Surviving Self-Isolation: Spend some time reading

To help everyone who has went into self-isolation we’re going to be highlighting some of the options to keep you occupied.  Everyone will have their own favourite hobbies or past times and some may have too much to do to even think about taking time out for themselves but it’s important to look after yourself and to take a break from the constant television coverage of the coronavirus crisis.

1DDFE633-2B85-468D-B28D05ADAE7D1AD8_sourceOne simple distraction is to spend some time reading.  Whether your interests are political, fiction or anything else there is a wide range of books and magazines available online from either the major bookstores such as Amazon or even from free sources such as Renfrewshire Libraries.

I’m terrible at buying books (either paper or ebooks) and putting them down to one side and not getting around to reading them.  So, I’m going to spend some time catching up on my reading.  The books I most recently downloaded are Mind Map Mastery by Tony Buzan and The Art of Dying by Ambrose Parry.

You can search online for various online booksellers but before moving onto some free resources it’s worth mentioning USA based Haymarket Books who are currently offering some free ebooks for the next couple of weeks.  Haymarket Books focus on more left wing politics but if you’re looking for something free to read you could log onto their site and see if there is anything you would like.  Just click here.

download (1)If you’re not already a member of Renfrewshire Libraries, you can join online and access free ebooks and emagazines.  Setting up an account is relatively easy although you may have to request a couple of emails to change password and pin number (when it asks for a pin number simply put in the password and it should work ok), but once you’ve got your online library card number you can link up to another related site to access a range of magazines (ranging from Cosmopolitan to Guitarist).  Find out more at:

Another long running source of free ebooks is Project Gutenberg which is a library of over 60,000 free eBooks. Choose among free epub and Kindle eBooks, download them or read them online. You will find the world’s great literature here, with focus on older works for which U.S. copyright has expired. Thousands of volunteers digitized and diligently proofread the eBooks, for enjoyment and education.

15264299261_5471aa9d35_zFinally, the online academic resource JSTOR has announced it is making its database accessible to the public, amid the widespread closure of universities across the world due to the coronavirus pandemic. The database, frequently used by university students for research and essay work, announced on Twitter that it has made over 6,000 ebooks and over 150 journals accessible without the need for an online login. Previously, students needed a university login to access these resources.  You can register for a free login.

51R2gEeo1EL._SX384_BO1,204,203,200_Tony Buzan’s Mind Map technique has gathered amazing praise and an enormous worldwide following over the last few decades, but as with any very successful idea, there have been many sub-standard imitators. With Mind Map MasteryTony Buzan re-establishes the essential concepts that are the core of the Mind Map with a clarity and practicality unrivalled by other books.


downloadEdinburgh, 1849. Despite Edinburgh being at the forefront of modern medicine, hordes of patients are dying all across the city, with doctors finding their remedies powerless. But it is not just the deaths that dismay the esteemed Dr James Simpson. A whispering campaign seeks to blame him for the death of a patient in suspicious circumstances.