Friday, January 15, 2021

Has the Pandemic Changed Your Reading Habits?

 By Shari Randall

Mystery is my genre of choice, but lately I’ve noticed a change in my reading habits. Maybe it’s the pandemic, politics, or the general ragged state of the world, but I’ve found solace in another genre: Horror.


Yep, horror.  It says a lot about the state of the world that I’ve found escape in a vampire saga and a ghost story/serial killer novel: The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires and The Sun Down Motel. Why is this? Maybe it’s the satisfaction of closing the book, trapping the frights within the covers. There’s no such thing as vampires, right? Though to be honest, the dread and suspense created by The Sun Down Motel did cost me more than a few hours’ sleep. 


Both books are bestsellers but The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires included violence toward children, which is a nonstarter for me, and I wish the book had struck more of the sprightly tone of its title.


The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James, on the other hand, delivered more than promised by its prosaic title. Twenty-year-old Carly Kirk’s beautiful Aunt Viv went missing in 1982, and Carly retraces Viv’s steps thirty years later to appropriately named Fell, New York to discover what happened to her. Carly believes that by following in her aunt’s footsteps, working the night shift at the seedy Sun Down Motel, she’ll find the answer. She finds the answer and much more.

Has the pandemic changed your reading habits?


  1. Shari - What an interesting post! Horror, huh? I have to say that though I'm still reading mystery that I'm reading more historical mysteries which are not my usual. Maybe I needed to escape from the present!

  2. I don't really feel like it has changed my reading habits that much. For a while I felt like I was getting more read, but at the end of the year, my numbers were pretty consistent from year to year.

    1. I can only imagine your numbers, Mark! I used to read 2 books a week, and now I'm reading one every two weeks. Though I'm also watching a lot more TV than I ever have because my daughter's staying with us and we're binging Elementary.

  3. Now that I think about it, I seem to be drawn more to the supernatural this year. Interesting post!

  4. Shari, I appreciate what you’re saying about a change in reading preferences. I found myself intrigued by The Boys, a series based in graphic novels. For Christmas, a friend gave me the first graphic novel that became The Boys. It’s fascinating to see how this storytelling has translated to screen!

  5. My reading habits have changed in the past year, but I've moved toward longer books, Donna Tartt's Goldfinch (700 pages) is an example.