Booklovers in quarantine – how are you coping?

a tag yourself style meme, titled "booklovers in quar". The six types are: 1) crisis duck - twitter counts as reading, animal crossing counts as reading, read 10 pages of a book on week 1 and wants to read more but is worried they don't know how to read anymore, crying counts as reading 2) senorita fluff - reading poetry just to feel something, sadposting poetry on insta to make others feel something, "I should read Anne Carson", 3) quackers - actually reading through that stack of books they've been meaning to get to for years, innocently asking their friends what they're reading in Quar, how are you doing this quackers what is your secret, 4) The Quack PhD - reading a bunch of leftist theory, "you know what would hit the spot rn? going absolutely ape on Haymarket Books ebooks", getting really mad and having to make a soup to calm down, 5) Keeping It Together Duck - if we throw books at the emotional difficulty it's like the emotional difficulty isn't even there, 6) Maureen - exclusively reading emotional supprt children's books from their teenhood and/or escapist genre fiction

 

I’ve been thinking about this meme from Uncharted Books since I saw it a couple of weeks ago. Confession: I’ve mostly been in crisis duck mode these last two months (with the exception of all those picture books my kid gets me to read her), which has been making it hard for me to know what to write. But, I realized today that no matter where you fit into this meme, VPL’s got resources for you, and I can help you find them!

Let’s start with crisis duck:

cover image for the book Enneagram, by Ian BaronOh honey, listen, you are doing just fine, and don’t worry! I’m there with you a lot a of the time. But I’m also here to help you break out of that slump. If you’re a fan of tag yourself memes generally (aren’t we all?), you might like to go a little oldschool and figure out your Enneagram personality type – you don’t have to commit to reading the whole book; just find the quizzes and read the bits about your type! If I recall correctly, I’m a 5w4 (The Philosopher), by the way.

Or maybe this it the time for you to try out audiobooks (from hoopla or Overdrive) – give your panic attacks a distracting soundtrack maybe? Or don’t. Just try to be kind to yourself.

senorita fluff

Cover image for Sylvia Plath's The Bell JarI would be remiss if I didn’t immediately point you to Alyssia’s instapoetry post from April. There’s plenty of contemporary poetry recommendations for you there so I’ll take this opportunity to also point you at some classics that might scratch the same itch.

I was delighted to see that we have Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar available on hoopla. Though it’s prose, it is an essential read for anyone who loves sad poetry.

You can also dig into some Emily Dickinson, Sappho, or William Blake. Am I just gratuitously boosting the poets I got into in my young adulthood? You bet I am!

Or, if you really do want to read some Anne Carson, I’ve heard great things about the genre-busting Autobiography of Red.

quackers

Ok, you don’t really need my help quackers. But if you’re looking for a challenge to step up to, we do have several editions of War and Peace for your enjoyment, or you can hop into the complete works of Shakespeare through our partnership with the Richmond Hill Public Library.

But really though, tell us your secrets, quackers!

The Quack PhD

I don’t feel fully equipped to give recommendations here, but I will say we can offer you The Essential Marx as edited by Leon Trotsky. I also want to point you in the direction of some critical race theory, since leftists sometimes fall short on recognizing intersecting oppressions.

You can start out with foundational texts like W.E.B. DuBois’ The Souls of Black Folk and Frantz Fanon’s Black Skin, White Masks, of for something more contemporary, dig into Angela Y. Davis’ The Meaning of Freedom

Keeping It Together Duck

Cover image for Gareldine Brooks' Year of WondersI gather you are using a layperson’s bibliotherapy to get you through this tough time. Good moves, to be honest! Reading books that reflect my current and past inner experiences and anxieties has helped me through many a tough time.

Geraldine Brooks’ Year of Wonders is just what the (not-a-real) doctor ordered for this situation. The cozy historical fiction novel follows a housemaid in a small English village under self-imposed quarantine due to the Great Plague in 1666.

If you’re craving something a touch darker though, maybe it’s time to finally get around to reading Emma Donoghue’s Room or even Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper. Because there’s worse things than self-imposed isolation, after all.

Maureen

Alright, the right book selections for this persona are actually very personal, but I do have some awesome news for you, because a lot of children’s comfort classics are currently available as bonus borrows on hoopla – so you can read them all without using up your precious monthly borrow allowance! Some bonus borrows you might want to check out are:

Hopefully I’ve managed to capture your interest with soemthing here, but really what I’m dying to know is which bookloving quarantined duck are you? And, any recommendations for your fellow fluffs and quackers?

Kasey K

About Kasey K

Kasey is a Youth Services Information Assistant at the Vellore Village Library. Kasey can be a bit all-over-the-place, but is especially interested in horror, science fiction, psychology, and social justice. They are also a cross-stitcher, an occasional gamer, and a parent.