I thought it was a Zombie Apocalypse book …

Contributor: John Constable

Have you read more or less during lockdown, or much the same as usual?

Slightly less as I’ve not listened to as many audiobooks.

Has lockdown affected your choice of reading material?

Definitely! I am reading much less non fiction and the fiction I do read tends towards escapism, even more than usual…

Have you switched from your normal genre? eg started reading poetry, short stories, non fiction, drama?

Not really.

Have you been using reading in a different way – for example for comfort, raising your spirits, escapism, distraction?

Definitely escapism.

Have you been finding it harder to concentrate during lockdown?

Yes, I….. 

Have you started books and been unable to finish them?

No more than usual, but I’m slightly more inclined to stop a book that I am not enjoying.

Where do you get inspiration for titles? 

Sadly it’s all Amazon and already-known authors for me. Hard to break out of a rut! I do like the kindle recommendations made by monevator.co.uk and Steven Blackamore on Twitter though.

Where are you sourcing your books/audiobooks from?

A kickstarter for a couple of audio books, HumbleBundle.com for technical books, bundleofholding.com had a collection of fantasy/sci-fi from an author I follow that isn’t really mainstream. Other than that it’s all Amazon for eBooks. 

I might ‘lendle’ an ebook from a friend every now and then.

I buy physical books from big green bookshop – he used to have a physical store but these days does most of his selling via Twitter.

Have you embarked on reading all the books you already own but have never read?

No the dust on the stack of ‘round to it’ paper books by my bedside just keeps increasing… It’s not as convenient to read paper books late at night, the Kindle paperwhite with its built in backlight is just so much nicer.

Have you been listening to audiobooks rather than reading? If so, does listening add something to your experience of the book that you wouldn’t get by reading it yourself?

I have a few podcasts I listen too, but am really struggling with audiobooks. I used to listen to them on my commute and got through at least one a month, but with no commute I just don’t get the same time. I prefer audiobooks for travelogues, biographies and other non fiction that I want to read but rarely sit down and pick up when there is some escapist fiction available!

Have you been reading books about pandemics? eg The Plague by Albert Camus, Journal of the Plague Year by Daniel Defoe, Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, The Roses of Eyam by Don Taylor etc?

Only one, by mistake – Emily St. John Mandel’s ‘Station Eleven’. I wouldn’t have started it if I thought it was pandemic related, but I thought it was a Zombie apocalypse book! It was very good though.

Can you recommend up to 5 books/audiobooks that you have enjoyed during lockdown?

The aforementioned Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven

Gideon The Ninth by Tamsyn Muir. 

Rolling Rocks Downhill by Clarke Ching (a fictionalised account of moving a business to use agile software methodology. It’s a thing now!) consumed via both audible and kindle via whisper-sync.  A great way to read and listen to a book, which magically picks up where you left off in whatever format you last read/listened.

Audiobook: Dark Adventure Radio Theatre: Masks of Nyarlathotep By: H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society – full cast production!

Contributor: John

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