Stories from around the web that found our fancy

At Paper Planes, we love to read — and we’re consistently drawn to great stories centred around design, books and culture. With ‘Things to Read’, we share with you the best stories from around the web.

Months since sheltering-in-place orders took hold, life amid a global pandemic still feels fairly surreal. The fear and uncertainty is palpable, especially on family Whatsapp groups, and many of us are struggling to cope. But of course, in tough times, we turn to researchers and writers to make sense of it all. Here are stories of hope, of coping, and of a way forward. Read on for our recommendations.

Independent Bookshops: What the Lockdown, Covid-19 and its Aftermath May Mean for Them
Independent bookstores across the country have been severely impacted by the lockdown. As many of them are starting to open up in some capacity, offering pick-ups or deliveries, this Scroll article examines their uncertain future. Read it here.

The Accidental Beekeeper
“Honeybees are a small part of a much larger picture,” notes British writer Helen Jukes, referring to the significant biodiversity crisis. Her insightful piece in Aeon dives into the world of bees and our relationships with them, and what the ‘keeping’ in beekeeping entails — all while recounting her experience as a beekeeper. Read it here.

What Shakespeare Actually Wrote About the Plague
The bard has been touted as a productivity icon since the pandemic started sweeping across the countries, having supposedly written some of his best work when he was self-isolating. But did he actually ever write about the plague? This New Yorker piece answers. Read it here.

Smart Lifts, Lonely Workers, No Towers or Tourists: Architecture After Coronavirus
The pandemic has forced us to examine the way we’ve been living, interacting and designing, and it is bound to have long-term cultural and social effects. This article in The Guardian offers insight into how architecture may change after Covid-19. Read it here.

Stuck in 2020, Pretending it’s 2014
“Nostalgia is a popular pastime even in normal circumstances, but particularly so in an era where the present feels inescapable.” This Vox story talks about why millennials and Gen Z are revisiting their grungy past (tinged with pastel, of course) and bringing back the 2014 tumblr aesthetic in these uncertain times. Read it here.