By Alanna Warwick-Smith
Usually a solitary activity, reading is beloved for bringing comfort in times of stress and excitement, injecting new knowledge and a burst of adrenaline as the reader explores new worlds from the comfort of their couch.
In these unusual times, you can still reap the mental health benefits of reading and enjoy the comfort of companionship…even if you are not necessarily living in the same home.
Virtual book club
Have you always wanted to attend a book club? Now is the time!
There are number of book clubs that are taking this time to meet virtually and tackle some of those – often long – “will read some day” lists. Have you heard of Cayman’s own the Bookends Book Club or the Lustic Life Book Club?
Grab your closest friends, or even your family members, and get started! Are you having trouble finding a virtual book club that meets your schedule? Start your own!
Virtual story time
Are you missing the younger members of your family from whom you may be separated at this time? Transport younger members of your family to new worlds, while staying connected. Try a video chat story time where you and your niece, nephew, grandchild or sibling can read the same book together, taking it in turns to read to one another or entertaining little ones as you read to them with funny voices and different accents.
Book swap, anyone?
A wise man once said, “I’m not sure if I’ll ever read it…but I need it!” If your local area’s current lockdown regulations allow, participate in a safe book swap with your friends and family by sharing what books you have virtually, and once they select, ensure the book is carefully cleaned and safely dropped off on their porch – then have them do the same for you!
When you’ve both completed your books – have a virtual coffee date and chat about them!
Share the love
Over the past few weeks, I have seen a number of social media threads providing recommendations about the best TV shows and movies to watch – do your friends a favour and share the love! Let your network know what your must-reads and never-read-again books are.
Keep in touch with your booksellers
Check with your local booksellers to see if there are ways you can continue to support them during this time – whether you can purchase a gift certificate to use once shops reopen, or if you simply stay engaged with them on their channels to remind them you are thinking of them. We are in this together!