“What the heck am I reading?” I whisper to myself as I download my sixth chick lit book for the week.
Call it social distancing, self-isolation, or quarantine - whatever it is, it has my reading habits all up in a tizzy. For starters, I don’t really read chick lit, rom-coms or any other phrasing you would like to use for that genre. I would say for every 30 books I read there is one that fits this description. It’s just not my genre of interest. I like dystopian, sci-fi, fantasy, and all that fake jazz. I like to read books that take me out of the real world. I mean…live in the real world, I don’t need to read about it. Take me somewhere with magic and dragons or different planets and species. That’s my jam.
So, what on earth is going on with my reading?
Maybe it feels like we’re actually living one of those dystopian novels (a very light version of one though – let’s be real, we still have the WiFi), so my reading has turned to love stories with happy endings. The simplicity of a miscommunication that separates the main characters and will be resolved in the next hundred pages seems like such a relief when everything else around us is up in the air.
Let’s not stop at rom-coms though. I said my reading habits were up in a tizzy and I wasn’t exaggerating. I’ve been self-isolating for two weeks now, and I have read twenty books. How am I doing it? I have no idea. For some of you, this might seem a little excessive, but plausible, but for me this is a rare occurrence. I can go months without thinking of books, completely consumed by podcasts or television.
Don’t get me wrong, I love books and I love reading. But I rarely feel like I have the time anymore. Reading is such a singular activity. You have to sit down with a book and do nothing else. Maybe you can listen to music in the background, but let’s face it, you’re stuck with just you and the words on the page. With a million other things to do, I rarely indulge in this, which means I lean heavily on audiobooks. With audiobooks I get the story, but I can clean my house, put on makeup, take a walk with my dogs, or draw…the options are endless. But even then, I'm usually not particularly into the audiobooks themselves.
But not during quarantine.
My reading habits have taken a 180 degree turn since quarantine started. Sure, it’s the perfect time to get caught up on projects, but everything about this time feels weird and fake and like it just doesn’t count. My normal life keeps me pretty busy, so I’m using this time to do what I want, because who is going to judge me for reading? I’m staying indoors. I’m keeping to myself (maybe to an unhealthy level?). I’m reading more books (that’s right, physical books!) than I have in years, and I’m thriving.
People keep asking me if I’ve watched the latest Netflix release, and I have to keep disappointing them. *sigh*
Oh well, time to read another sappy love story!
I’m trying to ride this book binge out as long as I can because I know once I pop this bubble, I’m not going to pick up a book for months. I’ll inevitably fail at the PopSugar Challenge, and my bookshelf will, once again, collect dust.
Times are weird. They’re tough for a lot of people. Remember that you don’t have to use this time to write the “Next Great American Novel,” you don’t have to create the number one podcast, or organize your entire house. Maybe you just want to sit down with a book and DO NOTHING. Go for it. You do whatever you need to do to get you through this weird, mildly dystopian narrative we are currently living.