Now we’re on what feels like lockdown day 951, most of us have begun to get our heads around the fact that we’re going to have a lot more time on our hands for a while. Even those grappling with the ups and downs of home schooling will find moments of quiet during the day and although the temptation to sort out the wardrobes or finally jet wash the garden fence may well take over, it’s important that we indulge ourselves from time to time to avoid getting bogged down by the mundanity of household chores. There’s a reason you haven’t got around to doing them yet and that’s likely because they’re as boring as an evening spent with Spreadsheet Phil.
Anyway, relax, while we’re not about to patronise a la Paltrow and suggest you crack on with that Mandarin course you’ve been meaning to sign up for, or learn to play the bassoon, what we are suggesting is more reading. Not only is there endless scope when it comes to deciding what to read, so even those who don’t necessarily love it will find something they like, the simple act of losing yourself in a book is also good for you and will make you feel happier. An online poll of over 4,000 UK residents taken by the Reading Agency recently revealed that those who regularly read for pleasure reported fewer feelings of stress and depression than non-readers, and stronger feelings of relaxation from reading than from watching television or engaging with technology.
Just to sprinkle a little more science on top of this already pretty persuasive statistic, studies have shown that those who read for pleasure have higher levels of self-esteem and a greater ability to cope with difficult situations such as, hmmm, I dunno, a weird-ass pandemic temporarily restricting our freedom and making loads of people poorly… It’s also associated with better sleeping patterns and adults who read for just 30 minutes a week are 20% more likely to report greater life satisfaction overall.
Sold? Good. We all need a little bit more light relief than normal at the moment, so we’ve taken the liberty of compiling a list of some of the very best reads out there to whet your literary appetite and get you aboard the good ship bookworm.