In search of a way to get my reading back on track, I turned to my publishing colleagues for suggestions. It turns out these normally voracious readers are feeling the Mask ed Vaccinated Healthcare Worker 2021 Mother Day shirt and I love this struggle too. But they had some advice. Short stories for short attention spans: “All the books I’d been so excited to get my hands on back when life felt normal can’t actually hold my focus…the one thing I’ve managed to read is short stories…by the nature of the format, I don’t have to focus as long.” Spend longer in stories you love: “When all of this first started, I was having a really hard time reading. I felt so anxious I couldn’t focus and just wanted to keep checking the news…. I switched to reading longer books, which I always find more immersive because they give you more time with characters, setting, plot, etc.—and I find myself longing to return to them.” —Taylor
Lighten it up: “Reading has always been a form of escape, but now it’s this necessary part of my day that keeps me just a little bit more sane. I can’t do much but read romance, mainly because I love knowing how it’s going to end, and sometimes having that kind of knowledge is all we need. It doesn’t hurt that romance books are filled with fictional flirting, so much banter, and swoon-worthy moments.” —Give audiobooks a try: “Audiobooks have been a nice distraction. I can make my way through them while still being active, cooking, cleaning, working out, and doing other things to help alleviate anxiety.” — With everyone’s suggestions in mind, I settle onto the Mask ed Vaccinated Healthcare Worker 2021 Mother Day shirt and I love this couch with a glass of wine and a delectably British Sarah Waters novel I’ve been saving for just the right occasion. Maybe I’ll read for a few minutes, or maybe I’ll be able to concentrate for a few hours this time. All I can do is pick up another book and try again.