Why Reading Is Important for Self-Care (And The 12 Books You Need to Read)

‘Self-care Sunday’ tends to be associated with an extensive skincare routine, a face mask, all the general pampering….well for me, it tends to be starting to read a book in the morning, realising I can’t stop reading it and 4/5 hours later, I’ve finished the book. I love a paperback but having a Kindle means I’ve got a personal library on the go.

Reading is also escapism at its finest, especially at the moment. We can often escape our world and enter the world of a book, even if just for half an hour. It’s not like watching a TV series and scrolling on your phone at the same time, reading requires you to immerse yourself. Don’t even get me started on how comforting it is to read inside when it’s throwing it down outside – I know the weather has been like that lately but come on, we all want summer weather back.

I think I speak for everyone when I say ‘2020 has been a YEAR’. It is already June and unfortunately, so many tragic events have already happened. More than ever, we need our own form of self-care.

Books can offer ‘another world’ and that is why it is my form of self-care. I thought I’d give a little run down of the different genres that can be a form of self-care.

(All the books mentioned are linked to the Waterstones website, but if you can purchase from a local bookshop or have a friend to swap books with, I would recommend doing so!!).

Fiction

I’ve got to admit, fiction is my favourite. Typically, once I’m into a story, I’m invested and I want to know what happens.

  1. Out of Love by Hazel Hayes – BEAUTIFULLY written. It is a love story told in reverse, exploring all the elements that lead to the end of a relationship. It’s an emotional roller-coaster lemme tell you, but I found it incredibly interesting to reflect throughout.
  2. The Lido by Libby Page – I read this book about a year ago now and still it sticks in my mind as a heart-warming story. The value of friendship and community is intertwined within the plot, of which I became quite invested in.
  3. Normal People by Sally Rooney – If you haven’t heard of this one, where have you been? Recently made into a BBC adaption, Normal People hit our TV screens and the crowd went wild. It follows the journey of a relationship, the trials and tribulations that occur as they navigate adulthood. Sally Rooney has written a love story which intertwines social class, mental health, politics, friendships, relationships and university all into one.

Education

With the recent events of Black Lives Matter, education is paramount. And luckily, there are so many books from amazing authors that will help us do that. Reading these books are a form of self-care, to guide us to be knowledgeable, to be aware and to offer our solidarity. I’ve made quite an extensive reading list to further my education, have watched documentaries on Netflix (13th is highly recommended) and will continue to share resources on my social media accounts.

Here are a few of the books that are on my to-read list:

  1. Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge  (Accessibility wise – this might be in your University Library system. Uni of Bham students, it’s availiable as an E-Book!)
  2. Queenie by Candice Carty Williams
  3. The Color Purple by Alice Walker

(If you have any recommendations for me, I would really appreciate it!)

Self-Care

The actual ‘self-care’ books are written to hopefully make a difference to someone’s life. I think these books do depend upon the reader, they might not be for you. But I do have some recommendations incase they are your kinda thing.

  1. Mad Girl by Bryony Gordon – This is the most open and honest account of her life. I laughed in places, yet read with a deep understanding, appreciating that there was no ‘sugar coating’ over mental illness.
  2. Reasons to Stay Alice by Matt Haig – Another incredibly honest book and beautifully written, I couldn’t put it down. It brings a sensitive subject to life, exploring the darkness and the light at the end of a tunnel.
  3. An Edited Life by Anna Newton – Anna is a queen for her minimalist, capsule wardrobe videos on YouTube and this book is everything you could want from an organisation perspective. It’s all about the small edits that you can make in day-to-day life. I’m here for the ‘tidy space, tidy mind’ mantra.
  4. Happy & Calm by Fearne Cotton – I’ve mentioned these books in a blog post before, but if we’re talking self-care reflection books, these are the ones to go to. Although the books have the journal aspect, there are also plenty of reflection segments, interviews and daily self-care advice for putting yourself first.

Inspiration

  1. Becoming by Michelle Obama – All I can say is, read this book. By doing so, you are invited into Michelle Obama’s world as she shares her personal story. From her roots in Chicago to becoming an incredible First Lady of the United States. I came away feeling inspired and all I could think was thank goodness, there are women like Michelle Obama in the world.
  2. Work Like a Woman by Mary Portas – This is the book for all women who have dreams of being entrepreneurial, having a high paid job, a high position within a company. Mary writes in a way to make us think, not only ‘Why do we not have equal pay?’ but ‘How can we have equal pay?’. To conclude the book, there is a relatable list written for all of us, whether you’re in your 20s, 30s, 40s or 50s.

Book Club

Now, here’s time for a mini announcement. Myself and Hannah Catherine (Bookish Bewitched) have decided to start a book club. This month, we read Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens and have written reviews to share with you!

July’s book will be The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver and we would love more readers to join. We will be posting updates as we read on our social media accounts and please feel free to join in, whether you’ve read July’s book already or plan to read! We’d love to know what you think.

Connect with me on social media: Twitter & Instagram

Connect with Hannah on social media: Twitter & Instagram

5 thoughts on “Why Reading Is Important for Self-Care (And The 12 Books You Need to Read)

  1. I loved this post! And I completely agree; self-care for me is also a few hours with a book! I have been doing that a lot throughout lockdown. I am currently reading Becoming and am definitely soaking in Michelle Obama’s inspiration! 🙂

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  2. Reading is one of the most relaxing experiences for me these days. I don’t know how I was living all these years growing up without them. Would definitely have a look at Normal People – have been hearing a lot about it, and Reasons To Stay Alive.

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