Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, so many of us have been scrambling to find good entertainment options in a world where all public events, including live sports and concerts, have been cancelled. People have poured through streaming libraries for good movies and shows to watch for hours at a time. But another option is to pick a book you’ve been curious about for a while. And the way I see it, the longer the book right now, the better.

If you want to lean into the pandemic, Stephen King’s The Stand is an eleven-hundred page epic about a world that has been nearly wiped out by a viral outbreak. Of course, many of us want a distraction from the madness, and luckily, my favorite Stephen King book, 11/22/63, is almost as long, clocking in just under 900 pages. That book tells the story of a man who travels back in time in an attempt to stop JFK’s assassination. Come for the thrilling political premise, stay for the touching period piece romance.

It’s also a good time to tackle a classic you’ve never gotten around to. Moby Dick or War and Peace would certainly provide plenty of pages to soak up some of your social distancing time, plus you get to cross them off the bucket list. John Steinbeck’s East of Eden is a favorite of mine that qualifies in this category.

Personally, I just started reading Frank Herbert’s sci-fi classic, Dune, which I’ve long wanted to read but have just never gotten around to. I also considered Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower and Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone, which is next on my forever-long list of fantasy world’s I’m excited to explore.

Entertainment is at a premium right now, and I’ve found that in this time of cabin fever, it has been nice to spend some time with all the screens in my apartment off, making time for a good book.

I’m Evan Rook