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5 Life-Changing Books and Why You Should Read Them ASAP

by Sabi Datoo-Lalji

We know the title of this piece is a little factual, and some of you may be shouting at your screen, “but they never went out of fashion!” However, stick with us, we think we’re onto something here. While technology took over for a brief while and continues to do so, (hello Kindle, we see you) we, at The Chill Times have noticed a slight shift. You see, now on our daily commute, or while we’re scrolling through Instagram, waiting for our eggs benedict to cook, we noticed the rise of physical books in our vicinity—people are reading books again. All of a sudden they are taking over our social feeds as props to pose pretty jewelry or perfume next to, little stacks of them under candles on bookshelves, and even pastel-hued cookbooks that act as “fillers” on countertops.

While these books may be the new interior, go-to objet d’art, they’re also being written and read, by the podcast generation who is literally gasping for black ink on paper. It seems that the more books are being published, the more we are buying and reading at a rapid rate, and the more we are consuming, the more these booked are being made in beautiful colors, so you can’t NOT BUY THEM. It’s become a wonderful, and speedy cyclical trend that we, literally had to write about.

Before we get into the aesthetically pleasing element of this write-up, we wanted to touch on a few reasons as to why reading a physical book is actually quite good for you.  

Sleepy Time

Swapping your screens and even reading tablets can aid in falling asleep quicker. Reading on paper versus a black and white, or blue-light screen helps your brain to start relaxing as there are no lights that your eyes have to concentrate on or be awake for. What’s more, The Harvard Health recently cited that blue light suppresses the secretion of melatonin, a hormone that influences circadian rhythms and allows for a healthy, and natural sleep pattern. They further comment, “Not all colors of light have the same effect. Blue wavelengths—which are beneficial during daylight hours because they boost attention, reaction times, and mood—seem to be the most disruptive at night.” This makes perfect sense as you need to be your best, alert self by day, and a relaxed being by night, and therefore this reverse disruption is extremely harmful to our overall sleep and health. Pro tip: Switch on the “Night Shift” option of your phone on to pop up the minute you get home so your eyes are viewing a warm, yellow screen instead of being exposed to the blue light. Doing this early on can allow your eyes to get used the calming hue so you can actually feel tired by the time you head to bed. 

Stress Be Gone

The simple fact is that reading is a very impactful stress buster. Cognitive neuropsychologist David Lewis told The Telegraph, “It really doesn’t matter what book you read, by losing yourself in a thoroughly engrossing book you can escape from the worries and stresses of the everyday world and spend a while exploring the domain of the author’s imagination.” SOLD! In fact, in a 2009 study by the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom found that getting lost in the pages of a book is 68 percent more effective at reducing those stress levels, than listening to music or going for a walk.

Mental Work-Out

As cardio is good for the heart, reading is good for the brain. Studies show that reading can help stimulate brain focus, and allow the mind to retain its sharpness which eventually aids in prolonging your memory function. Derek Beres explains in his article, “How reading rewires your brain for more intelligence and empathy,’ In one of the most fascinating aspects of neuroscience, language affects regions of your brain involving actions you’re reading about. For example, when you read ‘soap’ and ‘lavender,’ the parts of your brain implicated in scent are activated. Those regions remain silent when you read ‘chair.’ What if I wrote ‘leather chair?’ Your sensory cortex just fired.” If reading a simple paragraph with sensory words can alert your brain to tap into your senses, imagine what reading for 30 minutes a day can do?

It May Help Fight Alzheimer’s Disease

They say “an idle mind is a devil’s workshop,” and where that statement may be a little harsh, the main point of it is to keep the mind active and alert. The PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America) actually found that those people who spend their downtime engaged in reading, puzzles or board games are 2.5 times less likely to develop Alzheimer’s.

See below a roundup of our favorite and most aesthetically pleasing books we are currently reading, (and showcasing).

Women Changing The World, Juniper Books

Why get one inspirational book when you can get three in a beautiful set? This trio of books includes, In the Company of Women by Grace Bonney, 200 Women by Geoff Blackwell, and That’s What She Said: Wise Words from Influential Women by Joy Kimothy. Talk about a powerful lineup!

The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy

Set in 1969 India, the story focuses on love, lust, drama, and tragedies that befall a family after one monumental event. This book really allows you to step out of your comfort zone and immerse yourself into a world that you may not know about but will soon be familiar with as it deals with a global, human condition.

The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy, David Graeber

Anthropologist David Graeber explores why bureaucracy has consumed us to a point that we don’t even notice it. He talks about the bodies that govern the cities, countries and the world we live in, and begs the question of, what type of world do we want to live in, and how can we make it happen?

The Sun and Her Flowers, Rupi Kaur

Where would we be without a little poetry? When words are literally formed into beautiful prose, it’s a little hard not to curl up with a good book. Rupi Kaur explores ancestry, family, honoring one’s journey and finding a home within it, in her second book.

Eat Beautiful, Wendy Rowe

Reading may be brain food, but, we still need to eat. Wendy Rowe brings her beauty industry experience into her book, Eat Beautiful, which talks about food that is good for your insides and outsides.

Feature image via Stocksy

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