Why we returned to reading

This is how booksellers proved to be surprisingly resilient through the lockdowns of 2020

13 December 2020 - 16:32 By Frederick Studemann

It is a rare shaft of light in a dismal year: the return to reading. Against the backdrop of a deadly virus that saw many of us banished to our homes, the pandemic has been a boon to books. “Never has our need for stories and the art of storytelling been greater than in the time of Covid,” says Turkish-British author Elif Shafak.

To judge by reports from publishers and anecdotal evidence, we have turned to literature as a means to understand or escape from a world in upheaval. Lockdowns provided time to work through that pile of must-reads by the bedside — or not. The need for distraction and solace also found its mark in a renewed enthusiasm for poetry...

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