This Sunday is the one-year anniversary of the day the story starts in Unlucky in Lockdown – my novella set during the first two weeks of the first Covid-19 lockdown in the UK.
To commemorate this, I thought I’d write a post featuring three reasons why you might not want to read a book set during the pandemic, like Unlucky in Lockdown, and three reasons why you might want to read it, or you should give it a go anyway!
Three reasons why you might not want to read a book set during the pandemic
You’re struggling to read at all right now
I have been there! Although overall I have read more during this time than ever before, there have been weeks and months where I’ve felt too exhausted, angry, or sad to read very much. And if that’s how you feel, that’s perfectly fine. Reading is a demanding activity for many people and we already have enough stress right now. If you’re getting your entertainment from TV, films, podcasts, or anything else right now, I completely understand.
Living through it is enough, you don’t want to think about it in your leisure time, you would rather read for escapism
Another totally legitimate point of view! I have definitely mostly been reading for escapism – I have written not one but two recent blog posts about escapist reads – Five Escapist Reads and The Best Escapist Books I Read in Previous Winters – check them out if you want some inspiration!
You don’t think it will be realistic, or represent your experience
Now, this one isn’t so cut and dry. Everyone’s experience is different, and no one writer is going to be able to capture the whole reality of the situation. But finding a writer who gets what you’re going through can be really amazing and help you feel less alone and understand your own mental state. You don’t have to find a perfect match first time – try different stories and books and see what feels right.
Three reasons why you should give it a go anyway
It can help you feel less alone
Reading about characters in a similar situation to ours is a great reminder that everyone else is living through this too, and that our feelings aren’t weird or wrong or incomprehensible. Other people out there get it. They know what we’re feeling. They’ve experienced what we’ve experienced, and felt the same emotions as they’ve lived through it.
It can help you process your feelings
I don’t know about you, but seeing someone else work through difficult feelings that I’m having, even in fiction, can give me the strength and the inspiration to own up to my emotions, reach out to others, and otherwise deal with the mess whirling around my brain.
It can cheer you up
Although Unlucky in Lockdown isn’t an escapist book and deals with the reality of the uncertainty that we’ve had to live with for the past few years, it certainly isn’t a pessimist one. Although I didn’t shy away from putting my characters in difficult situations, I think I managed to make it an ultimately optimistic story that shows how people, despite everything, have managed to find great reserves of strength and connect with each other. And I’m sure that other authors have similar intentions.
If you would like to read Unlucky in Lockdown, you can download it for free from: