“Mary Virginia, get your nose out of that book!” was an oft-repeated refrain while I was growing up. Reading wasn’t the sin; my parents encouraged me to read most anything I wanted. The problem was I would rather read than do anything else, which occasionally created some conflict.

This issue, both the Coastal Illustrated and Coastal Home issues focus on reading. With social distancing in full effect due to the coronavirus outbreak, we wanted to recommend some things to do at home, and what’s better than reading?

In the Coastal Illustrated feature, we begin by exploring a few interesting historic facts about the Golden Isles, and provide links for our readers to get started on their own research. Who knows what you’ll find? So, whether you’re interested in archeology, history or religion, we have something for you.

Social events are at a standstill, but we still have plenty of photos of people you know in our pages. These events took place before social distancing went into effect. Cary Knapp has a wonderful book review of Louise Erdrich’s new novel, “The Night Watchman,” which tells the story of an Indian tribe standing up to the U.S. government under the threat of having important treaties cancelled.

“Cheri’s Shore Things” is all about “Social Distancing Tips From a Social Butterfly.” This issue, Cheri concentrates on keeping connected through the news, faith, health and escape.

Our Coastal Home feature is devoted to “book shelfies.” We asked our readers to submit photos of their reading nooks and/or bookshelves, and provide us with a recommendation for a great read. Our creative director, Cheri Leavy, suggests “A Moveable Feast,” by Ernest Hemingway, as her recommendation.

“(It) seems appropriate, as we are living off memories of special places we have visited, and Hemingway delves into his love affair with Paris in the 1920s,” she commented. “Hemingway said, ‘If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.’”

Leavy has shelves dedicated to her favorite authors, Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald. An avid reader, Leavy finished “A Golden Hour,” by Beatriz Williams, this past weekend and loved the quick read filled with intrigue about the Duke and Duchess of Windsor during their time in Nassau, Bahamas.

It’s hard to choose a favorite book, but mine is “The Great Railway Bazaar: By Train Through Asia” by Paul Theroux . Written in 1975 , the book is a travelogue/memoir of Theroux’s four-month adventure by train in 1973 from London, through Europe, the Middle East, India, and Southeast Asia, and his return via the Trans-Siberian Railway. The book is intriguing, particularly its chapters in Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan, where the first rumblings of the Taliban and other extremist groups are beginning to percolate. Theroux’s descriptions of the sights, smells, sounds and people, although imbued with editorial comment, make it a tantalizing read. Hat tip to our literary columnist, who reviewed it a couple of years ago, which prompted me to reread it after a more than two decade hiatus.

Also in Coastal Home, you can also read reporter Gordon Jackson’s report on how COVID-19 is affecting the local real estate market, and meet commercial real estate broker, Kirk Watson, in our Realtor Q&A.

We’re going to keep the reading ball rolling with a little challenge. Please share your book nook #shelfies and a book recommendation to mstarr@coastalillustrated.com for us to share on Facebook. For Instagram, forward them to manningclare24@gmail.com.

Enjoy the issue, and don’t forget to wash your hands!