Quarantine Readers

Angela Haupt gives us a fun and even for its simplicity, a thoughtful piece on what kind of readers might be making the best of the stay-at-home pandemic currently exposing the weaknesses in our American civilization. Here are just the highlights: the full article (which may be behind a paywall at WAPO) is definitely recommended and a lot more fun.

The Types of Readers

  1. The working parents who are suddenly also stay-at-home parents — and lucky to get through a page of the New Yorker before passing out.
  2. The readers seeking deeper meaning in the occult.
  3. The escapists running away to fantastical worlds.
  4. The parents of young children who are reading (and rereading) every kids book they own.
  5. The seize-the-day readers keeping busy with new skills.
  6. The Netflix enthusiasts who ran out of shows to watch — and are reading the books their favorite series were based on.
  7. The benched athletes who consider turning pages a less than ideal but somewhat viable exercise option.
  8. The bucket-list readers who are finally checking off “War and Peace.”
  9. The solo quarantiners desperate for human interaction — and settling for steamy romance novels.
  10. The masochists devouring pandemic sci-fi.

Me? First, I don’t do science fiction and have no desire to read too much dystopian fiction. I’m not a misanthropist but at my age I find staying at home and keeping a six-foot buffer is an acceptable exchange for the added time I get to attack my digital stacks of desired reading. I guess that makes me a bucket-list reader, although it is a very large bucket. I do, however, actually have a list of books I’m embarrassed to admit I, at my age, have not already read and another list of books (mostly big fat ones) I desperately want to read before the blind Fury with the abhorred shears knocks at my door.

And then there are all those new, deliciously enticing books being published all around the world. My iPad is chock-a-block with nascent excitement, erudition, and antici … pation.

2 thoughts on “Quarantine Readers

  1. I come under no 6 and 8, as I am reading lots of big Tudor and Medieval history, but also learning on line with FutureLearn, run by the Open University. I am learning Irish Gaelic, as a contrast to the Scottish Gaelic I learn from my Scots grandma. Strange thing for a Devon woman to do, but these are strange times.


    1. I am gorging myself on Netflix and other movie channels. I especially like the Criterion Channel for classic movies but Amazon Prime offers a fun selection of B&W movies from the ’40s and ’50s .. Noir is my thing. As for my bucket list, there are several authors that I feel the need to read further: Henry James, Charles Dickens, Alexander Dumas, Natsume Soseki, Herman Melville, William T. Vollmann, Émile Zola, Fanny Burney. Add to these the really big ones I have mentioned before and I am a busy boy.


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