Health

Want to make me happy? Bring me a book

Just like you, I’m a busy person—between writing blog posts and working on stories, parenting two kids, being a wife, running and more, some days I barely grab a spare breath. And when life gets too busy, I need something to take the edge off.

Getty Images

Just like you, I’m a busy person—between writing blog posts and working on stories, parenting two kids, being a wife, running and more, some days I barely grab a spare breath. And when life gets too busy, I need something to take the edge off. A little treat to dig into for a lift.

Nope—not talking molten chocolate lava cake here or a glass of pinot. I’m talking about a good book. The kind that keeps me up past midnight turning page after page, cursing my inability to put it down and go to sleep. The kind I have to lug around for a subway ride over listening to my iPod. The kind that has me miss a new Modern Family episode to taste another chapter.

I’ve got a tower of books spilling over my bedside table including The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Black Hawk Down (the amazing book, pre-movie), We Need To Talk About Kevin, Late Nights on Air, Three Cups of Tea, The Bishop’s Man, The Carrie Diaries (I’m no book snob—I freely mix my chick lit with my finer pieces of literature) and more, but it’s been awhile since I’ve read a book. Well, in my day-to-day life—my last two vacations, I consumed Room and House Rules. To me, that bedside stack holds such possibility that it’s hard to choose first.

But last night I was kind of wound up and thinking I needed a bit of a release. Something to delve into and escape in for awhile. Enter Mini Shopaholic—a perfect, quick read that was the past-midnight culprit. And for this morning’s subway ride, while I still popped in my ear buds, I dragged along Midnight at the Dragon Café and admittedly, I’m already done two chapters.

There’s something complete about reading for me—scenes sit in my head and I think about them as the day goes on, even if it is Becky Bloomwood doing another implausible thing. (What is it about this woman that has me hungrily consuming her books?) Books are my conversation currency—talk books with another book lover and not only do you ensure an interesting conversation, but generally you walk away with a recommendation or two for your next trip to Indigo. The actual act of reading gives me peace—sitting, lying, standing, while eyes-deep into a chapter, lets me get caught up in someone else’s life and forget (temporarily) about deadlines hanging over my head, doctor’s appointments I need to cart my kids to or the bathroom that desperately needs renovation. And often when I’m done, I’m so sad to say goodbye to these characters I feel I’ve gotten to know intimately. But then I’m also thankful for the sense of perspective they’ve given me—like Jack did in Room. His peace was when he was with his mother, despite the fact that they were trapped in a room and it reminded me of the power of the parent-child bond.    

On my list of future escapes to purchase from Indigo soon are The Birth House and Unless, thanks to the recent CBC Canada Reads competition. (The winner, The Best Laid Plans, sounds intriguing, but isn’t high on my list.)  But for now, I’ll have to choose which chapter I thumb next—Mini Shopaholic or Dragon Café–to take in over my lunchtime.

Want to dig into some book talk of your own? If so, check out our Book Club forum here.

FILED UNDER: