As coronavirus infections start to shut down Michigan again, I know that many people around the world are facing the same thing. At best, you’ll spend your off hours stuck at home this winter because of cancelled events, closed bars, and a general desire not to get infected.
With all the unscheduled hours of free time probably coupled with a constrained income, reading books remains affordable and perhaps therapeutic. I like watching Netflix too, but I don’t always feel like watching shows.
Enter the humble book as a way to get through the long winter days and nights that await us all.
Signal that you’re having alone time
For those of us with introverted tendencies, sharing a home with family members or roommates who don’t go out, go to school, work at home now, or who’ve lost jobs makes alone time scarce. Sticking your nose in a book is a method for segregating yourself from the household group. Reading signals that you don’t wish to talk although you’ll likely have to explain this to some people who can’t pick up on an obvious hint.
2. Stop doomscrolling
You keep checking the news because deep down you’re hoping for that headline that says it’s all over and life can be normal again. That is not going to happen any time soon, so you might as well as escape from the world by finding a good book.
3. Rediscover the joy of long-form reading
Tweets, updates, posts, memes. These things are nice and serve various purposes, but if they are the only media that you consume, your brain will lose the strength to concentrate. A novel lets you concentrate on another world without resorting to the constant stream of upsetting information clogging the internet. Unplug with a book and build your mind back up.
4. Try a new genre
I totally understand the feeling of fussiness that arises when picking out a book. You want something just right. The need to pass time at home however gives you a chance to broaden your horizons. If you’ve never read a thriller before give one a try. If you’ve never considered historical romance, why not now? Something fresh on your reading list could rekindle your excitement for reading fiction.
5. Get better at managing fear
The world is scary right now…more than usual I guess. Fictional worlds, especially where horrible things happen to characters, allow readers to process their fears in the safe environment of their minds. Fiction can inspire you to be braver because you essentially get to role play dealing with danger through stories.
Many times I’ve found courage by telling myself that if Frodo and Sam can walk alone into Mordor, then I can handle what is in front of me.