It doesn't really help that I am reading a story about the end of the world.
The story is entitled Without Warning, written by John Birmingham.
I picked it up because my late Godmother whose surname was Birmingham was related in some way to John Birmingham, so I feel a certain connection. She told me she wanted him to write her biography which would have been extensive, but like so many things, this never happened.
But her conversation about John Birmingham is directly responsible for me picking up this significant sized tome a month or two ago and attempting to wade through it.
It's about some sort of mysterious shield that cuts off the world and people near it fizz away to nothing. Whole countries vanish and people start warring over strange and uncertain things.
I can't say there is much in common with the events of today, but having had a newsfeed about the virus all day, my depression continues when I pick up the book. It's like reading about miscarriages when you are having IVF, or about delicacies when you are dieting. It's just not a healthy read for me right now.
The fact that it has been by my bedside table for a significant amount of time speaks volumes. While reading it, I have had to pick up some other rather delightful books to lighten the tone, favouring these as a pick-me-up over the big book.
My husband tells me to let it go and take it up when the world is a cheerier place, but I am that person who must finish what she starts. I know I will read it to the end. I also know it will be worth it, even if I end up dying with a falafel in my hand. (You have to have read John Birmingham to get this.)
Books are the new entertainment. We may not be at the cinema or the theatre, but we can still pull up a chair outside and settle in for a cosy read.
Books are a chance to let your imagination take its own flight, a flight where no one else can go. And let's face it, right now, we need some places to go. If we can't go there physically, let's just enjoy taking our imagination to these new and glorious places. Let's take flight from our own back yard.
- Linda Muller