Reading: Mood and Why

On a blog I follow, 101 Books, the question is do you read if you are stressed. 101 books question that made me think.

When and why do I read books? I read because I want to learn or escape. Enlighten my brain and heart. Discover new worlds and perspectives. Live more fully.

I read whenever I can. I had a job over a decade ago where I traveled frequently. I missed my dogs and home but the traveling allowed me time. Time to read. And I read on the airplane, in the hotel when my work paperwork was completed. Reading helped offset the downsides of traveling for me.

My reply is: I can read if I am stressed. A great book that takes me to a different world helps. However, if I am depressed I cannot read.

But was I being truthful with myself? Yes and no. I realized that sometimes when the stress level is high I do not usually read. What do I do? I fret.

Fret and worry is not productive but by my nature that is what happens. Maybe I should do something more productive by distracting myself with a good read. The best book is the book that makes you forget the world. You are living in the book and are bummed out when you have reached the end because you want the story to go on and on.

When I can’t turn off my brain of worries, I need to read. Perhaps I should tax myself with a thought provoking new topic. Instead of fiction take up a non-fiction or text book.

I cannot read when I am depressed. Depression zaps all the joy, motivation and initiative from life. And reading gives me pleasure Whether the book is sad and makes me cry or a textbook, reading is a joyful event.

Thomas Jefferson said “I cannot live without books.” Depression is suppressing life, my life, your life. Picking up a book doesn’t solve or fix this problem. Medical care can help with this problem.

But when I am down or blue (not depressed) I give thought to what I read. If I am already in the middle of a book I may continue reading. Usually, I turn to my comfort reads. A comfort read is a book that I have read multiple times. Comfort reads for me:
Sunshine
Grave Sight (Harper Connelly Mysteries, Book 1)
Grave Secret (Harper Connelly Mysteries, Book 4)
Crazy for You
Welcome to Temptation
Undead and Unwed (Queen Betsy, Book 1)
Undead and Unemployed (Queen Betsy, Book 2)

My comfort reads are books I enjoy but can still get caught up in the world of the story. I have other favorites and re-reads but I don’t reach for them when I am blue.

The phrase, ‘So many books and so little time’ is true. The best book is the book that makes you forget the world. You are living in the book and are bummed out when you have reached the end because you want the story to go on and on. The best books comfort you. The best books provoke you. The best books educate you and expose you to other lives and ways of thinking. Books free you.

No matter the mood books make life better.

No matter the mood books make life better. The best book is the book that makes you forget the world. You are living in the book and are bummed out when you have reached the end because you want the story to go on and on. The best books comfort you. The best books provoke you. The best books educate you and expose you to other lives and ways of thinking. Books free you.

Joyce Carol Oates said, “Reading is the sole means by which we slip, involuntarily, often helplessly, into another’s skin, another’s voice, another’s soul.” Slip out of your stress and blues by reading. Heighten your joy by reading.

And broaden your mind and life by reading. “No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.” — Confucius

When and why do you read books? Is reading mood dependent or strictly time dependent? Do you make time to read?

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