Read More During Quarantine: A Guide To Building A Reading List
Start writing a post

Read More During Quarantine: A Guide To Building A Reading List

I know you aren't busy.

Read More During Quarantine: A Guide To Building A Reading List
Photo by Radu Marcusu on Unsplash

When I was younger, I read book after book like there was no tomorrow. Each page was an escape, a way to learn about the world, and a tool to become a stronger thinker. As I've worked through college, though, my passion for reading can't compete with my taxing schedule and my quest towards employment.

Well, not anymore!

I'm staying at home. You're staying at home (I hope). We're all staying at home. Now's the perfect time to fall back in love with books, and here are 12 ways to build your own reading list during this isolation period:

1. Re-read your favorite book.

Mine, When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi, is filled with underlines and stars and sketches of the mountains that Kalanithi metaphorically ascends in this story of a surgeon's fight against cancer. The beautiful thing about re-reading your favorite book is that you already know the story, you've got lines memorized -- it's like a warm-up to dive back into reading.

2. Find a book that matters to your career.

I'm a health policy major, and I absolutely love learning about history. I asked one of my professors for a recommendation about how our healthcare system has evolved in recent history, and he suggested The Social Transformation of American Medicine by Paul Starr. Now's the perfect time to deepen your knowledge about your field, and your professors will be glad to help.

3. Be inspired.

Braving the Wilderness by Brené Brown is next on my list. This book illustrates how we cultivate belonging and rediscover our individualism. Elsewhere on my desk is The Golden Rules by Bob Bowman, Michael Phelps' swim coach. Choosing stories designed to teach us better ways to be ourselves is the perfect way to spend this isolated, introspective period.

4. Read a classic.

The Catcher in the Rye, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Invisible Man -- find any title you recognize, but you've never really read. Understanding classic literature can give insight into how modern writing draws its cues from the past. I've got Heller's Catch-22 and Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea, balancing comedy and tragedy.

5. Explore your family's bookshelves.

I've been ransacking my house's community shelves like a madman. Ethan Coen's Gates of Eden caught my eye because I recognized the author; Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond boasted a Pulitzer Prize (and again, I love reading history); and how could I ignore Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them by Al Franken? Other people's shelves can be a gold mine.

6. Step back and learn about history.

Have I mentioned I enjoy reading history? Next, I've got Night by Elie Wiesel. Reading about the world we've inherited can give you so much perspective about our purpose, our mistakes, and how we can grow.

7. Choose something fun.

My fun book is a throwback: Egghead by Bo Burnham. It's a short book of poems that feels like part of one of his stand-up routines, so it's a nice thing to pick up now and then between other stories. I'd recommend reading your fun books in little empty moments, like right before dinner, or between classes, just to brighten your day.

8. Finally finish ​THAT book.

You know the one I'm talking about. The one you started and forgot about and picked up where you left off and realized you had to start over because you didn't remember a thing but you still haven't finished. That one. Mine's Chaos by James Gleick, an overview of the mathematical science of the chaotic. Yeah.

9. Pick up a skill.

Now that I'm bored out of my mind, all I want to do is pick up new talents and new hobbies. Thanks to How to Grill Everything by Mark Bittman, maybe I'll learn how to be a hit at tailgates when this is all done.

10. Check out a new genre.

If you're rediscovering your love of books, why not branch out a bit? I found a YA novel called Evidence of Things Unseen by Marianne Wiggins at a small bookstore a few months back, and even though it isn't my usual cup of tea, I'm interested to open up to different writing styles.

11. Actually read your textbooks.

I mean, if we're paying for them, I guess this is as good a time as any.

12. Study dystopia.

If you're feeling reflective, 1984, The Lord of the Flies, The Giver, The Handmaid's Tale, even The Hunger Games could be appropriate. Nothing reflects our world better than literature, so now I'm turning to books to guide me bravely through this new world (ha, get it?).

From Your Site Articles
Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

college students waiting in a long line in the hallway

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments