I love to read. To which you might say, duh, Mrs. Strong, you work in a library. You don’t understand. I’ve loved to read since I was able to. Reading has always been my escape. When my parents divorced when I was 8, who did I turn to? Ramona Quimby. When I switched schools for the umpteenth time and didn’t know anyone, where did I go? To the library. What did I do when my infant daughter would awake in the middle of the night and I couldn’t go back to sleep? I’d read (by the way, reading the The Fault in Our Stars two months postpartum is not recommended – much ugly crying ensued).
Libraries are my happy place and reading is my go to when I want to escape. Sure, I’ve gotten busier over the years and don’t read as much as I’d like, but books are dependable friends who don’t judge. They just wait patiently for you to pick them up again. In these unusual times, I’m relying on that patience more than ever.
You see, I want to read right now. I need that escapism to balance out the steady stream of news I’m consuming all. day. long (Side note – don’t fall too far into the news. It’s not good for your mental health. And stick with trusted, reliable, and unbiased sources.) But I can’t read right now. I keep trying to, but I can’t focus on the plot when I have intrusive thoughts rudely interrupting. And then, of course, I feel guilty for not taking advantage of this “extra time” I have – never mind the fact that what “extra time” I have now goes to planning for and teaching my 2nd grader while also navigating how to work from home.
So what does all of this mean for you, dear students of Country Day? I’m here to give you some unusual librarian advice: it’s okay if you can’t or don’t want to read right now. That’s right, your assistant librarian is telling you it’s okay not to read. Don’t feel like you have to fill your “extra time” if you’re not up for it. These uncertain times are stressful and what’s important is taking care of yourself. The books will still be here when you’re ready for them.
In the mean time, I have a few alternative suggestions.
- Poetry: Ms. Melinson is a big fan of poetry and uses it as a literary break between books. Poetry can be short and easy to pick up. Just read a page and put it back down. Sometimes a poem can really speak to you in a concise but powerful way, that a novel would take a much longer time to get to.
- Audiobooks: audiobooks are a great alternative when you don’t feel like reading. I love audiobooks, especially ones that feature a full cast production. We have a robust e-audiobook collection here chock full of new and popular titles. The public library also has a huge collection.
- Podcasts: friends, podcasts are incredible. There are podcasts for every subject out there. Mr. G introduced me to a great podcast called 99% Invisible. Episodes focus on “the things we don’t think about — the unnoticed architecture and design that shape our world.” If you like learning about anything and everything, this is the podcast for you.
If you’re not having trouble reading, great! Here are some lists for you if need suggestions – each word has its own link, so check them all out! If you need a refresher on how to access our ebook collection, here’s the link to Overdrive. Select Sacramento Country Day School from the list and log in with your username (first name initial + last name + graduation year) and password. If you don’t remember your password, it can be found in CavNet under groups in MS Library or HS Library depending on your grade level. More detailed instructions can be found here.
As always, Ms. Melinson and I are here for you if you need book suggestions, if there’s an ebook or audiobook you want to read and you need us to purchase it for you, or if you just need a virtual cup of tea. Until then, we hope you have a restful and restorative Spring Break.