When most of the world went into lockdown at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people found themselves with a lot of extra free time. Some people used that time to bake bread, make crafts, or play video games. For the bibliophiles of the world, quarantine was the perfect chance to burn through their pile of books to read. This infographic shows how reading habits changed across the globe in 2020.
The editing and proofreading service Global English Editing gathered these statistics from various sources, including Pew Research and Amazon's bestsellers page. It found 35 percent of web users worldwide reported reading more during the pandemic, and 14 percent said they read significantly more. This trend was most dramatic in China, where 44 percent of respondents said they increased their reading time due to the coronavirus.
This uptick became apparent in March 2020, when many countries implemented coronavirus lockdowns for the first time. There were 1.51 billion visits to book and literature e-commerce sites that month—an 8.5 percent increase from the month before. As for what books people are reading, apocalyptic fiction like Stephen King's The Stand has been popular in the age of COVID-19.
For a full snapshot of the world's reading habits at this point in history, check out the infographic below.
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By this point, your eco-friendly pal probably has a reusable water bottle that accompanies them everywhere and some sturdy grocery totes that keep their plastic-bag count below par. Here are 10 other sustainable gift ideas that’ll help them in their conservation efforts.
1. Reusable Produce Bags; $13
The complimentary plastic produce bags in grocery stores aren’t great, but neither is having all your spherical fruits and vegetables roll pell-mell down the checkout conveyor belt. Enter the perfect alternative: mesh bags that are nylon, lightweight, and even machine-washable.
Saying goodbye to disposable tea bags calls for a quality tea diffuser, and there’s really no reason why it shouldn’t be shaped like an adorable animal. This “ParTEA Pack” includes a hippo, platypus, otter, cat, and owl, which can all hang over the edge of a glass or mug. (In other words, you won’t have to fish them out with your fingers or dirty a spoon when your loose leaf is done steeping.)
Typing your notes on a tablet or laptop might save trees, but it doesn’t quite capture the feeling of writing on paper with a regular pen. The Rocketbook, on the other hand, does. After you’re finished filling a page with sketches, musings, or whatever else, you scan it into the Rocketbook app with your smartphone, wipe it clean with the microfiber cloth, and start again. This one also comes with a compatible pen, but any PILOT FriXion pens will do.
It’s hard to compete with the convenience of plastic wrap or tin foil when it comes to covering the exposed end of a piece of produce or an open tin can—and keeping those leftovers in food storage containers can take up valuable space in the fridge. This set of five silicone Food Huggers stretch to fit over a wide range of circular goods, from a lidless jar to half a lemon.
Swiffers may be much less unwieldy than regular mops, but the disposable pads present a problem to anyone who likes to keep their trash output to a minimum. These machine-washable pads fasten to the bottom of any Swiffer WetJet, and the thick microfiber will trap dirt and dust instead of pushing it into corners. Each pad lasts for at least 100 uses, so you’d be saving your eco-friendly friend quite a bit of money, too.
A fondness for fizzy over flat water doesn’t have to mean buying it bottled. Not only does the SodaStream let you make seltzer at home, but it’s also small enough that it won’t take up too much precious counter space. SodaStream also sells flavor drops to give your home-brewed beverage even more flair—this pack from Amazon ($25) includes mango, orange, raspberry, lemon, and lime.
There’s a good chance that anyone with a pet (or just an intense dislike for lint) has lint-rolled their way through countless sticky sheets. iLifeTech’s reusable roller boasts “the power of glue,” which doesn’t wear off even after you’ve washed it. Each one also comes with a 3-inch travel-sized version, so you can stay fuzz-free on the go.
Even if you keep a compost pile in your own backyard, it doesn’t make sense to dash outside every time you need to dump a food scrap. A countertop compost bin can come in handy, especially if it kills odors and blends in with your decor. This 1.3-gallon pail does both. It’s made of stainless steel—which matches just about everything—and contains an activated-charcoal filter that prevents rancid peels and juices from stinking up your kitchen.
Nobody likes starchy, scratchy clothes, but some people might like blowing through bottles of fabric softener and boxes of dryer sheets even less. Smart Sheep is here to offer a solution: wool dryer balls. Not only do they last for more than 1000 loads, they also dry your laundry faster. And since they don’t contain any chemicals, fragrances, or synthetic materials, they’re a doubly great option for people with allergies and/or sensitive skin.
While plenty of devices are rechargeable themselves, others still require batteries to buzz, whir, and change the TV channel—so it’s good to have some rechargeable batteries on hand. In addition to AA batteries, AAA batteries, and a charger, this case from Panasonic comes with tiny canisters that function as C and D batteries when you slip the smaller batteries into them.
The third Thursday in November is turkey day for some Americans, but for others, it's all about the sides. The most popular side dishes for Thanksgiving dinner vary by region, but a few themes—like starch and casseroles—are consistent throughout the country. To see which side your state prefers on Thanksgiving, check out the map below.
To make this map of the most popular Thanksgiving side dishes, the job search site Zippia compared dish names to Google Trends data and found the queries most prevalent in each state. Mashed potatoes topped searches in 10 states, including California, Colorado, and Indiana. Behind it was macaroni and cheese in second place, which dominated the southeastern U.S.
Whether it's in the form of rolls, pasta, or potatoes, Americans enjoy their carbs on Thanksgiving. Maine was a rare exception, with searches for side salad taking the top slot there. Between some regions, the difference lies in semantics rather than taste. Dressing is the favorite side of Alabama, and up north in New York, they call their top side stuffing.
No matter how many times you've eaten a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, you may be interested to learn more about the meal. After looking at the map below, read up on these facts about famous Thanksgiving dishes.