Reading is one of the best and healthiest ways to pass time — and can be done indoors on a mediocre day. From learning and comfort to escape and entertainment, reading just might be the way to cope with COVID-19. This list of books ranges from heavier topics to lighthearted stories that will immerse you in another world.
Libraries are also offering digital books for those who don’t have access to physical copies. A free app called Libby is available for people with library cards to borrow and download ebooks and digital audiobooks.
“Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams
In a story packed with aliens, robots and unimaginable circumstances, this science fiction comedy follows the journey of Arthur Dent, an ordinary Englishman, after the destruction of Earth. Along with his friend Ford Prefect, an alien journalist, they are guided through the galaxy by a few unusual travelers. The absurdity in this story reflects the incredible mind of Adams in telling a story. Adams’ use of language will be entertainment in and of itself, but the story line and eccentric characters are bound to bring the reader joy in such times of despair. “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” published in 1979, is the first of six books and will be adapted into a new TV series for Hulu.
“The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane” by Kate DiCamillo
Edward Tulane is a china rabbit given to a girl who treats him with love and care, until one day, he gets lost. This touching novel tells the story of Tulane as he goes from place to place and passes from owner to owner. Throughout his journey, readers of all ages experience the loss, hope, change and most importantly, love, that he experiences. “The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane” is a powerful story that captures the astoundingly cruel nature of the world that we can all emotionally relate to especially during these difficult times. DiCamillo is also the author of “The Tale of Despereaux” and “Flora and Ulysses,” which have both won Newbery Medals.
“The Night Circus” by Erin Morgenstern
“The Night Circus” is an enchanting story that captures the essence of magic, illusion and whimsical fantasy. Readers will step into a dream-like world as they experience the breathtaking wonders of the circus that only comes at night. Behind the circus is a tale of two star-crossed lovers — competitors in a magical duel where only one will be left standing. Quirky and eccentric characters are sprinkled throughout the story to enhance the competition with manipulation, fate and collaboration. Morgenstern uses her narrative to paint a dark and dazzling world saturated with color, sounds, texture and smells to create a visually enticing story. “The Night Circus” will provide an escape from our current reality into a world filled with unimaginable wonders and mystery.
“Eloise” by Kay Thompson
The first of the “Eloise” books, originally titled “Eloise: A Book for Precocious Grown-ups,” is one that will take readers back down memory lane. Stuck inside her hotel, as many of us are stuck at home, Eloise finds plenty of entertainment in things adults would find mundane. The story of a little girl who lives in the Plaza Hotel is both heartbreaking and humorous — readers will be amused by Eloise’s obnoxious behavior as she wreaks havoc on guests at the hotel and recalls the sadness and struggles of childhood that she might be oblivious to.
The “Harry Potter” series by J.K. Rowling
The “Harry Potter” series is arguably one of the most well-known book series, surrounding fantasy and magic. Read or reread these series now that there is time. Harry Potter, the boy who lives, provides comfort and escape from our self-isolation and brings us into an entirely magical world meticulously curated by Rowling. Readers will find comfort in familiar characters, laughter, enchantment and heartbreak as they follow the story of Potter and his contemporaries from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.