While the lockdown duration is not in our control, what we do with this time is on our hands, right? And honestly, there are only as many memes you can look at and funny videos you can amuse yourself with. And then again, some of you are looking at the coronavirus updates every few minutes and getting that sinking feeling and wondering when will this lockdown going to end. Well, no point in dwelling upon that thought now, is there? Instead, ask yourself, when was the last time you read a book or an actual magazine? Still thinking? Then read on.
By Kalyani Majumdar
So, when was the last time you read a book or an actual magazine? If you are actually struggling to answer that, then perhaps it is time to take up reading as a pastime. After all, what do you have to lose? Besides stoking your imagination and reducing stress, it is a great way to not only improve your vocabulary and concentration, but also improves your writing skills. And, you do realise that once this lockdown is over and you are back in the world, applying for B Schools, writing essays and taking tests, you will be grateful to yourself for spending your isolation in the company of books. Now how about that?
You don’t need to start with heavy literature, if you have not spent much time honing your skills as a reader.
In case you bought some books and never read those, perhaps it is time to go through the stack and choose something to start with. Also, there are endless options to look at books online and choose something that interests you. Here is a list of useful links for you to get access to free books online.
Cambridge University is offering free access to books: From a wide range of research, studies and books on history, politics and philosophy. If these subjects interest you then take a look at this link: Cambridge Books Free Access
Kindle books for free: Kindle provides free access to a smorgasbord of books to choose from. You can read biographies, classics, essays and more. Here is the link: Free Kindle Books
Internet Archives: There are more than 20,000,000 freely downloadable books and texts available in the internet archives. There is also a collection of 3 million modern eBooks that you can borrow with a free archive.org account. Visit: Archives
Gutenberg: If you enjoy wit and dry humour then you might like to explore P. G. Wodehouse’s collection. In case you can’t get your hands on a hard copy during the lockdown, try Gutenberg. Besides P.G Wodehouse, Gutenberg has a huge archive of books from all genres for you to download and read. Here is the link: Gutenberg books
If you are planning to read serious fiction then perhaps you could go for Albert Camus’s The Plague (originally written in French).This is set in the 1940s and is about a fictional outbreak and the writer takes the reader through stages of initially, indifference from the people and the authorities towards the symptoms and this mysterious disease. Soon it spreads and a rise in people succumbing to it. Then there is panic amidst a failing healthcare system followed by curfew and lockdown. Yes, it does end but this book brings us real close to our current reality. You can find it online: PDF version.
Wish you all the best and happy reading.