Using reading as an escape..

Read through these pandemic days. COVID-19 is one story we share, but there are other stories out there.  Reading is a wonderful escape. It is therapeutic, educational, and inspirational. Nonetheless, stress can make it difficult to focus. Even an avid reader such as my “librarian self” can find it difficult to concentrate on words across a page.  Here are a few suggestions. Deep breathing is a great way relax and focus.  Sit comfortably.  Close your eyes.  Breath deep; inhale, exhale, repeat. Feel your shoulders relax as you exhale. With your eyes closed, think about the book.  I am currently reading We, the Wildflowers by L.B. Simmons.  When I started this book, I considered the meaning of the title.  As the story continues, Ithink about which characters I like or don’t like, or I wonder what’s going to happen next. Still deep breathing, eyes still closed. Then, open your eyes, open the book, start reading.

 Another great way to read through the pandemic is to revisit a favorite story.  My 26-year-old niece picked up her Harry Potter series, and if you were inspired by Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games, I recommended re-reading that series. The prequel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, will be released later this month. (May the odds be ever in your favor) Try listening to an e-audio book.  Try a children’s book, or a comic book, or read a book in verse. There is a story for everyone even if it is a treasure hunt to find. Read alone or read together, read silently or out loud, read to your pets or to your plants. When the sun warms the days, lay a blanket on the grass and read. Reading is battle armor against “stay at home” isolation.  You will never feel lonely in the midst of a story.  

Librarians are skilled at readers advisory, which is a process to help you select a book. The library also has several reading databases that can help you choose your next book.  Right now, you can visit the library virtually by clicking on the “Library at Home” link found at  You can also call and speak with the librarian from 10am-2pm at 301-739-3250 #300.  WCPS students can use their lunch number as a library card.  Type the letters RAIL followed by the lunch number. You can use Overdrive, Libby, RB Digital, or Hoopla to access e-reading materials.  (Note:  Hoopla requires a regular patron card.) Authors across the nation are sharing stories on social media.  The library is planning a dynamic Summer Reading Program,Imagine Your Story. Join us as we become a community of shared stories.  

Read through these pandemic days.  Find the book, find your comfortable reading place, dive in, get lost, love, learn, laugh, grieve, grow, share the story.

Guest Author:
Ann Shilling is a Young Adult Librarian at Washington County free library. She has studied social work, education, and librarianship. Ann is inspired by the spirit of the young adults who live in our community. Washington County teens are amazing! To find out more about teen services at the library follow us @wcflteens on Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook or email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>