Relax with the Magic of a Good Book

reading-on-beach

“We spotted the ocean at the head of the trail. Where are we going, so far away? Somebody told me this is the place. Where every thing’s better and every thing’s safe.” ~Walk on the Ocean by Toad the Wet Sprocket

Do you feel like you are walking on water when you read a book? You magically float on a world of carefully crafted words made to entertain and inspire. Reading not only entertains us, it also helps us stay afloat while drifting in a sea of stress.

Reading helps you interfere with the effects of stress by activating the thinking part of your brain. In doing so, reading is a great relaxer.

f I lay down while I read, I can barely keep my eyes open. Now, that’s what I call cuddling with a good book.

Books make you want to curl up:

Glance at the books you have on your night stand. I typically read more than one book at a time. Too many too finish, but only one novel at a time – a book just for fun.

Here’s my current stack of books:

  • A digital photography book that I’ll never read from cover to cover. Instead, I study the photos for idea and technical inspiration.
  • A historical book tracing the footsteps of parenting trends. Ending in the current age of “anxious parenting.”
  • A book by Natalie Goldberg to inspire and teach me how to write with an untamed mind.
  • Lastly, I just finished a curl up book, a novel called The Postmistress  by Sarah Blake:

“It’s a tale of two worlds – one shattered by violence, the other willfully naïve. And of two women whose jobs are to deliver the news, yet who find themselves unable to do so.”

While this isn’t my favorite novel, I was still captivated in a world that wasn’t my own. Drifting away to watch how these women’s stories unfold. Surprised by how these women carried the burden’s of others’ tragedy. A world of truth told and untold.

8 Ways to Tap Into the Magical World of Books:

What’s your favorite way to relax with books? Here are some ideas to get that magical world to stir in you:

  1. Borrow books for free from the library.
  2. Join or start a book discussion group.
  3. Trade books with your friends.
  4. Start a conversation about a book you are reading. Share what inspires you and disturbs you.
  5. Read a non-fiction book to learn more about a topic of interest.
  6. Explore a book of poetry or quotes.
  7. Use blank index cards as bookmarks. Write down your favorite quotes while reading.
  8. Brew a cup of tea, sit in your favorite chair, and tune out the world. Open up the magical world inside the pages. (Just remember to come back!)
In an age where many brick and mortar bookstores are closing their doors, I cherish holding onto a good book. I can’t imagine curling up with a laptop screen or any e-reader. Can you really curl up with a screen?

Please share your favorite novel read this summer.

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Join the discussion in the comments, on Twitter, or Facebook.

Photo Credit: “Reading and Relaxing” by Will Ockenden

6 responses to “Relax with the Magic of a Good Book

  1. I so relate to this post. I too read more than one book at a time and my night table is piled with books. I too love holding onto that book, which is why I don’t want a kindle or any other technological way of reading a book.
    I mostly read memoirs – specifically portraying the impact a person can have and showing how people rise above their challenges.
    I’m reading now – Tolstoy and the Purple Chair by Nina Sankovitch. It’s the story of her year of reading a book a day along as she journeys through her grief over the loss of her sister. (Great book suggestions, too)
    My most recent novel that I absolutely loved is Sarah’s Key.
    I have facilitated many parent book clubs at schools. Now that I retired from the school system, I may try my hand at doing some ‘privately’.
    Or even on the web, although I’m not too techy and wouldn’t really know how to even start it.
    All the best.

    • Hello Harriet, Memoirs sound like a great read. I loved Eat Pray Love, but haven’t read any other memoir type books before. Let me know how your book club creation goes, and I’m going to check out your book suggestions too.

  2. I tend to have several going at the same time. I read non-fiction (history and political) but lately, I’ve been reading novels also, which I get through so much quicker and in some strange way, make me feel accomplished. I still love holding a book and physically turning the pages but ‘ve slowly gotten used to reading from my iPad — something I consciously made myself do. It’s great because I’m saving so much money by “checking out” electronic versions of both classics and contemporary books from the library.

    • I will probably eventually purchase an ereader too. I just have a hard time keeping up with all the latest technology, and will really miss the bookstores around here when they close.

  3. Yeah. I’ve always got several going at the same time — fiction and non-fiction. I have discovered ereaders though (kindle for non-fiction plus kobo touch for fiction and borrowing library ebooks) and love them for a few reasons: 1) they are lighter to hold when my hands hurt from lupus; 2) they are much more portable and lighter when I travel; and 3) I can highlight favourite passages or write notes and find them easily later. By the way, this is from someone who originally told her husband that I was a staunch believer in physically holding a book. My suggestion is to keep an open mind … and yes, you actually can curl up with an ereader. I’ve done it numerous times and have fallen asleep. The ereader is programmed to go into sleep mode after a certain amount of time, controlled by me.

    • Thanks for sharing the benefits of ereaders. It’s great to know you can highlight, because I’m a highlighter when I’m reading for learning more than fun. It’s good to know we can still curl up even with technology.