While we might be in isolation, we don’t need to be isolated. The beauty of social media is that we can connect with like-minded people online. For booklovers, we have online book clubs, book launches, author events and now a hashtag that connects you with other readers around the country… CEO of Hachette, Louise Sherwin-Stark has a message us all, and the hashtag we need right now.
Reading has always been a comfort to me. In times of trouble, I tend to read for escapism. If I am feeling a little lethargic, I will read something more challenging or provoking, and if I have a glorious few hours of freedom, I will read something really immersive. With my newsfeeds currently dominated by COVID-19, it’s no surprise I am reading to escape just now, and to inform.
I’ve been in publishing my whole career and it is a joy and a privilege to be able to work with books, authors, book critics, festivals, booksellers, printers and all the other many wonderful folk that make up the book industry. Like all of you, we are fearful for the immediate future, in terms of our health, the health of those we love, and our businesses. Many people in our industry are in small businesses, so these are alarming times indeed. So, as an industry, we are working together to keep going, to keep publishing beautiful words, confronting words, informative words, thrilling words and comforting words. Books could play a very important part in keeping people mentally strong as we ride out this storm, in so many ways.
There are so many books to choose from and with expert guidance from booksellers and influencers like Better Reading, you will find the perfect book for your mood and needs right now. For me, I will need an escape, I will need beautiful words that give me goose bumps. I will need history to illuminate the present and give me a sense of what the future might hold. I will also need immersive books for my 10-year-old, because as we move to home school, I am also trying to work from home. Like all parents out there, I need all the help I can get.
The industry has pulled together to launch a campaign on the benefits of reading at this time – #AustraliaReadsAtHome – so watch this space, join the conversation and let books play a part in helping you and your family to get through this.