If you love to read, it's easy to appreciate why immersing yourself in a good book often tops the list of favourite self care activities. Reading can be a healthy distraction, it can provide temporary relief from personal struggles and it can be entertaining.
But there is so much more to be gained.
Regardless of genre, books have a way of reaching out to the reader: as an invitation to explore a foreign culture or world, to introduce new and innovative ideas, as encouragement to examine alternate perspectives or simply as an opportunity to step into the shoes of someone else.
We often judge books by the relate-ability of its characters. Do they have weaknesses or strengths that resonate with us? What is it that makes us love or hate them? How much of the book, or its characters mirrors our own lives?
Books of all sorts - fictional, non-fictional, memoir - have the ability to move us forward on our own paths of personal growth. And to me, that is one of the most valuable benefits to reading.
Let me leave you with this thought:
"The best moments in reading are when you come across something -
a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and
particular to you.
And now, here it is.
Set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even
who is long dead.
And it is as if a hand has come out,
and taken yours."
- Allan Bennett