Posted by: Lisa Hill | March 17, 2020

Ten Bookish Things to do while self-isolated at home

Please note: the situation with COVID_19 is changing day by day, in Australia with more news of closures, and welcome news about support services and nimble organisations which are adapting with digital alternatives.  I have tagged all my posts with #COVID_19 so you can follow developments, and for a single authoritative voice offering the latest information and advice listen to the ABC Coronacast podcasts delivered by Dr Norman Swan, which is accessible to international visitors as well.


The Reader by Fragonard (Wikipedia*)

First of all, remember this: you are not alone.  You may be by yourself, but you do not have to be lonely.  There is a vast army of readers out there who love books and will happily chat about them and anything even remotely bookish.  If you’re not already part of the virtual bookish community, you can find people via social media, especially via Book Blogs and at Good Reads or Library Thing where you can search groups who share your tastes.  (There are also sites at Instagram but I don’t play in that sandpit).

And if you are here reading this, then you’re already on your way… say hello in comments below!

Here are ten suggestions that will keep you busy if you have to stay home for 14 days.

1. Join a reading group.  There are thousands of them.  You can find them at Goodreads or Library Thing where with varying degrees of formality, keen readers host challenges, read particular books, or types of books.  Find someone bookish at Twitter, and follow them, soon you will know heaps of people.  (BTW Twitter for booklovers is generally a safe space.  People who read books are usually nice people, something to do with the development of empathy through reading about the lives of others.  Exceptions exist, but you can easily block them.) Make friends: don’t lurk, just drop into a conversation and you will find that people are delighted to have you join them.

2. Find blogs that focus on the kind of books you like.  Search online or use my blog roll in the RH menu, most other bloggers have them too. You will find bloggers who host various ‘weeks’ or ‘months’: at the moment there is Irish Reading Month at Cathy 746, and Welsh Reading month at Booker Talk. Here in Victoria there is the Autumn Book Binge hosted by the State Library of Victoria, and you can win prizes.  If you don’t have the book that you need to join in, and you can’t afford to buy an eBook or one that can be delivered—hunt around online for free alternatives that you can read online. Try Project Gutenberg, and Gutenberg Australia.  Often just typing in the name of the book you want +”read online” will find other sources too.  PS You can also borrow eBooks from your library, see advice from the Public Library Network here.

3. Which brings me to… explore Project Gutenberg and Gutenberg Australia. Thousands of volunteers have scanned and edited classic works of literature that are out of copyright and made them free for anyone to read on screen. If you’ve never read Dickens, or Austen, or George Orwell or the short stories of Maupassant, this is where you can find them all.  Project Gutenberg Australia has a dedicated Australiana section on their home page, but they also have dedicated lists of C20th Women Writers, Nobel Prize winners, SF, fantasy, Crime and so on.  Never read Miles Franklin, who founded our most prestigious literary prize?  Just type her name into the search box, and you will find not only the book that launched her career as a writer, but heaps more besides.  If you find you really like OzLit from times past, then check out Bill’s blog at The Australian Legend and chat with like-minded people there.

4. Make a dedicated shelf of books you want to read at Goodreads.  Suppose you want to read all six of Jane Austen’s novels that you’ve found at Project Gutenberg. Find the titles at Goodreads, mark them ‘want to read’ and then refresh the page.  Below the info about the book you will then find your ‘review’ of the book, and if you open that you will find a section for your own private notes.  Copy the URL of the free copy you’ve found online, and save it to your Want to Read Austen shelf. Then you can always find it again easily.

5. Join a Readalong.  Just type Readalong into Twitter’s search box, and you will be spoilt for choice.  But be aware that this can be a marketing strategy for brand new books and you may not want to get sucked into that, especially since it usually means that you have to buy the book*.  OTOH you can also find ZolaAddiction which is hosting reading the works of Emile Zola, and the bonus of that is that you can find Zola’s books, in French and in translation into English at Project Gutenberg.  Just type Zola into the search box.

6. Subscribe to the Library of America’s Short Story service. Sue from Whispering Gums and I both subscribe to this, and have enjoyed all kinds of interesting short pieces.  My most recent discovery was from a beekeeper who witnessed the first flight of a plane, but Sue has read heaps of them, check out her reviews here.  (Sue BTW writes a weekly Monday Musings, where all kinds of wonderful bookish conversations take place. Check it out).

7. Tidy up the TBR.  Karen at Booker Talk has excellent strategies for reducing the number of books you have, but if you’re like me, it’s not that you want to get rid of them, you want to be able to find the one you want.  You can catalogue what you have at Goodreads or Library Thing, you can make an Excel file, or you can just behave like a librarian and sort them into NF by subject, and Fiction by author surname.  You can even order in some smart indexed notebooks and list the books alphabetically, ticking them off as you read them.  There are people who sort them by colour so that they look pretty but I don’t recommend this unless you have the kind of memory that remembers what colour each title is.  There are no end of online bookish conversations about the TBR… from people who want to be Kondoish about it, who want to reduce it, who can’t store it, who don’t see what the problem is. Maybe now there will be people who wish they had one, so that they something to read.  No matter, just join in.

8. Make a scrapbook of your ten favourite books.  These could be childhood favourites, or books that influenced you, or books that you will never forget.  Journal anything and everything about the books: who gave/lent/recommended it to you and why.  What you remember of the story and why it made such an impact.  Think of this scrapbook as your testament of reading that will be treasured by your heirs and successors as a window into your reading soul.  Just imagine how excited family historians of the future would be to find something like this. This is something that I’m going to do myself because I can do it while my eyes are still recovering from surgery. Update 19/3/20 People who like to do things digitally could make the scrapbook using a service like Momentum.  You can probably find an image of the exact edition you remember reading at Goodreads too.

9. Make maps or storyboards or some kind of digital creation about the book/s you read.  There are clever people who do this with Google Maps, for example this one of War and Peace, more artistic ones like this for Huckleberry Finn and this one which shows the settings for multiple books, which of course you could adapt for the particular books that you’ve read. (There are blogs by people who have set themselves a challenge to read a book from every country in the world, so you can chat about what you’re doing with them.)  There are sites that teach you how to do it.

10. Start a reading journal.  Paper or digital, it doesn’t matter.  A journal of what you’ve read during this time will have historic value to you, and your family, and maybe people of the future.  Your journal can be shared online (start a blog, why not?) or intensely private, because everything you read right now will trigger your thoughts about what we are experiencing.  Writing them down, as indeed making a narrative out of any traumatic experience, is good for the soul.

The point of all this, is that we know that people can feel anxious and lonely during the pandemic, and it will be harder for people who live alone, or don’t have anyone in the house to share things in common.  It’s important to know that you are not alone, there is a virtual bookish world which will welcome you, and the bonus is that it is almost inevitable that you will one day, when this is all over, as it will be, meet f2f someone you’ve met online.

PS: You will notice that my suggestions are not much use if you have children underfoot during the day—it’s been a long time since I was alone at home with a small child, and I mostly remember being too exhausted to do anything when finally he went to sleep.  Of course you can do bookish things with your children.  But all of us need adult conversation as well.  If you are a sole parent there will be times when they are in bed or (hopefully) otherwise occupied and then you might find that some adult conversation is a better option than collapsing in front of the TV.  Feel free to add suggestions of what works for you to comments below.


Oh yes, and if you need a laugh, check out Theresa Smith Writes: each week she writes The Week That Was, which is of course bookish, but also features a Joke of the Week.  For beautiful photos to brighten your day visit Travellin’ Penguin; for curated articles of interest about all kinds of stuff plus book reviews visit Tasmanian Bibliophile at Large; for Six degrees of Separation see Books are my Favourite and Best;  for insights about children’s books see Me Fail? I Fly! and for inspirational insights from an activist who has worked all her life to make the world a better place, visit Mairi Neil Writer. Update, an hour or so later: right on cue, Mairi has just published a post called Ease the anxiety and boredom of isolation or insulation with creative writing. 

* Re getting sucked into marketing campaigns for books: I don’t say this to discourage people from buying books.  Readings in Melbourne will deliver books to your home, so will The Bookshop at Queenscliff, and they’re just the ones I’ve heard from so far.  Just be wary of getting sucked into buying heaps of stuff online generally, and please, think about who you are buying it from. Marketers are already working hard at sucking in what they see as a captive audience for their products.  The most aggressive marketers of books are the conglomerates with plentiful financial reserves, not the small indie publishers that are the lifeblood of Australian publishing and operate on a shoestring.  Of course we want to support business so that it survives, and of course we want to support authors whose book launch got cancelled, but just be careful and try to avoid global online suppliers who contribute nothing to the Australian economy.   My inbox today and yesterday is full of cancellations of all sorts of things and every one of them impacts on people’s incomes.  If your spending is thoughtful, after this is all over, you will have money to spend on the service industry—the people who make our way of life a pleasure and yet have only casualised work conditions.  If you can, and you haven’t lost your income during the this time, you will have disposable income, to kickstart the little cafes, to support the roadie who does the sound for the band at the pub or the violinist who hasn’t had a gig for the duration, and of course to buy books from the bricks and mortar stores that support the book industry.

PS I almost forgot: for reliable up-to-date info about #COVID_19 listen to ABC Online’s daily Coronacast.  You can subscribe as a podcast, or you can listen to it from the ABC’s website. The presenter is  Dr Norman Swan, and his co-presenter is from the ABC’s Science unit.  I suggest that you listen to it from the beginning, because not all advice is repeated every day.  I believe that it’s accessible internationally, please let me know if this is not correct.

Image credits:


Responses

  1. Excellent suggestions! And maybe those with children at home could write and illustrate a children’s book together …

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    • Yes, that’s a very good idea! Kids love to do things like this:)
      BTW I have started reading Dragon’s Gate by Vivian Bi, it’s very good – and it’s perfect for the Autumn Book Binge Alternate Worlds category!

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  2. This is great, Lisa! Thank you!

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    • You’re welcome, Teresa.
      Now, I have had A Thought.
      You will remember that I made a crass remark about internal book design a little while ago, and you set me straight with some insights into what’s involved…
      I realised then that I can’t be the only person Who Had No Idea.
      Any chance you could write a guest post about it for us?

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  3. Great suggestions, Lisa, but for those of us who have to work from home we’re not really going to have that much more spare time (my commute is only 15 minutes, so I’m only going to save half-an-hour a day) and it’ll be hard to separate the work life from home life (which is why I hate WFH). Some people won’t be properly set up to WFH either (ie. no spare room to turn into an office, looking after young ones etc). I know I’m already concerned about how I am going to do art work (I design ads, brochures & digital campaigns etc) on a tiny laptop when at work I have TWO big screens to do this…

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    • I know that, and I can see how it’s really hard. When The Spouse first started working from home, he had terrible conditions, tucked into a corner of the family room and nowhere to put his stuff and spread out when he needed to. And yes, it is hard to separate work from home. I used to do it sometimes when the pressure was really on at work and I had to choose between finishing an urgent project at home and responding to the endless interruptions at work. I hated it, not least because a lot of what I did needed input from others, and I’d get so frustrated waiting for them to get back to me by email. But also because friendly neighbours would phone or call in and interrupt me, not realising that I was trying to work. It’s going to be tough…
      But my post is really pitched at people who are at home alone and at a loose end, and haven’t been part of our bookish community. I wanted to welcome them, because I know that for some people this is going to be an intensely lonely time, especially if they are frightened.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I guess I’m just envious I can’t spend all my time at home reading books 😜

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        • Of course, and I don’t blame you. This situation is painful for everybody in all sorts of ways, and it’s completely normal to feel that some people are ‘better off’ than others…
          For some people, work at home is a horrible option. for other people it’s a perfect solution.
          Is it an option to ask work to buy you a bigger screen to attach to your laptop? They’re only a couple of hundred dollars…

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          • I’m actually going to see if I can bring my two screens from work home with me… I’m currently on a few days’ annual leave (just been to Darwin with Tim), so when I return to the office tomorrow I’ll see what I can agree with my bosses…

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            • That makes sense:) Hopefully they’ll agree…

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  4. This Stay-at-Home has already increased my fiction reading.

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    • Yay, more reviews on your blog, eh?

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  5. What a great post! I will share as well (and thanks for the mention). In times where physical distancing may be necessary, virtual social interaction is vital. I have so much reading, gardening and crafting to do ….

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    • I look forward to hearing about that on your blog. What kind of crafting do you do?

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      • A mixture: embroidery (a heirloom tablecloth at the moment), cross-stitch and patchwork. I’ve been making some patchwork bookmarks. I have a few to finish and then I’ll post some photographs.

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        • Ah yes, now I remember… a while ago you did a post about your patchwork bookmarks? (Which I enviously admired).

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          • I did. Perhaps you might like one from my next finished group?

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            • That would be lovely. (Though I wasn’t hinting). I love bookmarks, and use them a lot because (usually) I’m reading about half a dozen books at once.

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              • I’ll let you know when I have some to choose from. I know that you weren’t hinting, but my bookmarks like to go out into the world to feel useful. And I have a number in progress.

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                • You’re very kind:)
                  When my mother was alive, but gravely ill with ovarian cancer, I used to buy hand-made decoupage greeting cards from my local opshops. There was a lady who used to make them, just because she liked doing it and wanted them to ‘go out into the world to feel useful’ too. My mother, who loved gardening and flowers in particular, used to love getting these cards with my letters tucked inside them. They were not just beautiful cards, they were made with kindness, and she valued the fact that someone she never knew was making them for others.

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        • Your mention of Patchwork bookmarks has intrigued me. Do yiu have a site where you show photos of these? I’d love to see them.

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  6. Reblogged this on Tasmanian Bibliophile @Large and commented:
    Here are some wonderful bookish suggestions!

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  7. On this St Patrick’s Day I’d like to give a strong recommendation for Irish writer, Niall Williams, new book “This is Happiness.” This book certainly was for me.It is so beautifully written and full of gems you feel obliged to jot down Like this one “ He had the look of someone who mid sum had forgotten to carry the one”. I know Lisa you weren’t a big fan of The History of the Rain” but this one is so much less gloomy and the sun is actually shining throughout. It’s a coming of age story of a young boy who was to become a priest but now has chosen a different path with the help of a new arrival in his village of Faha – a man called Christy with a love for music, life and a woman in Faha he has come back to beg forgiveness from.May the luck of the Irish be with you and all your readers.We certainly need it right now.

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    • And a very happy St Patrick’s Day to you!
      A sunny book sounds just the thing right now. I know it’s important to keep up with the news, but it’s also very important to give the brain time-out from it all, with laughter and sunshine and hope.
      Thanks for the suggestion:)

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    • Bernie I loved this book so much I purchased my own copy to keep! It’s such a joyous book and one that might really help cheer people up during this stressful time. So glad to hear someone else loved it!

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      • That’s a great endorsement!

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  8. Hi Lisa,

    I live alone and all of my social things have been cancelled – my U3A classes, my choirs (both of them), public lectures that I was looking forward to, author talks I was planning to go to, my book club is cancelled. I live in a place with a freezing snowy winter and the thought of not being able to happily hunker down in my favourite snug café with a good book and a hot cuppa is sad indeed! So thanks for all the links and advice you’ve given – a friend of mine and I have decided it’s reading books that will keep us going! I’m just hoping the library doesn’t close… but I guess it probably will. Thankfully I always keep a shelf of books ‘still to be read’ in case of sickness etc, so I’ll be getting through those!

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    • Well, that surely has a massive impact on your social life, my heart aches for you, it really does. Please do stay in touch here and elsewhere online so that we know how you are doing. Take care and stay well, Lisa

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      • Thanks Lisa! There are a number of older women in particular in these groups who live alone, are not comfortable with technology, and who rely on things like U3A or choir/book club etc for companionship. I can imagine there will be many lonely people during this crisis. I’m fortunate that I have ready access to people online, have a dog to walk & for company, and am a bookworm to the core – so I can always read, read, read!

        Am pretty much self isolating in any case to try to help flatten the curve and not get sick myself! I think it’s the least we can all try to do. Long walks with the dog are lovely though!

        I’m on an online forum that is asking people for ideas for things to do during a lockdown and I’ve listed your blog as a place for any fellow bookworms to go check out! Cheers!

        PS: Currently reading Wolfe Island on your recommendation and loving it!

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        • U3A is an important part of my life too. Last year I did a course on cryptic crosswords, and I was in a gallery group visiting various galleries around the city. I also taught Indonesian for Beginners there as well as a couple of fill-in lessons of ESL.
          This year I’ve joined a different U3A so that I can learn Latin and I’ve done some single session subjects on art and a course about the Spanish Civil War. I am counting my blessings that I gathered the emails of my Latin class in anticipation that I’d miss between two and four lessons because of my eye surgery and wanted the homework to be emailed on to me. I never imagined that I’d be using this email list for an entirely different purpose. The tutor is posting me work to be done ‘for the duration’ and I can forward it on to everyone in the group!

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          • You would have so much choice in Melbourne I am envious! Your U3A classes sound wonderful, I would love to do one visiting the art galleries! Are they still meeting up despite the virus Lisa? Most things here seem to be shutting down – and I am wary myself of much close contact, I am trying to keep a healthy distance from groups of people both for myself and them and our health system.

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            • Alas, all U3A activities are cancelled, obviously because all members are in the vulnerable age group.
              But if I could encourage you to think about the future, anyone could lead such a group – last year’s group was led by an artist, and she had a subscription to an art magazine from which she selected exhibitions for us to go to. We would meet at the U3a, have lunch together, and then car pool or take public transport to wherever it was. I haven’t been able to attend the gallery visits group at my new U3A but as I understand it, the only difference is that all members contribute to making suggestions about galleries to visit. (I don’t know about the all-important lunches yet either!)
              So although you might need to factor in a greater distance to regional galleries, maybe if you put your hand up to run such a group you might be delighted to find that other people are interested in the same thing too?

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  9. Great post, Lisa! Didn’t know about Gutenberg Australia. Thank you.

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    • It was a good rediscovery for me too. I hadn’t been there for a while (because last time I was there I shamelessly downloaded heaps of books for the Kindle) and I hadn’t realised that they had those dedicated lists to browse in:)

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      • Will definitely go there now. Already have lots of unread books on my Kindle but what’s a few more. LOL. We are self quarantining now in Mexico. Between finding a new energy for cooking and trying new recipes and getting my reading mojo back hopefully we’ll come out the other end OK.

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        • I didn’t realise you were in Mexico… one of the things that puzzles me is that we are hearing *nothing* about what’s happening in South America or in Africa. Two whole continents, and yet we know nothing about the situation there…

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          • Yes, we’ve been here since June 2017. Cases are being reported. Only a few, so far, in the Yucatan. But the government is closing schools from the 20th and social distancing from 23rd. Ecuador closed its borders a few days ago. CNN has been reporting on SA for a few days, now. But yes, you have to go searching for the rest.
            I downloaded My Brilliant Career but when I tried to share to Kindle it wouldn’t co-operate. Will try with my iPad, maybe it’s the phone.

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            • I hope you can get it to work. I haven’t downloaded anything from the Australian site for a while, but from the main site, is to use my laptop to download it directly to my Kindle for PC (which I downloaded for free from the Amazon store). I don’t like reading from a computer, but from a laptop it’s bearable for books that are not too long.

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  10. Lisa, this is one of your most brilliant posts ev-ah!
    Thank you.
    Could you publish it in a newspaper?
    Or is that a transgressive thing for a blogger to do?
    And thank you also for putting The Reader up there as an illustration.
    Read On!

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    • Thanks, Carmel. I wouldn’t know how to get it into a newspaper… I did have an article published once in the Canberra Times but that was long ago. If you have any contacts who you think might want to use it, by all means get in touch with them and give them my email address, and I’ll happily share it that way.

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      • Why not just send it straight to Jason Steiger at The Age?

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        • Thanks for the suggestion, I’ve sent him an email…

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      • Book Riot would be very interested I’m sure…

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        • Thanks for the suggestion, I’ll wait and see what happens with The Age first.

          Liked by 1 person

  11. PS – I put the link to this post onto facebook. I hope that is OK.

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    • Yes, of course!

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      • Protocols can be tricky. I am glad this was OK – I thought it would be. ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

  12. What a great list! And thanks for the mention, although the pressure is on now to be funny… 😄
    There’s quite a few things here that I’ll be checking out too.

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    • Ha, ha, I do know how you feel:) A friend recently undergoing cancer therapy wrote to all his friends telling us what was happening, and asking us instead of sending get well messages, to send him jokes. Your Jokes of the Week were just what I needed, because I had no idea where else to get them from.

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  13. Thanks for this delightful post, full of great ideas. Stay well.

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    • You’re welcome, Elaine:) Take care!

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  14. Dear Lisa,
    This is a brilliant post, thank you so much for the thought you have put into it. I’m going to send the link to all my reading friends who are finding themselves facing self-isolation.
    Stay well yourself.
    Lyn

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    • Thank you Lyn, I’ll be very pleased if it helps your friends:)

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  15. Fantastic post Lisa. Even an old hand like me has learned something new… I never realised there was an Australian version of Gutenberg…
    I had started to write a similar post yesterday but you’ve covered almost everything I was going to say and with far greater eloquence. So I shall delete all that and start again, focusing on a few additional ideas

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    • Feel free to reblog it if you want to!

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  16. Lovely suggestions Lisa! I am still at work as the schools are still open, but should we self-isolate I hope to read up a storm. Books have always been my solace and are helping at the moment, and as most of my bookish content is virtual I shall try to keep on with that. If I get the chance, I might even re-organise the bookshelves… ;D

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  17. […] anzlitlovers.com […]

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  18. Thanks for such a great post Lisa. I will revisit some of the links you shared. Most of my reading these days are audible books due to dodgy thyroid making my eyes always sore. I do miss reading paper books a lot. I have to limit handsewing too much to my disgust.
    Hope your surgery went well.

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    • Hello Chele, how lovely to hear from you. I hope some of what’s here is useful to you.
      I sure can relate to the store eyes… do be sure to have them checked regularly because that kind of soreness isn’t always thyroid, sometimes it’s other problems, as it was with me. The big bonus of the surgery is not improved eyesight, because that doesn’t seem much different to me, but that the gritty feeling like sandpaper in your eyes is gone. So far, anyway!

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  19. This is a great list of things to do. Thanks!

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    • Thanks:)
      It’s just occurred to me that people who like to do things digitally could do the Ten Favourite Books activity using an online album service like Momentum. I’m going to find a link for it, and add that in.

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  20. […] there is social media that *isn’t* toxic, and *isn’t* peddling misinformation.  As I said in my previous post Ten Bookish Things to Do While Self-isolated At Home, there is a friendly and welcoming bookish community that will help you feel less alone in these […]

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  21. Good one Lisa … I have been so busy the last couple of days getting back from Melbourne and having Mum staying that I’ve barely read or looked at blogs.

    Thanks for the links, and what a great discussion has been going on here. These are great ideas. I am though concerned about the impact of isolation on, for example, older people living alone who are not good at technology, and old people living with someone with dementia. I have a couple such in my circles. For these people complete isolation could have mental health issues. I’d really like to see some discussion of what exactly is meant by self-isolation.

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    • Yes, I know that things have been frantic for you.
      You’re absolutely right of course: and it’s not just old people. Many disadvantaged people access the internet only at their local libraries, which are now closed down. I don’t have an answer for this, and I’m hopeful that authorities and peak organisations are working on it.
      Re the difference between quarantine and self-isolation and what that means, I suggest Norman Swan’s daily Coronacast https://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/coronacast/latest-segments/12025304. If you listen to it from the beginning so you hear all the episodes you will get a really good grasp of what’s what, from an authoritative source, and on the website, you can ask questions for them to answer.
      There’s also this article about mental health at SBS https://www.sbs.com.au/news/stay-off-social-media-and-talk-about-something-else-mental-health-experts-advice-for-dealing-with-covid-19-isolation but while I hesitate to quarrel with experts, I think that bookish social media carefully curated is different, it’s not toxic and it doesn’t peddle misinformation. It’s a safe space for people to talk and share experiences.

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      • Thanks Lisa … I was aware of Coronacast but haven’t had time to listen to it. I’ll have to do that. I agree with you about bookish social media – most of it is positive, caring and supportive.

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        • I’ve been listening to Coronacast every day and it’s the voice I trust. (I’ve been listening to Norman Swan Health Report for years, and it’s excellent.) They’re not very long podcasts so it won’t take you long to catch up.

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          • Oh yes, me too re Norman Swan. Have also loved the Health Report for decades. I will see what I can do over the weekend when Mum is back in her home and hopefully OK. We realise that when my brother returns to Tasmania tomorrow night, who knows when he might be able to return, so we are in for demanding times I think. Carers may fall away as they get sick. Then again all of our formal activities have stopped so we’ll have more time on our hands!

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  22. After one day of working from home I already think that my reading time is going to be reduced, mainly because working on a laptop screen instead of the normal double screens is going to tire my eyes out.

    Some good suggestions here!

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    • Oh, I know… writing reports on school laptops was a total nightmare. One thing to do that at least will raise it to an ergonomically better height is to put it on top of a couple of telephone books. A G&T on the desk helps too…

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  23. What lovely ideas and it’s obvious how many here, already, have found the level of detail and encouragement helpful and heartening. Well done!

    Just last week I think our situation here in Toronto would have seemed similar to that expressed in the comments here, but in the past week our public buildings have all closed (libraries! and all the rest except city hall), schools are closed, many universities and colleges (some halting their years and others finishing their years with e-learning), all restaurants are either closed or take-out only, and most of our bookstores are closed, with a couple still offering delivery service (contactless). Because the province has not announced an official lockdown yet, some small businesses are remaining open, and while we are trying to support the close-to-home family-owned places which will suffer with closures, it’s clear that the staff (even the owners) are increasingly uncomfortable remaining open (but also desperate). Technically we are to be out for food/groceries, exercise, medical care, to help others who cannot leave themselves, and that’s it. Thank goodness for books.

    Yes, I tried your ABC links and they do play out-of-country. Thanks and keep well and reading!

    Like

    • Your comment is timely… I’ll think I’ll add a caveat to my post to advise people that things are changing day by day.
      That’s good to hear that our ABC is working internationally. That Coronacast is a godsend IMO when there is so much misinformation making people feel more anxious than they need to be.
      One business that is thriving is Australia Post and also the courier services — delivering all the stuff that people are now ordering online. I know this because their normally very prompt service has slowed down a bit!
      PS I went to the specialist today and he says I am making good progress, and last night I managed to read a whole chapter of my book!

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  24. […] at ANZLitLovers has helpfully come up with ten suggestions that will keep you busy if you have to be in quarantine or are practising self […]

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  25. […] that is the TBR in the background.  And yes, one of my Ten Bookish Things to Do is to tidy it […]

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  26. […] Ten Bookish Things to do while self-isolated at home – Lisa Hill at ANZ LitLovers LitBlog has come up with “ten suggestions [to] keep you busy if you have to stay home for 14 days.” She says: “There is a vast army of readers out there who love books and will happily chat about them”, which means that while you “may be by yourself, […] you do not have to be lonely.”  […]

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  27. […] anzlitlovers.com […]

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  28. […] that is the TBR in the background.  And yes, one of my Ten Bookish Things to Do is to tidy it […]

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