I hope everyone reading this is healthy and safe during your respective COVID-19 stay-at-home situations. It seems like every network morning show has been chronicling efforts to avoid boredom during this global pandemic. Many people have been locked down with their families, often with small children, and have been finding ways to while away the hours. From binge watching, video games, and Zoom chats to making masks and finding ways to support local businesses – folks have gotten very creative.
The past few years I have made a concerted effort to read more books. I am guilty of acquiring books and not reading them on multiple counts. Sometimes it is the mere shopping and purchasing that excites me. I love books and I loved being surrounded by them. So, a couple of years ago I challenged myself to read more. And as successful as I was in that endeavor, nothing has contributed to my reading fix as this shelter-in-place reality.
I reset the count every January and I started the year off strong with five books completed up until March 5. Since stay-at-home, I have read 19 more for a total of 24 for the year so far. I have never read so much in my life. And my selections have been all over the place. From science fiction, Stephen King, and thrillers to Beat, classics and controversial – I have been all over the place with my selections. Of the 24 I have read, I think I have only disliked four.
I have recently written on my personal blog that I am a fan of Stephen King and I was mortified at how little of his work I have actually read. I list him as one of my greatest influences, yet, to-date, I have only read 18 of his books. As much as I have taken the opportunity to burn through my TBR pile, I have decided to read the last three novels in Dean Koontz’s Jane Hawk series, and then binge read King. I have a stack of King’s books, novels and short story collections, at the ready. I won’t have to buy any new ones of his for quite awhile. I only hope I can maintain my current pace.
It is commonly accepted that to be a good writer, one must read and read a lot. I subscribe to this theory. You would think that during this situation I would be writing a lot as well. I am not an anxious person by nature, nor do I suffer from anxiety. However, there is a paralyzing cloud hovering over my creativity. I have written about 9,000 words in my current project, not nearly as much as I probably should have in two-and-a-half months. For those of you who have read my books, and enjoyed them, rest assured more is coming. Once the idea spigot was turned on, it has yet to shut off. I just need to get past the malaise I find myself in.
So, if you are bored and looking for something to do and you have yet to crawl into your preferred reading nook with a good book, might I suggest you do so. And if I may be so bold, I encourage you to curl up with one of mine. Obviously, Amazon is always open, but if you can find a way to support your local indie bookseller, I hope that you would.