For the past two months, much of the world has been in a state of lockdown, self-isolating because of the rapid spread of COVID-19. In the midst of all this, I have been wondering how I could reach out and help people find some comfort while they remain apart from friends, family, coworkers, and their normal daily lives. While it’s true that listicles of what to read in quarantine are abundant on the Internet right now, I thought I would try to share my own perspective with some themed lists of suggestions, especially since it seems like we’re all going to be keeping physical socializing to a minimum for a while yet.
My plan is to break the lists out into age groups and/or genres, in order to make them more easily digestible in one sitting. In my posts, I will be linking to Bookshop.org in case readers wish to buy the book in question. I also encourage readers to buy from their local independent comic or book shop if they don’t want to use my links, or to borrow from their local library. Many libraries are currently offering a more robust selection of ebooks, including graphic novels and comics, through Libby, Overdrive, and/or Hoopla. You can visit your library’s website for more information on how to access those apps, and I believe many libraries are also able to issue online-only library cards if you need one.
I know these times are challenging, and sometimes finding more tasks with which to occupy yourself can feel overwhelming. I don’t believe we should all be striving to be more productive right now; this virus has highlighted some major flaws in this country’s established operations, and it’s important to interrogate our need to be “useful.” But I do think that many of us, myself included, take comfort in books — and in this case, in comics. I hope that we are all able to find what we need right now, whether that be escapism, education, solidarity, or a call to action.
Above all, I hope we are all able to remain safe and healthy, and that we are able to return not to normal, but to an improved society that recognizes the importance of community and connection.