Having worked from home now for nearly 15 years, acclimatising to lockdown has probably been less traumatic for me than for most.
The extra free time I get has always consisted of a regular diet of books, podcasts and audiobooks.
Now I could regale the reader with accounts of the half-read tomes that sit on my bedside cabinet.
These include: The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama and Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman; both very impressive reads, and I promise I will finish them one day.
Meanwhile, I get through around three books a month on the Kindle, a couple of audiobooks and around 10 hours of podcasts.
Podcast listening is coming under pressure at the moment as I cannot do as much dog-walking and because regulars like the Rugby Pod have little to talk about at present.
That said, BBC’s More or Less always has a great deal to offer, and is currently looking intelligently at some of the facts behind the spread of Covid-19 and its impact on A-level results and our shopping habits.
My current audiobook is Hilary Mantel’s The Mirror and the Light. This is the final part of her trilogy centred on Thomas Cromwell, though I think Henry VIII continues to get most of the best lines.
The book is produced by the BBC and read by Anton Lesser, who does a great job of bringing the tensions of Tudor England to light.
Any book that starts with a beheading is sure to keep the reader/listener engaged.
My Kindle content is quite varied. I enjoy a mix of modern-day and historical crime for pure escapism, as well as the odd biography.
The book I am currently reading falls into another genre, which I describe as ‘nothing really happens’.
These stories are almost always set in a warm part of the US and my current read, A Beginner’s Guide to Free Fall by Andy Abramowitz, is no exception.
A regular feature of the book is the competition between the main character and his sister to come up with the worst idea for a shop: calling it ‘Closed’, with a simple sign advertising it.
The great value of a book where nothing really happens is that the author spends their time building the characters and painting a vivid picture of the events that do take place. Dialogue, rather than action, keeps the story moving. And that’s a little bit like living in lockdown.
Martin Shaw is chief executive at the Association of Financial Mutuals