Reading is – by nature – a solitary activity. We like our cafes and libraries, or even metro-rides, to catch up on some uninterrupted reading time.
But times have changed, unexpectedly. Alongside all our other lifestyle habits, they have affected our reading times too. Being at home all the time with (non-reading) people can be more difficult than any of us imagined. Aside from the tricky mental space we are collectively in, there are lots of distractions at home in the form of chores, familial summons, background noise, and lack of space.
For us who are readers at heart, (e)books give us much-needed solace, comfort and companionship in these times. So we have compiled some reading hacks for our fellow bibliophiles on how to get the most out of your reading time at home:
Your earphones and headphones are your best friends at this time. Put on your favourite playlist and add a soundtrack to the world you are stepping into! Noise cancellation is important.
We know that chores are important; we do have to keep our hygiene and health in check. This is why we love audiobooks! Whether you are in the kitchen or doing jumping jacks in your balcony – listen to some stories while doing your household work. Put them on speakers and get your housemates and family to listen in too!
Mark your space
The ledge by the window or the space beside your dog on the bed? Reading spots are important. Identify your spot for the day and get comfortable with your beverage of choice. Discomfiture or the wrong – we’re not sure how to put this – vibe can distract you from a fulfilling reading experience.
Communication is key (to stories)
Following on from the point above – it is important to communicate to your fellow residents-in-quarantine about the importance of your reading time and space. Make sure to have a healthy discussion on boundaries and your personal reading time.
Tuck yourself in (with a book)
Some good old bedtime reading is our FAVOURITE hack – like it always has been. Slot in some time before going to sleep to read. A mug of hot chocolate or chamomile tea, or just some water would be perfect companions too. Make sure to put your phone out of reach (we mean it, the laziness to get out of bed would fight the urge to look grab it!) and give your pages or Kindle screens your undivided attention. Plus point is – after your “goodnights”, there is nothing to distract you at this time! (Warning: you may or may not end up reading all night.)
If you are a morning person – we definitely recommend sneaking in a few pages’ worth of reading with your first coffee of the day. It’s silent, it’s the lull before the hustle of the day – and it is a great start to your morning. Even better if you are the first one to wake up in the house!
Hunger pangs can be real bummers, sometimes. We understand the cravings for snacks to go with our stories. We suggest keeping packets or small bowls of quick and healthy snacks within reach when you sit down to read (like we did before writing this). This way, you avoid trips to the kitchen!
Switch (it) off
Saving the biggest for the last – SWITCH OFF YOUR PHONES! It is a good idea to keep away your phones or simply put them on silent to avoid those tempting notification pings. Don’t get us wrong – we love our phones. Now more than ever, seeing how much they help us in staying connected with those close to us. But during your reading time, we suggest you have eyes only for your books!
What are some reading hacks you are practising in quarantine? We never said this was an exhaustive list!