One of my earliest posts to this blog was about my love of audiobooks. It is a topic I retouch on often. Same with ebooks. Book format over the last several years hasn’t mattered much to me. I find audiobooks are great for listening to while I work, cook, clean, and take long meandering walks in my neighborhood. Learning to love audiobooks gave me a new way to explore my reading, and gave me a way to fit in reading time during time I considered lost, like my morning commute.
I have a similar relationship to ebooks. I’ve had a kindle for years. I’ve love how easy it is to carry around several books with just a light device. It is amazing I can sync the kindle app on my phone with my physical kindle, so even if I have left my kindle at home I can continue a story. I love that I can read my Paper White in bed with the lights off. I’m not a great sleeper and regularly find myself up around 3am while my boyfriend snores. The low light lets me read without waking him up or leaving the comfort of my pillows and blankets.
But the last few weeks I have had a hard time getting into any book on my kindle. I’ve started several audiobooks just to let them languish half finished. I began to worry that the lack of focus I had back in march
Except, I’m still reading. I still enjoy falling into a story. I just need it to be with a physical book.
I’ve spent a significant amount of time this past week talking with my cowokers about how they are balancing the work-from-home life with normal home life. We were not readily able to work from home before our shut down, so everything about the last two months has been new. That includes creating offices out of kitchen tables, dogs as coworkers, and more screen time than ever.
It seems like now my world is mostly screens. I have nothing but virtual meetings, which are exhausting on a social and physical level. I am in several group chats with friends and family, and have a few friends that I know I need to check in on as they quarantine alone. This means I’m on my phone more often. Plus any music, podcast, or audiobook is accessed through my phone. All of my news comes from push notifications or twitter scrolling.
Oh, and of course the TV is almost always on in the evenings. In fact the boyfriend and I are watching MASH. We’re watching a lot of MASH. The sole benefit to having so much TV time right now is that we find watching Hawkeye and company is engrossing enough, and late enough in the evening that our phones aren’t buzzing and we don’t feel compelled to check them.
This is all to say that when I really need to decompress, I need to do it with something that isn’t backlit. I still want to spend time wrapped up in a good book, but I am finding I have to revert back to the early 2000’s, to when ebooks and audiobooks weren’t my main form of book consumption and reading time was sacred, planned, and an escape.
So I am still reading. In fact I’m reading more than I have in years, but I am doing it almost exclusively with physical books. I can see my own personal library growing and my shelves sinking under the book orders I have made. I may not have a lot of space but I know these books will represent another shift in my reading habits, and will always leave a mark on my library as quarantine reads.