Get Out of Your Pandemic Reading Slump

Read an old book that you’ve never read before

Photo by Danica Tanjutco on Unsplash

Emily Temple of Literary Hub has a great suggestion for feeling better: read a book. But, she clarifies, “I don’t mean just any book. It must be old — at least 15 years old, if not older. And, crucially, it must also be new — to you.”

To this advice, I would add, go support your local bookstore. Or, if you have access, find the title at your library. The third option would be to follow the links below, leading you to my Bookshop shelf. (Please give your money to someone other than Amazon, if you can — they already have so much!)

How about some Haruki Murakami? Maybe you’ve read The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, but have you read his collection of short stories, The Elephant Vanishes?


By turns haunting and hilarious, in The Elephant Vanishes Murakami crosses the border between separate realities — and comes back bearing remarkable treasures.

The great Toni Morrison passed away in 2019, but we have her marvelous fiction to help us grieve and reflect. Beloved is a beloved book of hers, and Sula is equally arresting.


Before Elena Ferrante introduced us to her decades-long saga of female friendship in My Brilliant Friend, Toni Morrison wrote about Sula and Nel.

What about Jonathan Franzen? His novel Freedom was famously read by President Barack Obama, but did you get around to checking out his earlier family drama, The Corrections?


“You will laugh, wince, groan, weep, leave the table and maybe the country, promise never to go home again, and be reminded of why you read serious fiction in the first place.” — The New York Review of Books

No doubt, you’ve heard of Donna Tartt. Her novel The Goldfinch was wildly popular, and she won a Pulitzer Prize for it. Tartt has another fantastic read, The Secret History.


Under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at an elite New England college discover a way of thinking and living that is a world away from the humdrum existence of their contemporaries.

When it comes to Russian literary masters, we often think of Tolstoy or Dostoevsky. However, there was another man with greater wit than both. Now is a great time to finally read Mikhail Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita, if you haven’t had the pleasure.


This newly revised translation, by the award-winning team of Pevear and Volokhonsky, is made from the complete and unabridged Russian text.

Louise Erdrich has a new book out called The Night Watchman, but this accomplished author has been penning novels for decades, including her debut Love Medicine, originally published in 1984.


“The beauty of Love Medicine is the work of a tough, loving mind.” — Toni Morrison

Please note, I provided affiliate links for Bookshop in this post.

dreamer, poet, philosopher, writer