Popular Reads From Quarantine


Madison Becker

An assortment of the popular reads for many over quarantine.

If you had the opportunity to escape the reality of 2020 for a little while, would you take it? Quarantine caught the world by surprise. Many people found themselves bored and with nothing to do except binge watching old Netflix shows. While watching the same shows on repeat was exciting at first, it quickly grew old, leading people to turn to books as a different source of entertainment, as well as an escape from the crazy year 2020 has turned out to be.

Most kids grow up learning to love stories, but as they gain responsibilities and lose free time, they tend to turn away from books; however, with the abundant amount of extra time that quarantine provided, people rediscovered comfort in their favorite fantasy worlds. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, for instance, was revisited by long-time fans, as well as a new generation of readers. The series’ movie cast, and other well-known celebrities, encouraged these readers by releasing weekly recordings of each chapter of the first book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, online. Rediscovering old favorite books has also brought families together: Older siblings can now share their favorites with younger siblings, creating something over which to bond. 

In addition to rediscovering old favorites, readers have ventured into new genres, discovering books that normally would not strike their interest. For instance, a popular young adult (YA) book in quarantine was One of Us Is Lying, by Karen M. McManus, a murder mystery with a concept similar to the 1980s comedy The Breakfast Club. With many people preferring to stick to the fantasy genre, this murder mystery was a fan favorite among readers searching for something new.

Despite book tours and the possibility of publicly promoting books no longer an option, many well-known authors have continued to release new books. Authors like Cassandra Clare and Rick Riordan, who already have vast collections of books, have continued to expand their repertoires with new additions to their fan-favorite series, giving readers something to look forward to over quarantine. In March, the long-awaited continuation of the Shadowhunter chronicles was fulfilled with Clare’s new addition, Chain of Gold. A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, by Susanne Collins, which is a prequel to the best-selling The Hunger Games series, followed, with its release in May. According to the New York Post (nypost.com), in its first ten days, over 500,000 copies of the book were sold. Most recently, author Rick Riordan released Tower of Nero, the conclusion to his popular series, The Trials of Apollo, in October. 

While people rediscover their love of books, the readers who never lost that love finally have had the free time to catch up with their endless piles of unread books. With libraries closed, readers turned to online options, such as the platforms run by libraries, like Libby and Overdrive. Amazon’s Kindle also provides readers with a wide selection of books. Readers who may have found themselves with little time to indulge in their hobby are now able to read multiple books per week. Online platforms also allow readers to interact and communicate with other fans of their favorite series. 

When asked about her habits in quarantine, Junior Karoline Ryf responded, “I read occasionally before quarantine started, mostly during the summer. I started reading more during quarantine because I had so much extra time that I normally wouldn’t have had to read books that I actually enjoy.” Her favorite read during quarantine was One of Us Is Lying. Junior Natalie Tuosto also agreed on the benefits of the elongated quarantine and rediscovering the joy of reading: “I had a lot more free time to read during quarantine. My favorite read in quarantine was Majesty by Katharine McGee.” Junior Allison Santoro also had a favorite read: “My favorite book was called A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas.”

Books became a welcome escape for many people during quarantine. Now, as the world gradually begins to move forward, the question becomes whether reading will stay a trend, or will people no longer be able to find the time to visit their beloved fantasy worlds. Hopefully, quarantine has inspired people to embrace their love of reading again, and people continue to read for years to come.