Thanks to COVID-19, many of us are now stuck inside with nothing to do and nowhere to go. Fortunately, entertainment can be found in abundance online with games, social media, and streaming services. Sometimes however, there’s nothing for a day locked in quite like sitting down with a good book, and Scribd has just made that much easier.
The reading subscription service is offering access to its library for a full month, no credit card required, to help with the boredom that isolation brings. So take that information and go! Sci-fi, fantasy, and horror all await you! Flee to the escape of fiction! But before you leave, perhaps you would allow me to offer a few recommendations from my personal favorites, organized by relevance:
The End of the World:
Happy Armageddon everyone!
Okay so maybe the world’s not exactly ending yet, but it certainly feels like it doesn’t it? I think we all need a story about stopping the end of the world of right now. If you missed the book thirty years ago or the hype about its new mini series last summer, Good Omens is the story of an angel and a demon who work together to try to stop the apocalypse… but instead they lose the Antichrist and have to find him before time is up. It’s funny and heartwarming and will do great things for your love of humanity.
The Name of the Wind
The pandemic itself is bad enough, but the financial issues it could bring? Yikes. So let’s focus on someone else’s financial issues instead. Finance is far from the focus of The Name of the Wind, an audiobook on Scribd and a stunningly immersive world of magic and music and politics. However, money (and the lack of it) is constantly in the background, a real and relatable threat to Kvothe, our protagonist. Its stressful to say the least, but that’s because its urgency strikes home in a way few other books have managed. The subtle negotiations of what must be bought now, what can wait, what can be borrowed, and what can be sacrificed are heartbreaking, and yet I find myself trusting that Kvothe will find a way through. Sometimes all we can do is trust that we will find a way through.
A word of warning on this book, though. It is the first in a series and was published in 2007. The second was published in 2011. Nine years later, the third is still in the works. Even so, I still highly suggest The Name of the Wind, and if there’s one thing it will teach you, it’s that you can’t rush a good story.
Edgar Allan Poe: Complete Tales and Poems
Just… all of Edgar Allan Poe. The man’s life was tragic; both his mother and his wife died from tuberculosis, and the losses he experienced from disease show in his work. If you haven’t taken a look at any of his poems or stories since high-school English class, I highly recommend a second look. Grab a hot chocolate, perhaps with some brandy if you’re so inclined, curl up on the couch, and wrap a blanket around your shoulders. The atmosphere and the tension of these stories hit differently when you have a few more years of life experience behind you. And in the middle of a pandemic… well, if you decide to only look at one story might I suggest The Masque of the Red Death?
Scribd has over a million options to choose from, and the fact that they’re offering this without the need for credit card entry means that it really is a gesture of goodwill to those that are alone and scared and in need of a good story to help them through. What are your suggestions for a lockdown read? What are your favorite comfort stories? Let me know in the comments below!