Top Reading Tips from ESMS Librarian, Miss Thow

Posted on 03rd Jun 2020 in Community

A gripping book allows our minds to escape from the worries and pressures of life. It’s a great way to help us wind down after a hard day of work or online learning, particularly during lockdown when we are all doing so much screen time.  With school trips and holidays cancelled, a book can also help our minds to travel to different places.

A recent survey by Neilsen Books has found that the nation is reading more than ever during lockdown.  The pressure of lockdown on many parents is enormous, particularly for those juggling remote learning with their own work responsibilities.  At times like these, reading can often take a back seat but it can be an important way of supporting your mental health, even if it is just a few minutes before bedtime to help your mind relax and switch off.

SMC Librarian, Miss Thow, understands that many children will be missing their school libraries and that it can be hard to get inspiration when you can’t browse the shelves for yourself. So, if you and your children haven’t been reading much during lockdown and would like a bit of inspiration, here are Miss Thow's top tips for giving your reading a boost.


Although you can read anywhere, try and find a location that is as comfortable as possible so that you want to read for longer.


Research has shown that reading for just 10 minutes can help reduce stress.  This can be difficult if you are not in a calm location so put away your devices and find somewhere quiet.  


Try and carve out some time regularly throughout the week for reading.  It could be during your lunch break or before you go to bed, whatever works for you.  

Reading choices

Not everyone will enjoy the same book so think carefully about the book you choose and the kind of genres and authors you like. Read the blurb and consider looking at reviews online before you make your choice. If you are struggling, it’s important to give a book a proper chance before you give it up but there is no shame in moving on if it’s not for you.  Sometimes it’s too difficult at that point in time but you may enjoy the challenge in the future.   

Make it sociable

At school we give our children support to help them develop good reading habits. It’s common for these good reading habits to disappear when we leave school. For parents, setting up a book club can be a great way of encouraging you to fit reading into your life.  It will also encourage you to explore genres you wouldn’t normally choose.

These are the top three books Miss Thow has read during lockdown:

  1. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (adult)
  2. On the Come Up by Angie Thomas (young adult)
  3. Lampie by Annet Schaap (children’s)

If you need any more recommendations for a good lockdown read, please feel free to contact Miss Thow directly (   

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