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Which books should you read while self-isolating from coronavirus? Show more Show less

Books can be life-changing. They can be a form of escapism that give a unique perspective into lives, times, places and ideas we will never experience ourselves. Or, a way of learning new ways of thinking, being and approaching the world. With all this time now spare, what are the key texts we should be reading?

The classics Show more Show less

Middlemarch seemed too long when time was scarce. Amazing how quarantine changes perspective.
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War and Peace

Since it has 587,287 words, you may never again have the time to read Tolstoy's classic novel about high society in early 19th century Russia.
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Context

The Argument

People should read War and Peace while self-isolating because it helps people get involved in a like-minded community during the pandemic. When face-to-face socializing is not an option, it does not stop people from continually trying to connect with others. War and Peace has become a literary solace for people that want to read but not alone. There are public forums designed for people to read War and Peace together. [1] War and Peace is worth the read because of the deep thoughts and questions raised by the book. These are perfect for discussing in reading communities. War and Peace causes people to think about the causes of revolutions and how leadership defines a nation and the people fighting.[2] Through the deeper questions, people can find plenty to discuss with others while self-isolating. War and Peace features more than historical context and questions. It is also filled with drama, love interests, and the personal conflicts of aristocratic families. Readers that may not find historical contemplation or war scenes interesting can dive into the internal conflicts and love between characters. At 587,287 words, there is at least one scene or line that is worth discussing. [3] By joining others reading War and Peace, people will find a much needed virtual community while self-isolating.

Counter arguments

There are plenty of other online book clubs that do not involve reading War and Peace. Readers can find a community for books by interacting with groups that are reading similar genres or by reading along with a club online. Although the War and Peace book club is an option, there are plenty of more well-established clubs for people to join for different reading interests. If a person does not like the idea of reading War and Peace, they will not enjoy being involved with a community dedicated to this book. In addition, some people find War and Peace to be too long. It has a plethora of characters that can be difficult to keep track of while reading. Beyond the plot, the book is filled with confusing philosophical asides that will not appeal to all audiences. Due to this, readers may find it more entertaining to join clubs and read books they know they will enjoy rather than trying something new.

Framing

Premises

[P1] People desire communities in a time of self-isolation during the coronavirus. [P2] Communities have built reading communities dedicated to reading War and Peace together. [P3] People should read War and Peace while self-isolating.

Rejecting the premises

Proponents

Further Reading

References

  1. https://apublicspace.org/news/detail/tolstoy-together
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4dn7TEjnbPY
  3. https://theweek.com/articles/903398/theres-no-better-time-read-war-peace-really

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This page was last edited on Wednesday, 17 Jun 2020 at 17:06 UTC