How long has India been under lockdown? Long enough for us to forget how long it’s been.
We bet being stuck at home for so many months has got you longing for an escape. Unfortunately, the bad news is, that seems highly unlikely. For the foreseeable future, at least.
But there’s one classic form of escapism we can all turn to – books.
Now, there are many ‘Top ten lockdown book recommendations’ lists out there. This is not one of them.
Instead, we want to give you reading strategies. A little project you can look forward to in these dull times. Something that’ll be your motivation, your goal, your ‘something to look forward to’ during this lockdown.
1. Revisiting a favourite series
Maybe it’s the Harry Potter series. Or JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. Or the Song of Fire and Ice by George R.R. Martin. Whichever one it may be for you, re-reading the series might give you a whole new perspective. Maybe your favourite character will change. Perhaps you’ll empathise more with the one you had always thought of as the villain. Or maybe you’ll realise that the series you thought was incredible is actually anything but that (sorry about that in advance)
2. Read your favourite reels
‘Never judge a book by its cover’ is the old saying. But we say, ‘Never judge a book by its movie’. There are probably many movies that you’ve watched and loved that were based on books. But those movies portray only a fraction of the complex story that is the book. And reading the source material will give you a better understanding of the film as well. For example, maybe if you read Fight Club, the book by Chuck Palahniuk, you might actually be able to make sense of the film.
3. Trace your favourite novelist’s journey
You may read as much as possible, but as a book lover, you’ll have that one writer whose style speaks to you the most. The words they write seem like they could have come out of you. But what was it about them that made them write those words? An excellent way to find out is to read through their books as they had written them, in order, from the first to the latest. You will definitely discover a lot about the human being behind the novelist. And you might also discover something new about yourself.
4. Travel to another country
One of the reasons the lockdown is getting so much hate is all travel plans that have had to be cancelled (and the hate is legit, quite frankly). But another way to get a peek at another land’s culture, its people and its vibe is through the lens of its writers. If Turkey is on your radar, there’s Orhan Pamuk, Elif Shafak and Yasar Kemal. If you’ve been fascinated by France instead, Albert Camus and Jean-Paul Sartre will take you there. In short, pick a country, and its books will be your ticket to it.
5. Travel back in time
This one is for the history buffs. Nothing can transport you to a bygone era better than a book. You could be transported to war rooms where army generals have taken crucial or catastrophic decisions. Or to the streets where everyday people brought about revolutions. Take a specific event in history and read some top recommended books on the subject: World War II, the Cold War, the Indian Independence Movement, the Mughal Era. The topics to choose from (and the eras to travel to) are many.
6. Just read
Read anything. Read whatever. Books don’t run out of battery, and they don’t need a strong WiFi connection. Get into the habit, so that even when it becomes safe to step out again, you’d prefer tucking in under your blanket with a warm cup of coffee and a great book.