Let me start this post by assuring you that I am not a doctor and not qualified to give any kind of medical or lifestyle advice. What I am about to share with you are simply a few ways in which I think books play a positive and healthy role in my life in the hopes that they may do the same in yours.
- Books help me to de-stress! I love disappearing into a story, especially if life has been particularly stressful and hectic. There is nothing like escaping into a good story and getting the heck out of reality for a while. In fact, I wrote a blog post about how escaping into Harry Potter saved my sanity and restored my hope. If you missed that one, you can read it here.
- Books help me to empathize with others. Now, this one I know has been backed by studies which show that people who read fiction are better at empathizing. This is because we experience the emotions of the characters in the books. We have felt happy with them and sad with them. We have felt brave, scared, excited, confused, in love, depressed, and every other emotion there is. You may not have experienced the same thing someone else is going through, but I bet if you are a book addict like me, you have also developed some great listening and empathizing skills. After all, what is reading a book if not listening and empathizing with someone’s story? When I meet someone or talk to someone who is going through something, good or bad, I am usually able to empathize with them, sometimes offering them comfort depending on the situation. This is a wonderful thing to be able to give someone!
- Books help me sleep better. I find that if my mind is racing once my head hits the pillow that it helps me to get up and read for a little while. Not only do I instantly go into relax-mode once I’m snuggled up in my reading chair, but the book takes my mind off the craziness of the day. Reading gives my mind a break from going over and over everything that has happened that day and everything that I still need to do tomorrow. I find that I fall asleep and stay asleep more easily after I’ve read for a while because my mind has had time to unwind and go into relax and sleep mode.
- Books make great gifts. If you are ever in a bind for a gift, just go to your local bookstore. I have never gone into a bookstore and not been able to find a gift for someone. Even if the person is not necessarily a “big reader,” there are still so many gift options available. There are coffee table books, comedy books, graphic novels, and even adult coloring books. If you find yourself unsure, go for the gift card. Who doesn’t love browsing the aisles knowing they have money to burn?!
- Books make me happy. Just the smell of a bookstore perks me up. It’s something about the coffee/ book smell combo. There should really be a new-book-smell candle. Any candle makers/ crafters reading this? If so, please get right on that and let me know when it’s available! Like my comfy reading chair, the bookstore makes me relax. It’s just a natural reaction because I associate those two places with being surrounded by books, and books make me happy. So even if you are not a book addict and you don’t find your shoulders unknotting as you walk into the bookstore, you can still try the reading before bed and gift ideas. Books offer a little something for everyone!
I hope this list has been helpful and relatable. I mean I can’t be the only one out there who sniffs a book and thinks, “This should be a candle”…right??
Happy reading, Friends!