#WeNeedDIverseBooks, Art, Books, Illustrators, poetry

Reading is the Best Way to Relax


      “A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic,” Carl Sagan 

The week has flown by, riddled with the everyday happenings, participating in the writing challenge of NaNoWriMo, and revising an old manuscript.

Like many of you (I’m assuming) I love to read: poetry, YA, Adult, and Children’s Books. I read during my down time, which is literally when I’m in bed, for an hour or two before I drift off to sleep.

I’ve read some extraordinary books lately: Jean Rhys “The Wide Sargasso Sea,” and Helena Viramontes’ novel, “Their Dogs Came With Them.”  Both five star books, IMHO. These highly emotive, descriptive books had an intensity to them that I loved, but that also exhausted me—in a good way.

Reading doesn’t just keep the mind sharp, possibly stave off Alzheimer’s, and help you sleep better (not if you read horror), but research says reading is the tops in relaxation. Really—they did studies. Here’s the conclusion from the UK-University of Sussex: 

Reading worked best, reducing stress levels by 68 per cent, said cognitive neuropsychologist Dr David Lewis.

Subjects only needed to read, silently, for six minutes to slow down the heart rate and ease tension in the muscles…it got subjects to stress levels lower than before they started.

Listening to music reduced the levels by 61%, have a cup of tea of coffee lowered them by 54% , taking a walk by 42%, and video games, 21%. 

So today I was delighted to come across a children’s book I think I will enjoy. Maria Popova said this about the book she featured for the week:

I was instantly smitten with Pablo Neruda: Poet of the People by Monica Brown, with absolutely stunning illustrations and hand-lettering by artist Julie Paschkis 

Go have a look at the gorgeously illustrated pages that Popova has on her website: Brain Pickings. The colors delight the eyes, the illustrations and words relax the body.

An instant chill pill.

I’ve added this book to my public library list, which has grown now to 10 books on hold.

So relax everyone. Take time out to enjoy your favorite activity to help you gather yourself together and take on the coming week.

8 thoughts on “Reading is the Best Way to Relax”

  1. This month I am reading all of Anais Nin Diaries and Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer.
    I also have aligned for reading “Henry and June”, and Miller’s book titled “On Writing”…oh what a pair they were. I am enthralled! I also keep a list of books on hold, so never run out of great inspiration!


      1. My list is purely for research into the life of erotica that has been published by influential artists and thinkers, Anais was the author of several novels, short stories, critical studies, a collection of essays, and two volumes of erotica. And well, you know the reputation of the great Henry Miller. “Only the damned souls of artists like myself, who suffered the loss of everything, know what goes into a great artistic masterpiece” The act of writing Tropic of Cancer changed Miller’s perceptions of life and love forever. It was the book that made him into a ‘new kind of man’ out of his own and the world’s chaos. My novel is a dive into the lives of two lovers who are never to meet face to face. It may be deeply controversial in the face of “erotic romance” a genre I hear must have a happy ending in order to be acceptable. I am breaking that rule. I’m breaking many rules, but then that’s what artists do! LOL


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