In these troubling times we must catch comfort where we can, though we did not know it at the time, each of the dozens or hundreds of purchases, gifts, or inheritances of books was preparing for just a time like this. We stocked up on canned goods for our pantries a month ago, we have stocked up on books for our shelves our whole lives. Now is the time to enjoy them.
To paraphrase James Wright’s lament while lying in a hammock at William Duffy’s farm in Pine Island, Minnesota, I have wasted my quarantine. Or, rather, I have continued reading at the same pace as I did pre-virus; the temporal vacuum created by work’s absence has been filled by things like housecleaning, organization projects and yardwork. I’m still meandering slowly through Montaigne’s Essays and various Shakespeare plays before bed each night. All the spring library sales are postponed indefinitely, and buying new books is not a luxury to be indulged for the time being. There is no hurry, no desire to cram more reading into this state of suspended animation. When normality returns, reading will continue unhurried and unchanged, as reliable as a metronome. If it takes house arrest to turn your attention toward your books, well…
April 8, 2020 @ 2:19 pm
Work for me as a PR guy has been busier than before “the Covid” but I still had hopes of reading more while stuck at home. Nope. I’m not even keeping up my standard pace. I’m really disappointing myself.
April 8, 2020 @ 3:49 pm
You should have gotten confined with some annoying relatives. Then you’d take every opportunity to hide somewhere with a book.
April 8, 2020 @ 6:45 pm
I’m not reading more now, but slower, and loving it.