Submitted on Friday, 5/22/2020, at 11:26 AM

"Isolation has its benefits” for bookworms like Ilan Stavans, Lewis-Sebring Professor of Humanities and Latin American and Latino Culture, who recently shared with the Daily Hampshire Gazette what he's been reading while social distancing.

“Part of me has always wanted to be a hermit; I have now been granted the chance,” he remarked. He listed Jorge Luis Borges, Edmund Wilson, Gabriel García Márquez, William Shakespeare and Hannah Arendt as some of his current pandemic reads.

“I’m at an age, 59, when I am attracted to ‘proven’ books, not only those that have survived the test of time but books that, when I finished reading them long ago, I remember having a sense of companionship,” he told the Gazette.

Those wanting to get in on the reading with Stavans might be interested in his online book club, which was the subject of another story in the Gazette. “Restless Reads,” a virtual book club co-sponsored by Stavans’s publishing company Restless Books and the Jones Library in Amherst, last month hosted an international discussion with about 100 people talking about Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” over two sessions. The group plans to hold monthly zoom sessions about classic titles from the publisher’s catalog.