Living With a Book Addict: Reading As Relaxation

travel-business-hammock-beachIn the latest installment of Living With a Book Addict, I’ve decided to explore the pastime that is reading.  What do you mean by this vague phrase, you ask?  Well, instead of looking at the various books or authors or genres that one reads, I’m focusing in particular on the act of reading itself and what it means for myself and those around me.  As a scientist, I’ve decided to take a methodical approach and evaluate how reading has changed my day-to-day life and examine its positive and negative effects on my life as a whole. In order to fully examine this, however, we first need a bit of background.

Before I lived with Kim, I’d have to say that reading had a minimal impact on my day-to-day life.  Sure, I had to read some materials for school, mostly scientific papers and the odd book for fun, but this was definitely superficial and didn’t really take up much of my time.  My idea of relaxing after a day of classes or work was to veg out in front of the tv or spending time in front of the computer chatting with friends via the venerable AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) which no longer seems to exist in my life and has since been since replaced with G Chat (which is awesome, btw).  Anyway, once I moved in with Kim, got married, and she started the blog in earnest, I began to read for pleasure much more often.  Some of the time I read for the blog, and other times I’ve just read for fun (i.e. my review of Timeline which you can read here).  I’d say that the increase in reading for pleasure has to be at least 50%, if not 75% as my previous levels were not that high.  I’ve begun reading after work as a means to relax and let go of the stress of the day.  Instead of plopping down in front of the TV or computer for the majority of the time, I’ve now sat down with a book for an increasing amount of time. So how have these results changed my life?  Well, to begin with, I think that reading seems to have a greater calming effect on me than simply wasting my time watching TV or aimlessly plodding around online.  Don’t get me wrong, I still do the latter two things often, but I’ve come to find that if I get lost in a book I instantly forget the stresses of the day and am able to relax much more easily.  Perhaps it’s the fact that I can let my mind wander and make up the scenery as the book moves along, but for some reason, it’s easier to relax with a book than with my laptop.

So, there you have it.  I’ve come to realize that relaxing with a good book has become an important part of my life.  What do you do to relax?  How does reading fit into your schedule?  Let us know in the comments below!

16 thoughts on “Living With a Book Addict: Reading As Relaxation

  1. . Like you I spend too much time on the computer and then suddenly the time has evaporated. I love reading books but have never got into the habit of reading in the evening – all my reading is done in bed. Which is stupid because I’m often so tired I forget what I’ve just read.

  2. Reading is so much a part of my daily existence that I start to feel stressed if I don’t have a book right at my fingertips. Whenever my sons are getting too wound up, or starting to bicker, I encourage them to find a book. It works every time and we’re now at the point where they’ll often go off on their own to read. Love it.

  3. I’m an English Literature student and so am always found with a few books on the go, purely for my course! I look forward to the holidays when I actually have time to read my choice of books that I collect from charity shops throughout the term time. I have to sadly admit, I’m playing catchup, as I didn’t read much when I was younger, but I’m so glad I do now because it is wonderful to be able to escape to your own little world in a book every now and again 🙂

    • I agree wholeheartedly! I was like you and didn’t read other than the occasional book when I was younger, so it’s great to really get into it now.

  4. Interesting blog I stumbled on. Really like how you approach and value the reading as a hobby and also how it affects you. Like some others above me mentioned, I have too easy to get stuck in front of the computer. I usually blame my level of stress for that and that I have a hard time to “settle” down to a tempo where I can enjoy a book. Perhaps I should start approaching it differently, that I need to set down with a book in order to wind down.
    I can add that I love to read and listen to music – two things I love to mix 🙂

    • Thanks for the kind words. I like to take a methodical approach to what reading has done to my life, haha. Looks like my work as a scientist has spilled over into my personal life!

  5. I used to commute by bus and it was a fantastic way to make sure I was reading regularly. Now it’s more of an effort – even though I love doing it. I usually end up reading in bed, next to my husband doing the same – and feeling pretty middle-aged!

  6. I’m a compulsive reader, and I actually get nervous if I try to go somewhere without tucking a book in my bag, whether or not I plan to read it. I take books to movies, dinner with my husband and kids, grocery shopping, etc. My husband does not at all understand or appreciate my compulsiveness, but he has come to accept it. So, yeah, reading relaxes me, but so does sitting quietly and thinking about what I’ve read, something that I do far too little. I’m also a huge fan of those crazy “How It’s Made” shows on the science channel. 🙂

  7. My boyfriend just moved in with me and has subsequently decided to take up reading as a hobby – and I’m so excited! I love books and talking about books, so I’m really looking forward to being able to share activities I enjoy with him 🙂

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