As the on-going pandemic keeps film production stalled, or slow, and many film releases are delayed until cinemas can reopen properly, books are having a moment.
I, for one, am glad, and I hope that in the long run society remembers how much we enjoyed reading regularly and continue to do so.
Reading is incredibly beneficial for your mind, vocabulary and general wellbeing, but it can be tough to find the time to fit it into a busy schedule. With everyone staying home more, even as the lockdown measures are removed, we’ve all got more time for the hobbies we overlooked before.
One of the most accessible hobbies out there is reading. Practically everyone who went to school has at least some grasp of the practice, and even if you weren’t raised to enjoy it, eventually you’ll find a reading material that appeals to you.
Reading is so vital for anyone who wants to improve their imagination and cognitive prowess. Even reading what might be considered ‘low brow reading material’, such as comic books, kids novels and even cook books, can improve your mental capacity.
If you read regularly, you’ll also improve your reading and your understanding. Most of us have to read something in our careers and everyday lives, but the amount of understanding we get from the materials we read varies. The more you read, the better your understanding.
That’s not to say that I think people will give up on films and TV shows thanks to the pandemic. I bet streaming services- all 1 million of them- are all rubbing their hands together with glee right now. We’re all binge watching like crazy, because it’s easy and fun, but we’re also taking on hobbies.
Everything from knitting through to playing an instrument is in vogue right now, as everyone tries to use their time wisely and feel productive. However, reading is one of the most valuable and useful hobbies we can have, and the pandemic has made more people understand the benefits that it can have for them.
Crime fiction has been a particular favourite of book buyers over recent weeks, which is great for the genre. It also shows that we’re eager to escape, and that we’re less ashamed of reading what we want.
After all, many individuals used to regard crime fiction as trashy, as opposed to highbrow literature and non-fiction books. If you don’t believe me, then cast your mind back to the Harry Potter books, and the releases which had an ‘adult cover design’ so that grown ups didn’t have to feel ashamed for reading what was perceived to be a book for kids.
Many people feel that their reading material reflects who they are, and that’s not the case- you can enjoy reading something and still enjoy other pursuits. As long as you read widely and discerningly, then you shouldn’t feel any shame in what you choose to read. Choose books that are not immoral, such as anything racist or homophobic, and if you do accidentally find something that tests your morals then be objective about it. Take it as a learning experience and use it as an opportunity to broaden your mind.
It’s surprising how few people read every day, meaning that they don’t get to experience as many books. They view reading as some sort of weird treat, but in reality, I personally feel that taking the time to read something that you love should be a daily enjoyment. Taking just half an hour out of your day can make you feel amazing in a way that no other hobby can.
With all the good films on hold or being shoved online, where we don’t get to experience the thrill of the cinema or buy madly overpriced snacks, many people who aren’t usually avid readers are using their time to find books they enjoy, and I for one am very happy about that.
Overall, I hope that even after the pandemic is finally over and we start rebuilding the world, the new version of normality includes more time spent reading. I hope that we de-stigmatise reading whatever we want, so that people don’t feel embarrassed and can just enjoy reading what they love.