Back in March, when it became clear that we’d be spending every second of the foreseeable future inside, many of us thought, ‘At least, we have plenty of time to read!’. Almost a year later (but who’s counting?), let me tell you—that has not been the case, for most. Like, at all. Take me, for instance. I am typically a very hungry bookworm, and had devoured 17 books in 2020, before the pandemic hit. But since I have been in quarantine, I have only managed to finish one.
This is especially frustrating because books are, well, my thing. I am an author of three novels, including Head Over Heels, a rom-com about Olympic gymnasts. I keep ordering books online and adding titles by the dozen to my ‘want to read’ list on Goodreads. But now, even with more free time than ever before, my attention span fizzles out just after a chapter or two.
Obviously, a pandemic doesn’t create ideal reading conditions, especially if you are sick, or grieving the loss of a loved one, or out of work. If you are one of the many readers who purchased a handful of books to get through the times, and don’t know which book to start first, you could feel paralysed.
“People’s lives have been turned upside down and there’s a lot of uncertainty, so there’s a chronic sense of distraction,” says Dr Ramani Durvasula, licensed clinical psychologist based in the US. Especially if you’re glued to the news, out of work, or worried about a sick loved one. This is because reading is more demanding on your brain than other forms of chill-time, like zoning out in front of the TV. But reading can serve as a wonderful escape, and a form of education.
I tapped authors and avid readers for their tips on how to get into a new book when your brain feels like mush. Here’s what they suggested...
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
Keep Calm, and Carry On
In times when the need for some mental peace is greater than ever, many of us turn to different coping mechanisms to find solace. In this special feature, we speak to 13 strong, successful ladies on what brings them calm in moments of chaos.
The Great Wall(s)
Cosmo spoke to four female street artists in India who are turning mundane brick-andmortar into revolutionary works of vibrant, meaningful art.
For the Love of Local
Turning the spotlight onto our homegrown fashion labels, Cosmo spoke with six fashion enthusiasts about their favourite sartorial picks by Indian designers.
The Influencer Trend We Are Rooting for: Real. Effing. Skin.
It’s about time we gave up on those filters!
When Did Positivity Get So Toxic?
Happiness has become the ultimate status symbol, something you can show off to the world as a sign that you, unlike others, are doing just fine. But, asks Daniella Scott, is the positivity movement actually harming us while pretending to help?
Decoding Your Immune System
It’s not the sexiest subject, but it is vital to our health and well-being. So it is time to get to know the body’s bouncers (oh, alright, the cells, organs, and organ systems) whose job it is to protect us from threats.
How Your ‘Attachment Style' Affects Your Relationship
Whether your style is ‘anxious’ or ‘secure’, it dictates how you behave with a partner. We explain the famous theory...and the different attachment styles.
2021's Best Reads
Want to know which works of fiction will blow your mind this year? Here are eight of them.
All Made Up!
Four cool guys with exceptional make-up skills create glamorous eye looks, exclusively for Cosmo...smashing gender stereotypes with their sparkly, glitter-fuelled gaze.
5 Minutes With Neha Dhupia
Actor Neha Dhupia talks to Cosmo about her latest stint as a film producer, the kind of projects she’d like to put her weight behind, and why she’d love to swap lives with husband Angad Bedi.