Thoughts On Reading During Difficult Times

Book Stack

I had grand plans to tackle my to read pile, or at least make a dent in it, while stuck at home. That hasn’t happened. I have finished two books over the last two weeks, which is much lower than normal. 

The days are running together. I now have three college kids at home doing online classes for the rest of  the semester. My husband had to close his business and is home for the next two weeks. My schedule, along with everyone else’s, has been thrown off. I am sure you are feeling the same way. 

My reading life has not been a priority, but in an effort to get back some normalcy, I am going to start planning some time in my day to read.

Reading is my escape. It is relaxing and fun. It takes me to a different time and place. It helps me escape into a different world.  

Reading is that way for many people. It is our hobby. Our way to relax and unwind. But how do you do that during difficult times? How do you escape into a different world when all the news around us is hard? 

I wish there was an easy answer for that. I am not sure there is one except to find what you enjoy reading the most. Part of the joy of reading is that we can make it fit us. What I find relaxing, you might not.

So right now, I am reading a mix of fun slightly cheesy books and more serious nonfiction books. 

The last week I kept starting and stopping books. I would read a chapter or two and just couldn’t keep going. None of the books were bad. They just weren’t the right books for me at this moment.  

The Splendid and The Vile

But then I picked up Erik Larson’s new book, The Splendid and The Vile, this week. I choose it for my book of the month book but  hadn’t started reading it until now.

So far I am really enjoying it and that surprised me. Not because I didn’t think I would like the book, I loved the last book by Erik Larson that I read, so I knew I would like this one too. 

What surprised me was that I was enjoying a serious book right now. Why am I enjoying it? I think it is because it puts our current events into perspective. There is something about reading of other people’s trials that helps you see yours differently. 

One of the things that has stood out to me about The Splendid and The Vile is the leadership. I can’t imagine bearing the load that the leaders and heads of countries did during WWII. The decisions they made on a daily basis effected so many lives. 

Today’s events are very different, but I can’t imagine the load the leaders around the world have carryied in the past and now during our current problems. 

The Mitford Murders

And on a total opposite extreme I am also currently reading The Mitford Murders. It is a mystery based on a real life family in the 1920’s. I am only a few chapters in but so far it is good. 

The Pale Rider

Grace is currently reading Pale Riders, a book about the Spanish flu and the history of the flu. She admits it might not have been the best choice of books for right now, but she is determined to finish it. It is a good book yet it might not be the best time to read a book about the flu and pandemics. 

At Home in Mitford

I think my next book might be one from the Mitford series, which is a totally different series than the one I mentioned above. 

I love the Mitford series by Jan Karon. It is like Anne of Green Gables for adults. I have a couple of books left in the series to read, and I think now might be the perfect time to pick them up. 

What are you currently reading? Has your reading life suffered this week? 

Leave a Comment