

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  5. I always go to my favorite not-for-profit bookstore when they have $1 book sale. Anything that catches my eye goes into my cart. It is never something current, but that’s OK. I don’t really want to read the latest and greatest–I just want to read.

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  6. While delivering mail I have gotten into Audible books. Just like the book, except someone reads them to you. Even when I retire, I know I will continue to enjoy books this way. I would give that a try, it is like storytelling. Also if you haven’t read Louise Penny’s books – there is a series. I love them on Audible.

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    • When I was going back and forth to Ann Arbor for school I listened to books too, and loved it. USed to sit in the garage to finish a chapter rather than go right inside. I’d have to figure out a way to listen again as cars don’t have cd players any more!

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  7. I empathize, Dawn. I’ve been that way with writing this past year — not a word (on my novel, that is). I think it’s called “pandemic stress,” and it manifests in all sorts of weird behavior. Additionally, you’ve got a beautiful but senior pup with some health challenges, and that’s been occupying your mind. The last book I read that I truly loved was The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah. It’s about the Great Depression, so parts are really sad, but that puts what we’re going through right now in perspective. And the ending is really hopeful.

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  8. Hmmm…I think I’m gonna have to check back in and read some of the recommendations.
    I will add a few myself. 1) This Tender Land (William Krueger) 2) Peace Like a River (Leif Enger)
    3) My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry (Fredrick Backman)

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  9. I’ve been reading a lot during these pandemic years – a habit I had gotten out of for too long. I found I didn’t want to read anything heavy and started looking for lightweight novels to offset the daily news – especially back in the Trump days. I inadvertently joined Kindle Unlimited, so I’ve found several authors that were previously unknown to me – one I’ve enjoyed when I just wanted escape from the real world was Maddie Dawson – easy reading, rather predictable, but very likable characters.

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  10. I’m no librarian and I had the same “not reading” issues even though I did get through 25 books last year. I agree, finding the “love to read” spirit is high on my list. Some of my problem is my other hobbies, photography and video games. I’m off to a good start this year, one photography book completed, about 25% through a second and I’m 35% done on a thriller on my Kindle. This cold weather helps me curl up under the covers with a book…

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    • I think other hobbies do play a role in my problem. I also think too much time on social media, where I don’t have to concentrate more than a minute or two on any one thing is a problem. I’m going to keep trying.

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  11. The Soul of an Octopus and The Good Good Pig, both by Sy Montgomery.

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  12. I got back into reading at the beginning of the pandemic. I am on good reads and my list has grown- those recommended and not so much. Let’s find each other! I read a lot of Ann Patchett, Bel Canto is wonderful, The Alice Network another favorite, The Midnight Library, Rules of Civility and A Gentleman in Moscow, The Language of Flowrrs, The Heart’s Invisible Furies, What We Carry…

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  13. Sometimes it feels impossible to read anything at all. Other times I’ll just read spiritual books. Or will go through fiction for awhile, and then non-fiction. I’m not sure if the pandemic has affected my reading or not, but I can sure relate to what you shared here.

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  14. I’ve read fewer books since the pandemic changed our lives. I find I cannot focus like I used to, but I’ve decided that I’ll forgive myself for being a laggard about reading. As for a light happy novel I’d suggest How the Penguins Saved Veronica by Hazel Prior. A blogger recommended it to me, and I did enjoy it. It’s a hoot, the main character is a bit like Olive Kitteridge!

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  15. I would suggest Anne of Green Gables truly delightful read! I also really enjoyed the Persian Pickle Club! Hope you get your reading MO JO back!

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  16. I’ve had the same problem/reaction. I just can’t find anything that’s a good read. Two exceptions are “Frog Hospital” by Fred Owens, and “Leaning into the Wind”, edited by Linda Hasselstrom. Each of them includes very short writings by Fred or short writings by women who live on the plains of North America. I’m loving both of them.

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