It’s time, as we say, to be selfish and grab a book. Books are the ideal way to spend that much-needed me-time. At Once Upon a Book Club, we like to think of it as giving your mind a mini-vacation. There is something magical about escaping reality for a moment - becoming engrossed in a great book helps us leave our troubles behind, and somehow, it always feels like we have gained an extra hour or two.
Reading is one of life’s great pleasures you can experience from the comfort of your couch or snuggled up in your bed. All you need is a comfortable spot, a cup of tea or glass of wine and those obligatory snacks, and the latest book. If you’re battling to find just the right one, you may want to try our monthly subscription boxes, which means that once a month, you have a very important date with yourself and a box filled with unexpected gifts and surprises. The perfect excuse to sneak off somewhere quiet and just be … away from the hustle and bustle of life.
As we said, reading is like giving your mind a vacation. And vacations are all about relaxing, having fun, recharging the batteries, visiting new places, and having new experiences. We are sure you can add to the list, and that’s the beauty of books; they do exactly that and more. Sometimes your brain needs to be free, free to imagine, and free to create. Our lives are filled with movies and series which leave little to the imagination. But with a book, you are free to imagine how the characters sound and look and to be honest, we’ve yet to come across a movie that beat our expectations which is why we always read the book before seeing the movie.
A treasure chest of words
Opening a book is like opening a treasure chest - a treasure chest of words that can instantly transport you into a world filled with excitement, mystery, romance, or drama with the mere flick of a page. We love how easy it is to become completely absorbed as the distractions of the world slowly fade into the distance.
There is nothing quite as exhilarating as reading a mystery novel; you become part of the investigative team, and there is something quite satisfying about picking up those subtle clues. We find that we also become part of the security team, literally crying out, “Don’t go there alone or get out while you can!”. Have you ever had those moments when you’re too nervous to turn over the page? We find a sip or two of wine helps calm the nerves.
Romance. Who doesn’t love a great romance novel? We find ourselves giving advice – we just know that it is the wrong man or find ourselves saying don’t fall for his tricks! And then there are those moments we have all dreamt of. The perfect date as he arrives to fetch her looking absolutely gorgeous (what man doesn’t when they arrive with roses?), an incredible setting for that romantic dinner, the inevitable holding of hands, and that first kiss.
Well, that’s us off to find our next romance novel or perhaps a subtle hint to our partner about those roses. Actually, at some stages, our partner in an apron cooking and washing dishes is just about as good as receiving those roses – especially if we’re ensconced on the couch with our favorite romance novel!
And another one of our favorite genres is drama. Here we can easily find ourselves transported back to the second world war as we live the horrors and follow the bravery of those young men and women who made a difference. Or perhaps we find ourselves caught up in the family drama as the next generation tries to move on despite the traditions of the past. We love a bit of family drama, it makes our own look so normal.
Stress reduction at its ultimate
But if the above has not been enough to convince you, according to research, reading can reduce stress by around 70% by easing that awful muscle tension and lowering your heart rate. Though on the latter, we’re not 100% convinced when we think about some of our crime stories like The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St James. That was enough to get the heart racing but trust us; your troubles will definitely be at the bottom of the list.
And we love the quote by Joseph Addison and Sir Richard Steele, “Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.” Exercising from your comfy chair sounds just about perfect to us. When you come back down to earth again after your literary journey or booksercising - well, that feeling of relaxation is sure to stick around for a while!