Self care series: Relax and read.
When I was younger, I was a reader. I was one of those little kids with their noses constantly in one book or another, I remember fondly the realisation that I’d just been completely absorbed in the Lion the witch and the wardrobe for three hours straight. It was my first memory of being in the that ‘reader bubble’.
I’m sure many of you know what I mean, the amazon prime guy delivers your order just after lunch… you’ll just have a quick flick before you start your chores…. And then its 2am. Who picked up the kids from school? who made tea? what day is it?
Thats the reader bubble, and its a feeling I chase a lot.
Not because I want to ignore my family! I feel I should point that out! Ha ha. No, but sometimes, particularly in this past year, reality can get a bit much. You’ve a couple of options when it comes to escaping reality for a while, almost all of them self destructive. So my choice? I read.
I grew out of the habit when I started high school, I remember coming home from school one day and hiding all of my “The sleepover club” books at the bottom of my wardrobe because – OMG reading for pleasure is so not cool – I was a delightful teen! ha ha. which is Sad really, because they were the years I could have really done with that Non-destructive escape from reality. I did of course do some reading, the usual forced stuff in school. I think I randomly found a copy of Mel B’s autobiography. Ha.
I do remember when I Re-deiscovered my love of really loosing myself thoroughly in the pages. I was sixteen, and I picked up my dad’s copy of Neil Gaimans ‘Neverwhere’. I lay on my bed and I didn’t move until finished it. To this day this remains one of my favourite books. Its one I always go back too. I like it when a story doesn’t just tell a tale – no matter how engrossing. I seemed to have developed a liking of stories that pick up on the divide between rich and poor, the class system in our country is one of those things that both infuriates and fascinates me, and so when its an underlying theme in a book I pick up, I’m automatically more interested. Neverwhere’s thought provoking twist on homelessness is one of my favourite things about the book – along with the imaginative use of the London underground stations, one of the bits that stick my head most about this story is when Richard is on his way to finding the market for the first time and he’s on the bridge with the little rat girl. I dont know why, but I re-read that part like five times, it just made me feel so sad! Anyway, I wont spoil anymore if you haven’t read it. But if really well written fantasy – I swear it could be true!- is your thing then give this book a go.
All this has got me thinking, Instagram is full of avid book lovers – Or rather my instagram is all of creatives and I think a big part of any creatives life is reading. Its been proven many times that reading is in fact exercise for the brain – the brain is a muscle, it needs those work outs too! – it stretches out that imagination, it transports you to different places, it forces you to think as though your someone else, you learn and you learn with every single new book you read.
The reason why I’ve included reading in my self care series, is really very simple. It is good for you, its proven to make you happier, healthier and smarter, as well as being really bloody good way to entertain yourself. One of lifes simple pleasures is being somewhere warm and cosy, having a cuppa’ maybe a snack. There’s nothing but silence and you open that first page, climbing in to explore a brand new world.
So, if I’ve convinced you to jump (back) on that reading wagon, but need a little Inspo. I’ve asked a few of my favourite Insta-huns what their ‘must read’ book is and a little on why.
“My favourite book is probably Paper towns – by John green. I read it in one sitting and absolutely loved how it left me feeling inspired and being the world through different eyes, even if for a short period of time. The characters are relatable and John Green has a wonderful way of depicting scenes so beautifully that its hard not to imagine each chapter as its played out in words.” – Jodie, Dear little daisy.
“One of my favourite books is the classic novel, Wuthering Heights. I first read this at fifteen whilst studying for my GCSE’s. I’ll readily admit that it wasn’t love at first sight fro me. I initially found it difficult to get into, it was full of brooding imagery and complex characters. Yet, as I unpicked the book, unraveled the imagery and got to know the characters, I began to have a reverence for it. Emily Bronte’s use of imagery is second to none and every time I read this book, I enjoy it more and more.” – Morgana, Coffee, work, sleep, repeat.
“Lion, the witch and the wardrobe. Because as a child I needed to escape the real world and this book allowed me to do that. To believe in magic. As I was older and went to live with my nana, se bought me the series and we would read and discuss. They have the happiest memories of the most special relationship I had.” – Kara, Innocent charms chats.
” Possibly Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – It just feels like home, when I’m sad or anxious I just need to put my headphones on and I start becoming calmer.” – Lucy, Hopelessly Lucy.
“My favourite book is The butterfly effect. I love that it is thought provoking and gripping at all times and although I dont read much these days, I love it to be really interesting when I do.” – Laura, little ladies big world.
“If you love cars or dogs or both, The art of racing in the rain is the book for you! I still remember sitting on a sun lounger in Cyprus and crying my eyes out at the ending. I passed it onto may mum who had re-read it several times and friends of ours even named their dog after the dog in the book!” – Clare, Maybush Studios.
So, hopefully by the end of this post you’re excited to grab a book and get stuck in. Its hard sometimes to remember to do something you actually really love, life gets hectic, things get in the way, sometimes it takes a little effort to get stuck into that ‘readers bubble’ and its not always effort you have spare. If you’re wanting to do a bit more reading this year, there’s no time like the present to start! Self care and all that!
Also, if you’re local to Preston, Lucy of Hoplessly Lucy has set up a Book club! We’ll be meeting once a month at the Town house coffee and brew bar – Our first meeting is on the 23rd Jan at 6pm. – facebook page is here if you want to join.
I’m interested to know, What are your all time favourite books to read?