What provides inspiration, relaxation, and an escape from the chaos of our daily lives? Hint: It’s small, inexpensive, and fits in your handbag. That’s right, sitting down with a book helps us be our healthiest, happiest selves! Here are six reasons to pick up a book ASAP.
TIME FOR YOURSELF
Sometimes we may need a break from the demands of our daily lives—family, work, and other responsibilities. Curling up with a good book allows us a bit of privacy and some well-deserved quiet time.
… OR TIME FOR A BOOK CLUB
Quiet time may not be what you’re after—perhaps you’re looking forward to sitting down with some amigas for some friendly conversation and intelligent discussion over a glass of wine! Starting a book club (or joining an already-existing one) is a great way to combine reading with female bonding.
A GREAT ESCAPE
If you’re inclined to do a little time-traveling and continent-hopping—hobnobbing with Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy and 1800s British society, say, or visiting 1930s Madrid alongside a seamstress named Sira—you can do it without having to pay for an airline ticket (and you won’t have to invent a time machine, either!). Books allow us to feel present in different places and eras and to understand the issues and challenges met by people in every culture throughout history.
There are so many self-help books out there, the genre often gets a bad rap because of the sheer volume (after all, they can’t all be good!). But it’s worth culling the wheat from the chaff (finding the good stuff and tossing the bad) because there are some incredibly insightful and helpful books out there on pretty much any topic you might need help with. Need help making things neat and tidy? Check out de-cluttering expert Peter Walsh’s books on organizing. Want to hear how your fellow Latinas live and love their lives? Look no farther than 8 Ways to Say I Love My Life. Whatever you may need help with, from home repair to health, there’s a good book out there for you.
Read Related: Stress-Busting Secrets That Work
THE THREE R’S: REST, RELAXATION, READING
Practices like yoga and meditation are known for helping to relieve stress. But many people find that being able to sit and read can significantly bring down stress levels, too. A few years ago, a study by the Mindlab International at the University of Sussex in the U.K. revealed what bookworms already know: that reading even as little as six minutes at a time reduces levels of stress by 68%.
IDEAS & INSPIRATION
The form that inspiration can take in any given book is as varied as the reading material that’s out there for us to enjoy. Maybe you’re transfixed reading Sonia Sotomayor’s memoir about how she transcended her humble upbringing to become the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice. Maybe you’ve been thinking of writing a thriller, and you’re finding that reading a good mystery is giving you the motivation to write your own. Or maybe just being able to immerse yourself in a different world for a little while gives you the time you need to reboot your engine and face your day afresh. Whatever inspiration you’re looking for, the right book is out there to provide it for you.