Where we all expected this pandemic to bring us enough free time to indulge in our favorite hobbies, it has become almost impossible to sit down and effectively read during lockdown. This has the most significant effect on how we consume media, especially books that are effectively rendered with our ability to read during the lockdown.
Why you are unable to concentrate on reading
Picture this: you know that getting lost in a good book can be the best escape in times where everything is disturbing.
You get cozy, get yourself a hot cup of coffee and eager to read the book you have been longing for ages. Once you flip through a few words, you start to see the same worries and scattered thoughts rendering with your mind, making it difficult to comprehend each word.
Studies show that anxiety reduces your ability to read and focus, known as brain fog. In fact, the more you stress about not being able to read, the worse your mental health gets. It’s high time you take a stand for yourself and actively make an effort to practice focus and, most importantly, continue doing what you love to soothe the tense nerves.
Here are the five ways you can effectively read during lockdown
Get your setting right
There is a vast difference between making time to read and setting up the place. It can surely make it harder to focus when you have kids running around in the house; you have five assignments lined up, or perhaps the lighting is too uncomfortable. Regardless of whatever the distraction may be, it’s you who needs to take quality time out and set a time that is both cozy and quiet.
If you live with your family or partner, politely ask them to leave you alone or, best, have a family reading time together to quickly enhance the satisfaction. Ensure you have one spot dedicated to reading that will help you get into the mood and trick your mind to only focus on what you are there for.
Remember, this is never or wrong here. You just have to find a place that feels the most personal to you, where you can find peace not found in any other parts of the house.
2. Start slow
I get it; you are anxious that you aren’t able to read the book you have been trying to indulge in for so long. My advice is to be pragmatic.
Something is always better than nothing if you read chapters a day (or if you are like me, one whole book) cut down half of it.
When you start to think of this as a chore, you will never be able to get yourself to read it, let alone enjoy it. Thus, set yourself a goal of how many pages or hours are you willing to devote to just reading and having valuable time.
3. Put your phone away
This lockdown is an excellent way to stay connected with your friends and family virtually. Longing to watch a movie with your mates hit on Netflix! Catch up with an old friend, DM, right now! However, it is best that you focus on just the book and keep your phone out of reach when it comes to reading.
Here, I don’t mean simply switching it off and keeping it beside you.
Give it to a member living in your house or keep it in a different room to help you think twice before grabbing it. This will inevitably help you stay engrossed in the book and truly absorb the information without distractions or unnecessary movements.
4. Make time to read without distraction
Now that you know how to set up the suitable space and ambiance for reading, the real struggle comes when you are too busy to read, or even if you do, the lack of focus kicks in to ruin the movement.
If any of your thoughts interrupt your phone, food, or perhaps any other work while reading, take at least 5 minutes before you keep the book. Here, you might not be able to comprehend anything written in the book, but these extra 5 minutes can help you think twice and bring back your attention to the book.
As for the parts you missed while you were distracted, you can always go back and reread those sections to find your rhythm.
5. Get inspired by authors
Feeling connected with the authors has the same effect as referrals. They give you a sense of purpose to read and if you happen to find a common factor between the author and you, there is no way you are ever keeping the book down. Go for Authors Live events that let you get insights into these authors’ lives to help you get inspired. It can also be a great way for you and your family can set goals and have something to discuss after the book.
Books to Read in this Pandemic
No One Is Talking About This By Patricia Lockwood
The book is written beautifully like a prose poem with slight touches of witness, philosophical, profane, intimate and lastly, deeply moving. Concerning how we have been too engrossed in social media, this book touches on everything we can currently relate to that can to.
This eye-opening book starts with a journey of a woman who recently elevated her social media presence and, just like everyone else, she only wanted more. The book questions the things worth pondering about and sees the reality of the virtual world.
2. A Court of Thorns and Roses, by Sarah J. Maas
This is a classic fairytale with epic, fantastical romance that lets you imagine a book like Beauty in the Beast, but only the Beauty is a huntress, and the Beast happens to be a faerie lord. This book will keep you engaged in its deep and fantastic stories to make this a must-read book for this pandemic.
3. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
The duel between the two young magicians and its magical story is what sets this book apart from the rest. This is a game where one can be left standing. The book is all about Celia and Marco madly falling in love, which led to a series of dangerous consequences without warning.
4. Essentialism by Greg Mckeown
In a fast world where you get to see people rushing for you, this book helps you slow down by asking you to do less. Instead of doing everything, it enables you to center your attention to do the right thing in the way and time. Thus, this book is undoubtedly something you shouldn’t miss right now—way, at the right time.
5. The Silent Treatment by Abbie Greaves
Suppose you are looking for a book that can let all of the built-up emotions out, this one is for you. With this, you can expect to cry several times as you read that Frank hasn’t spoken to Maggie for six months that will eventually lead to a tragic event to only break the silence.