Have you noticed that it’s harder to stay focused these days? I think the stress of self-isolation, working remotely while still attending to your home and domestic responsibilities, and so much time together with the same people is getting to us. It’s safe to say that these are very unusual times, even though states, provinces, and countries are trying to slowly return to normal. It has been an unprecedented, stressful time for everyone.
What if you don’t feel like sitting in front of the TV for another day? But the thought of picking up a book is just too much; it feels overwhelming. Here are a few suggestions that might help.
1. Read some comics.
2. Pick up a graphic novel. The stories are just as complex as a regular novel, but with far fewer words (sometimes no words at all!), so they won’t overwhelm.
3. Why not bust out those old coloured pencils and give adult colouring a try? It might just be the de-stressor you never knew you needed.
I hope you find these ideas helpful. It’s true we are living in strange times, but good can come from this disruption of our busy routines: more (quality?) time with family, more time outside getting healthy fresh air, and maybe a broadening of your bookish horizons.
In my December 18, 2014 posting, Intriguing!, I got to thinking about graphic novels a bit. I realized that I don’t own any, and if I want to build a well-rounded collection, I should have some in it. The problem for me is, most graphic novels are dark, both literally and figuratively. The subject matter is often less than uplifting, and the images are frequently very graphic. Go figure. So I decided that I would make it my mission to find at least one graphic novel that I like: one with pleasing illustrations, and an uplifting or at least interesting story line. And guess what? I found some.
Shaun Tan’s book, The Arrival (2007) is stunning. The illustrations reminded me right away of Chris Van Allsburg’s style, and the creativity displayed as Tan marries the age-old tale of a newcomer in a foreign land with futuristic cityscapes and animals provided a new delight on every page. At 128 pages, it’s really more of an illustrated story (there are no words), than a graphic novel, but it’s still a worthy addition to anyone’s collection and will be enjoyed by adults and children alike. For more information, check it out on Amazon.com.
Here, by Richard McGuire (2014), is also a really neat book. As I mentioned in December, it is the story of one little piece of land told over many centuries, with glimpses into different years together on the same page. This is definitely a novel, at 304 pages, and also worth adding to your collection. For more information, check it out on Amazon.com.