Despite your best efforts to avoid it – I see you with your constant Purelling – cold and flu season is upon us. With any luck, you’ll escape unscathed, but if you’re like me, you’ll spend at least a couple days honking and hacking and nesting on the couch, trying to kick the plague out of your system.
And if you’re like me, you’ll want to spend your sick days (I’m on number four for the year so far; thanks, bronchitis) with just the right entertainment. While I’ve been doing my fair share of Netflix-ing, here are my best book recommendations for your sick days:
1. Rereads: When I’m sick, I just don’t have the energy to absorb new plot lines or to pay close attention to language. So I fall back on my favorite rereads, books that I know so well I can doze off mid-sentence and not lose the thread of what’s happening when I manage to rouse myself. Also books that are exciting and plot-twisty and easy – I’m not about to reread Pride & Prejudice.
2. Harry Potter: Even though, technically, this is also a reread, Harry Potter goes in a category all its own. Being sick makes me regress into being a kid again – really, I just want my mom to come take care of me – and no other series gives me the same feeling, especially the early books.
3. Audiobooks: Sometimes you just don’t even have the energy to read pages, which is where audiobooks become a godsend. I like books that you’ve once read in print and are listening to for the first time, absorbing narratives, and genre fiction you’re experiencing for the first time.
4. Short Stories and Essay Collections: I love collections of short work – fiction or nonfiction – when I’m feeling less than stellar because I can start and finish a complete piece without overdoing it. Plus, because I’m reading these in short chunks, I’m better able to absorb more complex work or denser writing.
5. YA: There is nothing like a great YA novel to make you forget entirely that you’re sick. You’ll just keep reaching for the tissues while flipping pages and paying no mind to the raw skin around your nose.
So what books make it onto your stack when you’re sick?