The pandemic has been a boon for my reading habits. I don’t watch a lot of TV — although I did plow through all four seasons of The Good Place and loved it — so I had plenty of spare time to curl up with a good book. Or eBook.

I like to zig when everyone else zags, so while I did get a eReader, it’s not a Kindle. (Take that Bezos! I’m sure losing my business might sink your whole operation.) I bought a Kobo. I said “Kobo” not Koko!

Not only was my Kobo Clara HD cheaper than a comparable Kindle, but it has two features I really love:

  1. Any books I borrow from the Cincinnati Public Library via Overdrive are automagically added to my Kobo.
  2. Any web articles I save via the Pocket brower add-on (and I save a lot of articles this way) also are added automagically.

So I’m never short of free reading material. (Speaking of free, this is not a paid endorsement of Kobo readers… but I AM open to a bit of “influencer” cash… Kobo, ring me up!)

I also set up a Goodreads account recently, to start tracking the books I’ve read. Here’s my most recent half-dozen:

That’s a pretty good cross-section of my tastes, which definitely lean toward band biographies, “light” fiction/memoirs and humorous essays. I’m not a book snob by any means. Any book someone enjoys reading is a “good book” in my book.

Ray Bradbury, an all-time great

Tamara Shopsin’s book on the list above was good, but I thought her book Stupid, Arbitrary Goal was fantastic. David Rakoff’s essays are great. And better still, my friend Jay got a shout-out in the acknowledgements of Fraud (or maybe it was in Don’t Get Too Comfortable… I’ve been reading a lot of Rakoff.) Here’s what Jay said about him:

David was a great writer—really funny and poignant in equal measure. And just a wonderful guy. I edited him when I worked at Outside. It was very kind of him to give me a shout-out. I miss his voice and I miss him. He was taken from us much, much too soon.

I agree 100% with Jay’s “funny and poignant in equal measure” assessment. And yes, he left us way too soon.

Pandemic lockdown has been a real bummer in many ways, but it’s created more time for reading, and that’s certainly a plus.