When it comes to appreciating the smaller things in life, especially in this time of upheaval, I’m grateful to have such a wide and varied number of interests to get through this pandemic. If you’re able to stay home during this public health crisis to keep yourself and others safe, one of the things you might be wondering about is what do you do to keep yourself busy and sane until it’s all over? In my case I’m glad I’m able to hop from one hobby to the next without ever really getting bored. I’ve talked about writing, gaming, and watching shows to pass the time. Another thing I’ve been doing to keep my mind occupied, and taking a much needed break from the bleak news out there, is reading.
Before the pandemic happened, one of my goals, aside from finishing a draft of my manuscript, is to read more books. Just like I have a sizable amount of unplayed video games to go through in the ‘ol backlog, I also have a considerable backlog of books and some graphic novels to read. These have accumulated over the years, either because I’ve gotten them as gifts or I bought the books myself.
Years before I added gaming to my list of personal interests, my whole world mostly consisted of reading, writing, and watching movies/TV. When I converted over to becoming a gamer it became more of a challenge to balance and indulge in all of my hobbies equally. Book reading took a bit of a hit over the years and I was unable to read as many books as I used to. Instead of one book taking me maybe three weeks or a month to finish, it took a year or more. I wound up getting distracted by other things, dedicating more time on gaming or watching TV, and leaving writing and books sorely neglected. Determined to change all that, late last year I vowed I would do more writing and read more books. The pandemic has now made it especially easy to keep this promise and more.
In the last month I’ve finished reading three books. Two of them were audio books and the other was a book from a YA fantasy series, Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, that has been sitting on my shelf for years that I only half read but never finished. The series has a total of four books, and I’m finally on the last one. My renewed commitment to dedicate some of my time to reading more books has not only allowed me to tick off some books I’ve been meaning to read off my list, but it may have also made me a better writer and speed reader.
The extra time indoors has also reminded me what I love about reading—a wonderfully well written tale that can transport you anywhere in the world, characters you want to cheer for (and ones you love to hate), and appreciating the beauty of a sentence, words carefully selected and constructed, to convey a feeling or a place so perfectly that you swear the writer knew exactly what you were thinking.
Embracing other ways to consume books has also ensured I’ll never run out of books to read once I’ve gone through my personal collection. Nothing will ever replace the sensation of holding a physical book in your hands, the way the pages smell when you first open it, but I do love the easy access of downloading an e-book or audio book for instant consumption. Books are great companions and sources of comfort for these hard times, and there’s no better time like now to become a voracious reader.
What kind of books have you been reading?