Shelf Share: Read in Isolation

Seven weeks ago I created a shelf on my Goodreads and called it ‘Read in Isolation’. I wanted to keep track of the books I had read whilst spending 98% of my time isolated within my own house as an ‘at risk’ person for developing complications if I were to contract Covid 19. I’ve returned to working within my actual workplace this week so for all intents and purposes, my ‘isolation’ is over. 🎉

But what did I read, and were there any patterns?

Total books read: 23

Historical fiction: 11

Non-fiction: 2

Contemporary fiction: 10

A further breakdown (some crossover):

WWII fiction: 5

Crime fiction: 3

Family/relationship focused: 20

Witches: 2

Magical realism: 2

Female agency: 6

Five star reads: 14

Four star reads: 3

Own purchases: 2

Review books: 21

Of note:

Dystopian: 0

Books about Pandemics: 0

Politics: 0

I am surprised I read as much contemporary fiction as I did. It felt like I was reading more historical. Two non-fiction might not seem like much, but within a seven week period, that’s quite a lot for me. A lot of family/relationship focused stories, I’m not sure if that was accidental or intentional. In some of these, the family dynamics were operating alongside the plot, in others, the family dynamics and relationships were the actual plot.

Of note: I averaged 3 books per week over the seven weeks. This is no different to the amount of books I read when not in isolation. I either have a very isolated life in normal times (this is very likely), or, I was doing ‘other things’ more (again, true: monopoly matches and I watched a lot more TV than I normally do). Maybe a balance of both!

13 thoughts on “Shelf Share: Read in Isolation

    • When it all started, I noticed myself not reading and just spending my time reading news and obsessively watching press conferences. After four days of that, I recognised within myself this rising sense of despair so I just stopped and went back to reading books. I still know what’s going on in the country, but I’m in a better headspace than what I could have been if I’d not changed tactics back then.


      • Absolutely. There’s a lot of advice around about mental health but there needs to be more emphasis on rationing our own exposure to the news. Here, it’s a quick look at the news first thing in the morning, listen to Coronacast, watch ABC News TV for as long as it takes us to eat lunch, and then he watches/I read the news again at 7pm. That’s it, and the rest of the time we do things that fill our brains with other stuff. We’re already starting to wean ourselves off the lunchtime news, if I see That Fool preaching from the pulpit one more time, that will be the last time I watch it!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. That’s a neat idea – I wish I’d done that. I can go back and look at my spreadsheet and track from the time they closed the schools etc, but it’s not quite as easy as your shelf, which gives you a good visual representation of what you were reading at the time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You should be able to create a shelf now from your spreadsheet. I think I created mine a couple of weeks into my isolation once the idea struck me. I wasn’t organised enough to think of it at the beginning!


  2. As it happens, I’ve read a fair amount of Historical Fiction, Family Sagas and Female Agency stories too, plus more non-fiction than usual, particularly around Literary Criticism for some reason. I’ve deliberately kept away from all things Dystopian, but I can see why fiction from this genre has risen in popularity for many readers since the start of the pandemic. I’m glad you’ve survived your time in isolation and have been able to return to work.

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