Monday, June 8, 2020


I am reading sporadically since our province declared a state of emergency last March 18 because of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Under normal conditions, I would portion any book I will read into (at least) five, and then I make sure to finish a portion each day. Rule. But since the lockdown, to pick a book up again was difficult. Oftimes it takes days to nudge me back.

The night used to be my best buddy because it is quiet, the ideal time to read. I already lost count the many times I told myself “just one more chapter” right after finishing the last one. But lately, the idleness of the day leaks into the night, and I would lie awake in bed, not reading at all, wishing the Sandman will be kind.

The last two months of winter were the most challenging as I cannot walk around the park or sit on a bench and read. The best I could do was taking the pup for a quick walk out on the sidewalk.

Boohoo, right? My husband said that it was from the stress of worrying, which is true. So, I thought of ways to bust these pandemic blues away and get my reading mojo back on track.


I’ve been reading with audiobooks before. Although I usually set them aside for walking and long bus rides, I now cling to them more often. I bought the audiobook copies of my most anticipated list from Google Play. I read along while listening as much as I could, but often, I switch to just listening. And those I could not go thru even in audio, I drop. I figured it is not the time to dawdle on things I cannot finish on the first go.


I work mostly from home, even before the lockdown. And so, weekdays leave me eating lunch alone. The house rule is no reading, or internet browsing, or phones while we are having meals together. Technically speaking then, reading while eating on my own isn’t breaking any rules.


I’ve learned the art of heaping snow more efficiently during the lockdown. I’ve emptied all my worries and frustrations into it. Oh yes, that double-truck driveway and sidewalk were no match for me while I was listening to Brittany Pressley and January LaVoy.


I know people who also mastered the "reading while on treadmill" trick. Believe that you can do it too. I listen to audiobooks whenever or however I can squeeze them into whatever I am doing as well. I play them on speakers while cooking, folding the laundry, and (lately) gardening.


While some people make sure to stay away from social media to reduce stress, I go to Twitter and Facebook in search of people who share a story or two. Lucky days turn my searches into gold. Other days, my find could be an animal rescue story too. Then my faith in humanity is restored, and I am happy to pick up my book again.


I joined the latest two online book discussions with my beloved book club. And it turned out my dear bookish friends was all I need to vanish this blues away finally. They made me realize again why I love to read. Nothing thumps the spark of lively chatter. I’ve missed them so much.


Now that the warmer months are here, and the province is phasing its way to reopening public places and the economy, I get to walk in the park longer, seat and read, and drink my coffee in tranquility again. 

My worries, of course, is not more valid than what others may have, and we battle them differently as well. I merely hope my undertakings during these difficult times will motivate you likewise to read your pandemic blues away too.


  1. I've been re-reading some old favourites during lockdown - mainly in bed before lights out - as there's nothing like returning to an old friend. And I often find things I'd missed first time around too :) Lisa

    1. We moved house two years ago and I never got around unboxing the books. This comment just reminded to unearth my books from the boxes down in the basement. I'll start with my favorites. Thanks for this idea, Lisa!