We recruited a panel of people living in Scotland to complete regular surveys about their experiences of reading between March and August 2020. The full report, Reading in Scotland: Reading over lockdown is available to read now.
At the end of each weekly survey we asked our panel if they had any reading tips or suggestions they would like to share with the rest of the panel. We then sent a small selection of these along in our next email.
Over the course of the study the panel submitted over 300 tips which were by turns wise, reassuring and inspiring. We have included some of our favourites below:
- 'Although now is a good time to try new things, there's no shame in returning to books you know and love if they'll make you feel good!'
- 'An audiobook with a jigsaw puzzle is a lovely way to while away the hours. Glass of wine optional!'
- 'Remember that even if you can’t visit your library, your card still gives you access to loads of digital resources.'
- 'I've been so surprised at how much comfort I took from reading War and Peace, a book I was never inclined to pick up before now. Something about the mixture of a life so different from my own – the lavish parties where they eat pineapple ices, or the battle scenes – interspersed with all these moments of universal human experience that you recognise instantly. It heartens me to think that one day I will be able to remember the spring of 2020 also for this strange experience of reading War and Peace, that this time will be marked with some joy and beauty even amidst the daily horror and bleakness of a pandemic unfolding.'
- 'Set yourself a challenge to read at least five minutes a day - it's amazing how much you can read in that time.'
- 'For parents of young children, especially those who are trying to work and manage childcare, it can be really hard finding time to read. If it's something that helps you relax in what is a stressful and exhausting time, then don't feel guilty about reading instead of rushing to do the housework as soon as your toddler is napping. Take fifteen minutes for you, it will help keep us all mentally well.'
- 'I have found that a WhatsApp group my book club allows me to snatch quick book chat on and off throughout the day. I really look forward to messages and seeing what people think about the books they are reading. It really has lifted my mood this week.'
- 'If I'm struggling to sleep, I find a familiar audiobook narrated by someone with a soothing voice can help quieten the thoughts in my head'
- 'Read what you like, don't waste any time on self-imposed reading chores. Those classics can wait, they have done so for a long time already.'