Tag Archives: Reading

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Stories I Wouldn’t Revisit and Why

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.

A closeup photo of about a dozen DVD cases, including cases for Friends, Pulp Fiction, Django, and several other films that don’t have English titles. The original topic for this week asked about books, films, and TV shows that I wouldn’t revisit. I’ve decided to pick one answer from each category.

Book

The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien

Why? 

As much as I enjoyed seeing how everything ended, the pacing of this trilogy was too slow for me to ever revisit it. The long, flowery descriptions of the landscapes, settings, and characters painted a vivid picture in my mind, but they were also so numerous that I did find them a little tedious after a while given how much writing styles have evolved since this series was published.

(The films are still cool, though).

Film

Any action film ever.

Why? 

I do not enjoy this genre. On the rare occasion I watch one, it is usually to make my spouse happy instead of out of any innate desire to see a character break the laws of physics and defy the limits of human anatomy as often as tends to happen in these sorts of stories.

 

TV Show

Old sitcoms.

Why? 

The sexist and homophobic jokes in them. What may have been acceptable 30+ years ago doesn’t always age well in modern times. I do not judge others who can look past those things, by the way. I simply don’t find that sort of humour amusing and would rather watch something else instead.

 

4 Comments

Filed under Blog Hops

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Non-Fiction Books I’ve Read Lately

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.

I love this topic and nonfiction in general.

No matter which corners of this genre you might like, there are books waiting there to be discovered.

My nonfiction preferences usually gravitate towards biographies or autobiographies, zoology, medical topics, food, history, and prehistory, but I will jump around to many other subjects, too, if the blurb sounds interesting.

Here are some nonfiction books I’ve recently finished and enjoyed:

Book cover for Medgar and Myrlie: Medgar Evers and the Love Story That Awakened America by Joy-Ann Reid. Image on the cover shows a newspaper photo of Medgar and Myrlie Evers marching in a civil rights parade. Above it is a black and white snapshot of this couple sitting comfortably on a couch together in a living room. She’s wearing and dress and he’s wearing a suit. His arm is around her as he glances at her with a loving expression on his face.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Medgar and Myrlie: Medgar Evers and the Love Story That Awakened America by Joy-Ann Reid

Book cover for Last to Eat, Last to Learn: My Life in Afghanistan Fighting to Educate Women  by Pashtana Durrani Image on cover is a photograph of the author wearing a white headscarf and a gorgeous red and yellow dress that flows around her body loosely and modestly. She is smiling slightly in this photo.

What I Thought of It:  Ms. Durrani is a good storyteller. I appreciated how detailed her descriptions were of life in Afghanistan and Pakistan and the many ways she has worked to make it better for the women and girls living there. Some of the most interesting scenes to me were the ones that described the tension between her and her parents. They love her and completely support the education of girls and women, but they also had some legitimate reasons to be very concerned about how vocal she was about the oppression in her country given how violent the Taliban is. She could have so easily ended up being murdered like Medgar Evers was.

 

 

Book cover for reams: Brief Books about Big Ideas by Melanie Gillespie Rosen. Image on cover shows the word dreams breaking up into different pieces and floating away.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dreams: Brief Books about Big Ideas by Melanie Gillespie Rosen

What I Thought of It: I wish it were longer and included more details about why we have the dreams that we do. It was thought-provoking, though.

 

 

 

Now onto some nonfiction books I’m either currently reading or plan to start reading soon. If any of you have read any of these, I’d sure like to hear what you thought of them:

 

Book cover for Mean Little Deaf Queer: A Memoir by Terry Galloway. Image on cover shows the author as a preschooler. They are dressed in a cowboy outfit including boots and hat and are holding a comically large violin as they stand on a flat, dusty expanse of land. There are several houses far in the distances behind them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mean Little Deaf Queer: A Memoir by Terry Galloway

What It’s About: The author’s life growing up as a deaf member of the LGBTQ+ community. The first chapter has been wonderfully funny so far, so I’m hoping the rest will be just as memorable.

 

Book cover for You'll Do: A History of Marrying for Reasons Other Than Love by Marcia A. Zug. Image on cover shows five pictorams: a baby carriage, a ring, a bag of money, and a passport.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You’ll Do: A History of Marrying for Reasons Other Than Love by Marcia A. Zug

What It’s About: Like the title said, this is about the history of people getting married for reasons other than them falling in love with each other. I believe it will cover arranged marriages, marriages of convenience, and similar topics, but I have not yet had the chance to crack it open.

 

Book cover for The Secret History of Bigfoot by John O’Connor. Image on cover is a gorgeous painting of trees growing in a lush and green woods. They are growing so closely together that the background quickly fades into a dark, leafy place where little sunlight can penetrate the forest floor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Secret History of Bigfoot by John O’Connor

What It’s About: While Bigfoot is mentioned in this book, of course, I believe it’s mostly meant to be a study of the different sorts of people who are so interested in this topic they will do things like attend cryptozoology conferences or go out into the woods and try to find evidence that Bigfoot is real.

14 Comments

Filed under Blog Hops

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Things I Like to Do on Stormy Days

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.

A woman playfully blowing snow out of her hands. She is wearing thick gloves and a warm hat and coat while standing in the woods in winter, so the effect is lighthearted and she doesn’t look the least bit cold. Winters here in Ontario have been milder than usual these past few years. When we do get cold, stormy weather, here are some of the things I like to do to amuse myself during them:

Read

This one is pretty obvious, and I’m betting most of you are going to mention it, too.

 

Play in the Snow for About 20 Minutes.

I love being an outdoorsy person when the weather is mild, but not so much when it’s painfully cold or hot outside. So about 20 minutes of building a snowman or walking around to admire the beauty of winter is my idea of a good time before I go back indoors to warm up.

 

Watch Movies

I think that psychological horror films are a great match for snowy winter days when it’s far too blustery to be outdoors if you don’t have to be.

There’s something delicious about getting scared silly while the wind beats against your window. It’s so easy to imagine there might really be a monster lurking out there just beyond the blur of the storm, after all!

If I’m watching movies with someone who doesn’t like anything scary at all, other genres like historical, documentaries, or comedies can work perfectly nicely, too. Just don’t ask me to watch anything involving people being cold.

Hypothermia isn’t something I like to think about when the weather outside is frightful. Let’s find something lighthearted, educational, or thought provoking instead.

 

Cook or Bake Food 

I prefer making warm, hearty things like soup, stew, chili, roasted vegetables,  banana bread, or chocolate chip cookies during winter storms. There’s nothing like slowly noticing your home filling up with delicious scents on a stormy day.

 

A black woman dancing joyfully while listening to something on her headphones. She’s wearing jeans and a pink t-shirt. Dance

Am I a good dancer? Heh, not really, but I love learning new dance routines through the magic of the Internet. You don’t have to be good at something in order to enjoy it, after all.

This is a nice way to get some exercise in when you’re stuck indoors all day, and it’s a great way to pass the time as well if you see the snow piling up outdoors and start feeling restless.

I’ll dance to all sorts of types of music, but I find that hip-hop, Bollywood, and Zumba-style dances tend to get my heart pumping the best.

So if I’m dancing as my exercise routine for the day, I tend to start with those styles because I have specific goals about reaching certain heartbeat rates that I try to meet for my cardio workouts.

If it’s just for fun, anything will do. Every sort of dance is a good sort in my book!

 

Play Board Games, Card Games, or Do Jigsaw Puzzles

There are some games I try to save for days when the weather is bad or when I have a cold and need something quiet to do as I recover.

Bodies need exercise, and so does your mind! I’m perfectly happy to play games of luck that don’t require any thinking, too, but I also enjoy the challenge of solving a puzzle or figuring out who killed Professor Plum in the conservatory and what weapon they used as well.

20 Comments

Filed under Blog Hops

Top Ten Tuesday: Reading Goals I Still Want to Accomplish Before the End of the Year


Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Today’s topic made me feel like I was back in college and a professor just gave us a pop quiz. Luckily, I was generally pretty well prepared for such things, and, of course, Jana would never hand out grades or anything.

A drawing of a black question mark inside of a yellow circle. The yellow circle is on top of a white circle, and the white circle is on top of an orange background. In addition, there are about a dozen slips of white paper floating around the question mark. Here are the goals I set last winter. My progress on them will be noted in bold.

1. Read more classic novels this winter. Accomplished.

2. Submit a Top Ten Tuesday theme to Jana that she ends up using. Not Accomplished, but hope springs eternal.

3. Enjoy lots of ghost stories. Accomplished, but I always want more.

4. Attend more library and other bookish events either virtually or in person. Accomplished.

5. Read more nonfiction. Accomplished. 

6. Patronize independent bookstores. Not Accomplished.

7. Eat more food featured in books. Not Accomplished, but working on it. 

8. Try poetry again. Accomplished, but I didn’t find anything I liked. 

9. Buy bookish socks. Not Accomplished, but I have my eye on a few pairs that could work. 

10. Convince the entertainment industry to make excellent film or television adaptations of all of our favourite books. Hehe! Not Accomplished, but hope spring eternal.

5 out of 10 isn’t bad.

Maybe I’ll get up to 7 or 8 out of 10 before the new year?

50 Comments

Filed under Blog Hops

Top Ten Tuesday: 5 Reasons to Take a Reading Break


Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

A few years ago, I blogged about the general benefits of taking a reading break. Today I wanted to take a different approach to the topic and discuss some of the specific reasons why it can be a good idea to stop reading or to read less often for a while.

Reason #4 will mention grief and Covid-19, so feel free to skip that one if needed.

A beautiful park filled with large, healthy trees that are brimming with green leaves. 1. Enjoying Good Weather 

Southern Ontario is a humid and often stormy place. That humidity translates into chilly winters and stifling summers, so one quickly learns to take advantage of mild temperatures and clear skies when they occur.

To me, reading is an activity that makes more sense when it’s -30 Celsius (-22 Fahrenheit) or 40 Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) outside and it’s medically dangerous to be out there for long periods of time. If you’re lucky enough to have a balmy day in the15-20 Celsius (59-68 Fahrenheit) range, you’d better enjoy it while it lasts and go take a hike or enjoy a picnic or something.

2. Pursuing Other Interests 

I love my bookish and often nerdy interests, but that is not all that I am! It’s refreshing to switch between hobbies and interact with different social circles. Sometimes I also discover that there is more overlap between my various interests than I originally thought which is always cool to find.

3. Being More Physically Active

Yes, I know that some people listen to audiobooks while exercising, but that only works for me when I’m doing something like taking a brisk walk. I prefer to give my undivided attention to activities like weightlifting so that I can keep an eye on my form and stay focused on what I’m doing.

4. Resting My Mind 

This was especially true about eighteen months ago when a relative of mine caught Covid-19 and did not fully recover from it. (That is to say, they are still with us but have Long Covid now). Books can be a healthy distraction, but they can also be a little overstimulating when you’re waiting for news of even the smallest signs of improvement and do not necessarily get them.

5. Rediscovering the Excitment of Reading 

Nearly anything can begin to feel repetitive if I do it too often! As much as I love reading, taking breaks from it enables me to rediscover how exciting it is to crack open a book and once again anticipate what it will be like to discover all of its secrets.

 

 

 

 

78 Comments

Filed under Blog Hops

Subreddits That I Love

The Reddit Logo. It is orange and has a smiling alien face in it.

Thank you to Iniverse for giving me the idea for this response post. Go read about the subreddits this blogger enjoys before continuing on here.

Reddit is a site filled with a massive series of message boards on every topic you can imagine and then some. Each topic is separated into its own page there in something called a subreddit.

Today I will follow in Iniverse’s footsteps and share some of my favourite subreddits from that site that fit into the scope of this blog. All of the links in this post are safe to browse at work or if you have a small child looking over your shoulder, but do be warned that this isn’t true for every subreddit out there!

Fitness and Health Subreddits

woman using ab rollerr/1500isplenty

A well-balanced diet can make it easier to reach many different fitness and health goals. This sub is filled with (generally) healthy recipes and support for anyone who is trying to live a healthier lifestyle. There is also r/1200isplentyr/1800isplenty, and r/cico for people with different calorie goals for each day.

r/bodyweightfitness

Who says you have to go to the gym or own fitness equipment to grow stronger? This subreddit contains countless exercise routines that use nothing but your own body weight for strength training.

r/Dance

Am I a great dancer? Not yet, but who says you have to be the best at something in order to enjoy it?! Dancing is for everyone and anyone who enjoys it.

r/EatCheapAndHealthy

The title says it all. I’m always striving to eat well while keeping my grocery budget trimmed down.

r/xxfitness

This is a fitness sub specifically for and by women. Unfortunately, some of the biggest fitness subs are not always welcoming to us. While I read many of them, I’m cautious about which ones I comment on and recommend in general.

r/Yoga

I do a lot of lurking here.

Mindfulness and Meditation Subreddits

 woman closing her eyes while sitting on a couchr/Meditation

r/Mindfulness

These two are self-explanatory, I think.

r/RelaxingGifs

This can be a wonderful resource when I need something visual to focus on. All of these gifs are quiet and soothing enough to calm my mind down enough for a more traditional meditation session.

r/Stoicism

The themes of acceptance and adaptability in Stoicism remind me a lot of mindfulness and meditation.

 

Speculative Fiction Subreddits

A wizard walking down stone steps in an abandoned stone castle covered in vines that's next to a massive mountaing range.r/AskFantasy

r/AskScienceFiction

These subreddits are fantastic for everything from geeking out over your favourite speculative fiction  stories to asking any manner of questions about anything related to these genres.

r/HorrorLit

This is the best horror subreddit I’ve found so far. The commenters there are well-versed in this genre and pretty friendly to newcomers from what I’ve observed.

r/ImaginaryFairytales

Anyone who reads or writes fairy tales should see the beautiful imagery on this subreddit.

r/ScifiConcepts

Here is a slightly more cerebral and writing-focused version of AskScienceFiction. Both readers and writers are welcome, but be prepared to do a lot of critical thinking.

Writing Subreddits

high angle photo of woman writing in a notebookr/AbandonedPorn

I promise this link is safe for your boss, child, or pet to see if they walk past your screen. It’s fascinating to observe how buildings change after humans stop using them and nature begins to take over.

This is excellent source material for anyone writing about ancient ruins, abandoned cities, and the like.

r/AskARace

There are many other AskA subreddits out there for various countries, continents, and minority groups if you need more advice while writing characters who are different from you in some way.  I picked this one specifically because it has such a diverse and knowledgable set of users.

r/CemeteryPorn

You can learn so much about previous generations by paying attention to how they buried and commemorated their dead. I adore looking at tombstones and photos of tombstones.

r/OldSchoolCool

Most of these photos were taken between the 1940s and 1980s, give or take a few decades. They can be a good reference for anyone writing about the 1900s who wants to get their fashion and hairstyles right.

r/WritingPrompts

Endless free ideas are here for the taking if you need some inspiration.

r/WritingLGBT

This is a good place to discuss writing LGBT+ characters and finding books featuring these characters. There are also plenty of LGBT+ authors poking around there, too, if you’re one of us and want to make some new friends.

 

What are your favourite subreddits?

Leave a Comment

Filed under Fitness, Interviews, Science Fiction and Fantasy, Writing

5 Reasons to Read Short Stories

A close up photo of an opened book being illuminated by warm, yellow light.One of the most consistent aspects of my reading preferences since childhood is that I’ve always preferred short stories to full-length novels.

Anyone who has paid close attention to what I review here may have already noticed that. For every 200-page novel that makes an appearance in my Thursday review slot, there are probably half a dozen short stories and novellas sprinkled between it and the next full-length work I finish.

Now don’t get me wrong. There are some amazing books out there that convince me to commit my reading time for a few hundred pages, but short stories have plenty of advantages, too.

5 Reasons to Read Short Stories

They Require Minimal Investments of Time

A closeup of pink sand in a glass hourglass I often finish short stories in fifteen minutes. Sometimes I finish the shortest ones in less than five!

There’s something appealing about finishing a story in such a brief period of time.

If you end up with a story that you either don’t particularly like or find simply okay, you can keep reading with the knowledge that it will end soon.

On the flip side, adoring a character or storyline can be a big hint that you might love the rest of that author’s catalogue.

Sometimes writers even revisit the same characters and settings across multiple short stories in the form of serials or simply by revisiting fan favourites over and over again.

They’re Often Free or Inexpensive

Rabbit wearing spectacles and sitting next to an opened bookIf your book buying budget is small or if you prefer to try new authors before buying their work, short stories can be a fantastic way to expand your reading horizons.

Many sites have been specifically created for reading, sharing, and discussing short stories. I’m most familiar with the ones that focus on the science fiction and fantasy genres, but this sort of things exists for every genre.

I’ve also started sharing a list of free science fiction, fantasy, horror, and other speculative fiction books every Thursday on Twitter.

Last week’s list included the following stories, all of which were still free to the best of my knowledge when this post went live:

They Can Help End Reading Slumps

When I’m in a reading slump, the last thing I want to do is commit to several hundred pages of reading.

It feels so much more realistic to say let’s see what happens over the course of five or ten pages while I’m still getting to read the beginning, middle, and end of a tale.

They’re Palate Cleansers

Woman reading a book in a dark library. There is a bright light emanating from the book.Sometimes full-length books weigh on my mind long after I finish their final pages, especially if they have excellent world building and character development.

It can feel a little odd to jump from one immersive reading experience to the next. Short stories can help to bridge that gap by introducing new characters and settings that you already know will only be around for a short period of time.

This isn’t to say that short stories can’t have intricate world building and character development, of course, only that they have a smaller number of pages to do so.

They Offer a Low-Pressure Way to Try New Genres and Authors

Man using binoculars while sitting between two stacks of thick, dusty books at a large wooden table
For example, I used to think I wasn’t into the mystery genre because of some bland experiences I’d had reading full-length mysteries.

It was only when I tried a few short stories in this genre that I realized it does appeal to me after all. I never would have given it another shot by picking up a two-hundred page book, but I was willing to sit through a half dozen pages to see if my opinions had shifted.

This a pattern that has repeated multiple times in my reading history. Of course I don’t always enjoy the new authors or genres I try, but I have discovered some stuff I would have otherwise overlooked thanks to the low-pressure environment of short stories.

If you read short stories, what do you like most about them?

8 Comments

Filed under Science Fiction and Fantasy

4 Creative Ways to Overcome a Reading Slump

A girl with a bored expression on her face reading a book.Today I wanted to share some tips for overcoming a reading slump and (hopefully) finding the joy of losing yourself in a story once again.

Most readers have probably experienced this phenomenon at one point or another.

You slowly, or maybe quickly, shift from your regular reading patterns to no longer feeling anticipation at the thought of picking up another book in your preferred genre(s).

Maybe you’ll start one book only to grow bored and wander away from it after a chapter or two. This can happen again and again during a slump.

I know I’ve sure found it harder to stay focused since this year began.

Stop Reading

Drawing of a perturbed black cat. The phrase "not entertained" is written next to and underneath it.I’m totally serious about that, too. It feels obvious to me, but so many lists on this topic seem to skip over this solution.

How long should this break last? That’s up to you. I think about my interest levels in reading in general instead of how much time has passed.

Generally, my breaks last between a week and a month, but I’d have no problem going much longer than that if needed.

The thing about being an avid reader is that you often eventually begin to see the patterns in the genres you read. It’s harder to surprise someone who has been reading the same genre for years or decades.

Reading also isn’t so much fun when one can predict what will happen next in a story, especially if you’re already feeling tired of this hobby in general.

Sometimes the best way to react to this feeling is to stop trying to make yourself enjoy reading and find something else to fill your free time.

What else can you do? Well…

Get (More) Active

Reading can be like exercise for your mind. Books can teach new words (or even entire languages),  challenge your pre-conceived notions of the world, and introduce you to sorts of people and situations you might never come across your daily life.

There’s definitely something to be said for switching between activities that challenge your brain and activities that challenge your body, so stay with me here.

Depending on your current fitness level, interests, and what equipment you might have access to, this could take a wide range of forms:

  • Jogging
  • Dancing
  •  Swimming
  •  Playing sports
  •  Hiking
  •  Weightlifting
  • Taking a long walk

If you’re already physically active, now could be a good time to increase the length of your workouts or try a form of exercise that isn’t part of your regular routines.

Try Something New

White rabbit wearing yellow sunglassesNo, I’m not referring to trying a new genre (unless you already have the urge to do so). It’s been my experience that this technique works best if it has nothing to do with books or reading at all.

There’s nothing like tasting a new food, buying something small you’ve been wanting for a long time, or visiting an autumn forest so filled with brightly-coloured leaves that it almost seems as if all of the trees themselves are glowing.

Sometimes the “new” thing I try is as simple as walking down a street I don’t normally visit to see what interesting landmarks might exist there or crouching down on the ground to observe a plant I’d normally walk past without a second thought.

This can take many forms, and it can be as thrifty as you’d like it to be. Honestly, most of my favourite memories in life involve intangible things that no store can ever box up for sale.

Perform an Act of Kindness

A rock painted orange that says "stay safe be kind." It is lying on a much larger, lichen-covered rock. It’s been my experience that reading slumps are often tied into how I’m feeling in general. I’m much more likely to have them when I’m dissatisfied with other aspects of my life.

There are many things that are out of our control, and many more that can only be changed after months or years of effort and a great deal of luck.

That’s part of the reason why I think that performing acts of kindness are so effective. For that moment, I’m pulled out of whatever is going on in my own head and only focusing on making someone else’s day a little bit brighter.

A random compliment for a stranger or a quick text to a loved one about something you know they’d love only takes a few seconds to accomplish.

That instant mood boost might eventually trickle over into other parts of your life as well. It often does for me! Even if it doesn’t work right away or at all, you’ll still have the satisfaction of knowing you had a positive impact on someone else’s day.

And who knows how far one act of kindness can spread?

One of my high school English teachers always paid the fee for the car behind her when she drove on toll roads because she wanted to make strangers smile. She once pulled up to the teller only to learn that the car ahead of her had already paid her fare, so she paid for the next two people in line after her!

I’ve often wondered if they kept that chain of kindness going. It’s nice to think that they did.

How have all of your reading habits been this year? What do you find effective when you’re in a reading slump?

8 Comments

Filed under Writing

Do Your Reading Habits Fluctuate By Season?

Green framed eyeglasses on top of a stack of three books My reading habits have followed a pretty predictable pattern for years now.

Summer

In early summer, I spend too much time outside enjoying the comfortable weather to read much. This period of time doesn’t last long, so I’d generally rather go hiking or do other outdoor activities that will soon become uncomfortable when the first heat wave arrives.

As the temperatures and humidity rise, so does my reading time. Sometimes I’ll go outside to read if I can find a shady spot for that. There’s something refreshing about burying your nose in a book while also catching a stray breeze and hearing the friendly rustle of leaves in the trees.

Horror can be a fun genre to dive into at this time of the year. I also tend to start feeling more interested in history books during the summer for reasons I’ve never figured out.

Autumn

Autumn is gorgeous here once the heat of September melts away. My reading rate slows down once again as it becomes more feasible to spend a lot of time outdoors enjoying the autumn colours and cooler weather.

When I do feel the urge to read, it tends to be science fiction, fantasy, history, or, my personal favourite, ghost stories. The closer we get to Halloween, the more likely it is I’ll want to read something in homage to my favourite holiday. Biographies can be okay in small doses, too, although I tend to stock those titles away for the truly cold days to come.

Winter

To put it generously, I am not a winter person. The cold, dark days here make me feel sad, especially after the winter holidays end and we still have more than three months to go until any semblance of spring weather might appear.

This is the time of year when I read ravenously. I tend to avoid horror and very dark subject matter until I feel happier, but I’ll dive into literally anything else: poetry, the classics, fairy tales, mysteries, science fiction, biographies, history, and even the occasional romance novel! This is also when I tend to reread old favourites.

Spring

This season often gets a slow, muddy start in Ontario, so I like to read anything that reminds me of the warmer days that are sure to follow…eventually.

As the temperatures warm up, my reading rates slow down again because it’s finally warm outside again and I want to enjoy the outdoors before summer arrives.

Books about food and cooking become more interesting to me in early spring, and that only increases over time. Maybe it’s because I’m dreaming of all of the delicious food that will soon be in season?

I also tend to read less fiction during this season, especially anything speculative like science fiction or fantasy. Nonfiction is usually most appealing then, although I curiously don’t feel as compelled to read history books or biographies until cold weather returns.

Do your reading habits shift throughout the year like mine do? If so, what patterns have you noticed?

7 Comments

Filed under Personal Life

Stay Home and Read

Woman holding a book and smilingA few days ago, Toronto learned that someone who was diagnosed with COVID-19 had taken several trips on the TTC, our  public transportation system, after they began coughing and showing other symptoms of that disease.

Our local media has been publishing many stories on the Coronavirus outbreak these winter alongside their regular winter features on cold and flu season. While I have some mixed feelings about how they’ve reported on this new outbreak in particular, it’s difficult to ignore all of the new information pouring in about COVID-19 and how regularly new cases have been diagnosed in Ontario lately.

Like the rest of the world, Toronto is nervous about this topic. There have been so many folks stocking up on toilet paper and other supplies that some stores here have actually put limits on how much of those items you can buy at a time.

I happen to be part of an age bracket that is at very low risk of developing complications from Coronavirus, much less dying from it. I also don’t have any pre-existing medical conditions that would make it harder for my body to fight this illness. If I were to develop it, chances are excellent that it would be no worse than a bad cold or the flu for me if I even developed symptoms at all.

Three piled books on a white wooden table. Still, I’ve found myself staying home more often these days. I’d hate to accidentally spread this illness around to people at high risk of complications if I’m one of those young, healthy people who have it while showing few to no symptoms of it.

When I do go out, I’m noticing that our libraries, stores, and malls feel a bit quieter than usual. My guess is that other folks are cutting back on spending time in large crowds when possible as well.

Since most of my favourite places to visit are outdoors and I’m trying to reduce my time spent in crowds, reading seems like the perfect solution.

March is a chilly, sloppy time of year in Ontario anyways. Might as well read until the weather improves and the spread of this disease is hopefully slowed down while scientists work on a vaccine for it.

This means that you may be seeing more book reviews on my site over the coming weeks. I love writing them, but they take up so much time and energy that I generally can only get through a certain number of them in the average month.

There are only so many TV shows I can watch and hours of Minecraft I can play before needing to do something else with my free time, though, so reading it is.

I already have my first review of this semi-quarantine season ready to go for next week! Thank goodness I still have a big pile of library e-books to plow through as well.

How have your daily routines changed this cold, flu, and coronavirus season? How are your countries and communities reacting to COVID-19? Are you all staying home and getting more reading time in than usual these days, too?

14 Comments

Filed under Personal Life