This list of our favourite books to read for escapism during lockdown contains affiliate links.
Finding the motivation (or attention span) to read felt impossible when lockdown first began.
For the first few weeks, I spent the majority of my days caught in what outwardly seemed to be some sort of frenzied masterclass in productivity – washing, cleaning and organising everything in sight – all while achieving absolutely nothing. I’d somehow become the exact opposite of the serene swan analogy: my legs kicking frantically above the water, while below I was floating through life half submerged, with a brain full of pond water.
It was difficult to tell if I was coping extraordinarily well, or in the midst of some sort of (very gradual) breakdown.
Thanks to this perpetual brain twitch, reading was off the cards for most of April. However, and after four weeks of eroding a small hole in my carpet thanks to over-enthusiastic hoovering, something changed. Maybe I’d reached ‘live newsfeed’ saturation point, or perhaps my initial anxiety had retreated, but suddenly, books reappeared like a long lost friend; an ideal way out of lockdown misery.
Desperate to replace daily press briefings and Matt Hancock’s quivering face with anyone, anything, I began browsing lists of 2020’s best reads. Fast forward four weeks and I’ve now read more books than in 2019 as a whole; remembering books I’ve read and loved, and discovering new literary obsessions.
As I know a lot of you are also coping with lockdown by reading, I thought I’d compile a list of books to read for escapism during lockdown. I hope that they’ll not only spirit you away from talk of pandemics and the state of the nation’s lungs, but will fill your world with unforgettable characters, absorbing storylines and a much needed break from reality.
(Unless, of course, you decide to read ‘Station Eleven’).