Are You Having Trouble Reading These Days?
Cosmopolitan India|January 2021
Yeah, Same! Head Over Heels author, Hannah Orenstein, explains how you can get back to books when your brain is...so...tired.
Hannah Orenstein

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...

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