How the Global Pandemic Impacted My Reading

Posted April 21, 2020 by Kim in Discussion / 2 Comments

How the Global Pandemic Impacted My Reading

It feels kinda weird to mix real life with book life, but I think it’s time for some real talk about how this global pandemic has impacted my reading. Spoiler alert: it’s affecting it more than I would’ve expected. And not for the better.

After two less than stellar reading months — at least from a numbers standpoint — in both January and February, I had high hopes for March. It was the month when I was going to catch up on my Goodreads challenge. I was going to make Romanceopoly my bitch. I was giving up driving to work and would use my commuting time to listen to ALL THE AUDIOBOOKS.

Well, friends. None of that happened. Or at least it didn’t happen for longer than a week. Instead, I spent what would usually have been my reading time learning more about COVID-19, prepping for it and staying busy doing everything BUT reading to keep myself from thinking about it too much. I couldn’t shut my brain off. Once I made the decision to leave Virginia and stay in Pennsylvania with my folks for the duration of this, my anxiety eased a little and I did a little bit of reading. Not much, but a little. It’s especially funny to think that early on when this was all unfolding and my office went remote for the foreseeable future I thought “holy crap I’m going to have a lot of extra reading time!” Oh, past Kim. You were so naive.

When I’ve been in the mood to read lately — which isn’t often — I’ve found rereads are my comfort zone. There’s just something about spending time with familiar characters and stories that makes this all a little more bearable. Thank goodness for audiobooks. And also? Novellas. Why haven’t I been reading novellas all along? I’ve knocked several off of my TBR in the last couple of weeks and hope to read several more soon. Maybe May is the month I get back on track with full-length novels. 👀 (Side note: whenever I do read and characters are in a crowd or, you know, touching each other, it takes a lot for me to remember that’s ok because it’s fiction. Maybe that’s why I’m gravitating towards historical romance right now…)

And blogging? Ha! Some folks can channel their anxiety and use their time at home to focus on their hobbies and get shit done. I envy them. I am not one of those folks. Instead, I sit down to think about writing a review and I draw a complete blank. As you can tell from this post, the creative juices are *maybe* starting to churn a little, so perhaps I’ll be able to get some reviews and posts out to the world. It would be a good distraction to myself if I can get it together. At least I’ve been able to get my shit together enough to be pretty consistent with my weekly newsletter.

What am I doing instead? Playing a lot of games on my iPad, mostly. I’m very much in love with Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp. I’ve had to stop myself from buying a Nintendo Switch Lite and Animal Crossing: New Horizons several times now. I’m not sure I’ll make it through this situation without breaking and buying one though. I’ve also picked up a new hobby — sewing! — but I’m limiting myself to doing it on the weekends. I have bought an unholy amount of fabric for book sleeves though… My mom and I have also built quite a few jigsaw puzzles. I love puzzles!

Stay safe and healthy. Take care of yourselves and your family and friends.

Let’s Chat

Has this global pandemic impacted your reading?
For the better or the worse?
Or is it business as usual for you?


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2 responses to “How the Global Pandemic Impacted My Reading

  1. A lot of this rings true for me as well. Like you, I spent a lot of time reading the news at first, trying to stay abreast of developments and figure out what we needed to do. I was doing that even before Virginia (and other states) issued stay-at-home orders — I have been socially distancing since March 9.

    I have worked from home for over 20 years, so that part of it isn’t new. It’s the anxiety, the fear, the uncertainty, and the sadness that get to me, not just regarding myself but concern for other people, those I know and those I don’t.

    My concentration is shot. I can’t stay on any one thing for long. When I read, I am reading mostly comfort rereads, and generally not books with contemporary settings. So hello, historical romance, mystery set in the 1990s or earlier, and fantasy… and also childhood favorites. I knit a bit, but I haven’t done any spinning, and normally I love that. I’ve done a few jigsaw puzzles and played a lot of Merge Magic on my iPad. And I’m preparing fabric to start making masks. (I spent an hour today ironing the fabric I washed yesterday.)

    So I hear you. This situation is unlike anything most of us have ever experienced. It’s not surprising that a lot of us are experiencing shock, denial grief, or anxiety… or several of those at once. Hang in there! We will get through this.

  2. I’m with you. The same is happening to me. I’m looking forward to chatting with you on Friday via Zoom with Teresa. It’ll be good for us to meet and talk about romance ☺️