Filling empty space and empty time

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Filling empty space and empty time

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Our formal front room is usually reserved for family gatherings or avoiding the noise if someone has the tv on too loud in the living room. While it has long also been a place where my dad drops his notebooks, newspapers, and articles he has printed off to read, in quarantine it has become his space even more than before. While I have taken up embroidery, my mom has been sewing masks for those in need, and my brother has retreated once more to his room to watch YouTube videos, my dad has turned back to reading. Most of my life he has only really read nonfiction: books on history, economics, and political biographies. But he has been retired for over 2 years now, and I think all the work-related reading has cleared his system, so he has begun to bring fiction back into circulation. His consumption of literature has also been increased by the fact that shipping fees have been waved on books for the last three months. I have never seen him read this much or enjoy it this much. He is keeping his books in a place of pride and easy access too, instead of gathering dust in the shelves in our basement office or under the coffee table. Usually the bay window in the front room holds only the wooden candlesticks my uncle made us, and maybe a seasonal decoration or two, but now they display his growing library as well. He’s had the time before now; being retired, but he had other options to occupy his time, like going out for coffee nearly daily or pursuing the hardware store. The pandemic kickstarted the habit which I think will be entertaining him going forward into a post pandemic world with spy novels and literature added to his biographies and political economy texts.
books, family life

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This item was submitted on June 15, 2020 by Hope Gresser using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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