Readers, it is time to embrace each other ... online

Candice Carty-Williams

Oh it’s a time, isn’t it? But instead of queueing up to buy three hundred rolls of toilet paper and 70 bottles of water, lots of us are trying to keep to business as usual. Take authors, for example; many have books coming out in the middle of all of this, so are continuing the social isolation of the regular writer by having an online launch parties. Just look at Celeste Ng, who effectively hosted a virtual red carpet via Twitter when the premiere of the adaptation of her novel Little Fires Everywhere had to be cancelled.

Bookshops, too. They’re putting the work in, now that footfall is low; taking orders over the phone; sending books out at the speed of lightning; recommending reads online; kickstarting cyber bookclubs. They aren’t just selling books, they’re making sure that we all hold on to some semblance of sanity. Their robustness, and the response from readers, shows just how important books are to us all. So many of us have taken to reading to escape the world we’re in, and now we need that more than ever. We as writers, readers, and just those who love books, will keep finding ways to adapt.