I got three new books this week and they’re gorgeous.
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban 20th Anniversary Edition (Ravenclaw Edition) by J.K. Rowling and, one I just couldn’t wait to get, The Rise of Kyoshi by F.C. Yee and Michael Dante Dimartino.
The Harry Potter and Kyoshi books are both hardback and y’all know how I feel about hardbacks. They. Are. The. Best.
For several years now, I’ve only read for entertainment. Well, that’s not entirely true, I have read to escape but only to go have an adventure with dragons instead of mulling over the day of stacking shelves. Because, y’know, what’s more interesting really?
But when we hit a rough patch, we start relying on books more and more for escaping the emotional stuff we kinda need to deal with. But not right now. Later. After chapter 7. Or 17.
This week has been a testing one for sure and these books couldn’t have gotten here sooner. While it’s instinct, especially for over-thinkers, to feel guilt for putting off the things we should be dealing with, here’s the thing: books can actually help us deal with messy life stuff by giving us a break from it.
You’d expect to get a break at work after working hard for several hours, why don’t we give ourselves the same breaks when dealing with emotions? At the very least, guilt-free breaks? We need to take care of ourselves even when we’re not having problems, so it’s especially important we do it when we are.
I’ve really felt the benefit of reading much more this week with some of the added pressures and stress that life has served up and in some ways, it’s nice. Whenever you do something regularly, sometimes it’s nice to be able to experience it in a different way. Needing to escape more is making the escape even sweeter.
But better, that escape gives us the energy we need to deal with these life pressures and I’ve found that this week. If these things are keeping us up at night, we can read and nod off. If we’re struggling to eat because we’re so anxious, we can read and hey, maybe we’ll feel like a snack.
Reading isn’t going to solve our problems and it sure isn’t going to make them magically vanish, though that’d be lovely. But the act of splaying out on the sofa/bed/reading nook to get lost in a book is healing even if it’s only a little bit. Better yet, depending on books for a breather is one of the healthiest dependencies. So, honestly, we can indulge in a totally guilt-free addiction. We just need to let ourselves enjoy it without worrying that we should be doing something else more productive. Reading is healthy. Are you going to stop eating strawberries just because broccoli is slightly healthier?
If you need to hear this, awesome, go forth and go nuts reading. But don’t wait for permission to take a break and for goodness sake don’t feel guilty. Life’s too short to reprimand ourselves for doing things, let alone things that are good for us.
So, my fellow bookworms, go and buy yourself a brand new book (preferably hardback) and take five. Hours, not minutes.
Thanks for reading!