Updated: Oct 1, 2020
If you are like me and always feel you have a million things to do, sitting down to read a book might feel like like a guilty pleasure, that it's taking the time away from something that seems like a greater priority. However, I'm here to tell you reading is something that you can do for yourself to feed your soul, increase your knowledge, and expand your consciousness.
Reading has been linked to improved memory, increase in empathy, rewiring the brain and so much more. (Bustle) A recent survey by Fast Company showed that CEO’s read on average 60 books a year or 5 books a month of which many of them attribute as part of their success. I too am an avid reader and love getting swept up in a book. One of my favorite places I have visited is Trinity Library in Dublin Ireland. Seeing books arranged and displayed so aesthetically brings joy to my heart. I believe it’s due to being surrounded by all the knowledge, creativity, and wisdom that books provide. Bringing together minds, hearts, and ideas from people across space and time. If we could only harness all of that into one consumable bite of knowledge think of the answers to the world’s problems that would within our realm of achieving.
One of the greatest things I believe books bring to life is their ability to put you in someone else’s perspective. When you can get out of your own head, which is crammed full of conscious and subconscious beliefs, and see the world through someone else’s eyes it changes your entire picture of life. I wonder if more people were to pick up The Diary of Anne Frank, or Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl if consciousness would awaken and the world would change? Would those who see everything in black and white all of a sudden realize the world does not just come in many shades of gray, but is fully technicolor? That the ebb and flow of life is complex, messy, beautiful, and unfathomable all at the same time.
In addition to books having the power to bestow greater empathy they also enlighten you to the bigger picture of the world. They introduce you to cultural differences, sources of beliefs, they uncover hidden secrets to biology or instruct you on how to be a better version of yourself. That applies whether it's fiction or self-help. There are so many different genres, you can pick any topic of interest and automatically expand your vision, your mind, your creativity. Books have the ability to help you transcend your own limitations, provide joy, perspective, and expand possibilities in life.
I invite you to check out some of these resources in which to get access to books. My hope is that you would find reading to be a life enhancing, joy building, mind expanding opportunity in which to feed your mental and emotional health.
1. Of course, first is your local library. I know during the pandemic Hennepin County Library in Minneapolis has offered free online reading to its patrons, I imagine other libraries may offer the same opportunity.
2. BookBub.com allows you to purchase online books from Kindle at a discounted price. You fill in your favorite genres and get a daily email on books you may like that are on sale.
3. Chirpbooks.com is like BookBub, however is all about audiobooks. No purchase necessary for either one. Just purchase a book if it catches your interest.
4. Audible.com is membership based·audiobook source. They offer various options in which you pay a monthly fee and receive one free credit a month (which is usually equivalent to one book) and can purchase any other book you choose. They also have a lot of sales.
5. Bookshop.org is a wonderful resource where you can purchase an actual book from local bookstores if you are unable to visit them directly. You can bypass Amazon and go straight to supporting local small business.