I picked up a used paperback copy of Anne Frank’s diary at a library book sale last year. I was not planning on reading it until the coronavirus shut down everything, including our public libraries. I didn’t get a chance to check out new books before the libraries closed out; therefore, I have to read what I have at home. The timing is sadly perfect. What’s a better book to read during a lockdown than The Diary of a Young Girl written by someone who was hiding on the second floor and the attic of a house with seven other people for two years?
Of course, I have heard of this book as far back as when I first migrated to America only for a few years and attended middle school. For some reason, I had the impression that the diary would be too depressing; therefore, I didn’t want to read it. I was wrong. Anne’s writing was lively, engaging, and unequivocal. From heart to soul, sorrow to joy, love to hate, sarcasm to enthusiasm, she bared everything on the page and her writing got better as she progressed.
Reading her diary at a time of a global pandemic helps put me into perspective. On September 28, 1942, Anne wrote: “Not being able to go outside upsets me more than I can say, and I am terrified our hiding place will be discovered and that we’ll be shot. That, of course, is fairly dismal prospect.” I am safe as long as I stay home and I can still go outside to get some fresh air without worrying about being captured or killed. I am avoiding the spread of coronavirus and not hiding from the people who wanted to take my life. If you have never read Anne Frank’s diary, now’s the time.