Less the Stress

Take a Look, It’s in a Book…

Less the Stress: Day 2 – Reading

New to the series? Read the first post here.

Reading Rainbow, you guys. It’s the best. Everyone has a different relationship with books and reading. Some people are more academic. Some people (gasp!) hate books. Some people think the answer to life is buying all the self-help books in the world. In that sense, reading as a stress relief is probably only valuable in relation to how you view reading/books. But for me, this is totally in my wheelhouse.

Video Snapshot 1

I grew up reading constantly, until sometime around middle school and then I didn’t pick up my reading habit again until later in high school. I used to clear out our library’s sale books at 50 cents or something crazy like that. I’ve gotten stuck in genres before, but usually through recommendations — or lately, the internet — I discover something new that I love. My relationship with books is all about disappearing into a story. I think in the narrators voice, I imagine real life comparisons to the events of the book, I disappear into the world inside the pages.

The bigger the book the smarter you get!
The bigger the book the smarter you get!

Most great writers say that reading as much as you write is key to getting better. These days with life being so busy I don’t find myself with afternoons to spend reading new books for 3 or 4 hours. Most of the time I manage 10 minutes before falling asleep. However, I did recently get myself a library card so I can check out books (and DVDs!) for free. I used to buy books more but that’s wasteful and unnecessary. I am totally a re-reader, but only with a select few books. I’ve read Salinger’s Franny and Zooey and Nine Stories about a thousand times — they were my default subway books in NYC in between new books. Junot Diaz is also another great for re-reading with both his short story books and the one I’m reading above (just finished actually), The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.

Libraries are FREE. FREE BOOKS. We all should have these cards.
Libraries are FREE. FREE BOOKS. We all should have these cards.

If I were making a scale (shit, should I make a rating scale for these tips?) I would put reading at about 95% effective for stress relief. Whether it’s a classic or a young adult easy read or a memoir, falling into someone else’s story for any period of time relaxes me greatly.

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