These days have begun to feel elastic: even the most banal social practice upended, oceans of time in front of us that feel by and large destined to be filled by anxiety. Oh, the new normal. The importance of maintaining routine are stressed upon us, the vague semblance of normality holding us together with tape and string. I myself never thought I could abide shoes in the house but am now cheered by the simple act of lacing them each morning, even if only to tread the same exact square footage as yesterday.
Reading is still a kick, though, now that I’ve got the hang of it again. I spent days digging around my TBR pile without catching even a glimpse of gold. I’m too scattered, too jittery, from the news cycle to take on anything new - I just can’t process any new information that does not directly correlate to the steady earthquake of the headlines.
Nostalgia, however, has proven to be another story entirely and I’ve given myself over entirely to rereading favorite short stories. A James Salter here, a Leslie Marmon Silko folktale there. Whatever feels right in my hands. Or whatever takes my mind off my hands. The tried, true, foolproof comfort they offer. Kind of like a hug if you remember those.
These are my old faithfuls but be sure to poke around our staff picks page - it is generously spiced with even more robustly endorsed story collections. The short form can be enormously soothing when the days are long and abbreviated attention spans rule every hour. Plus, all orders of $25 or more ship for free (via Media Mail), so you may as get two or three, yeah?