Reading Books Changed My Life

You’ve heard that reading makes you smarter. You’ve heard that reading improves your memory. If you’re a writer, you’ve been told that reading makes you a better writer. These things are all true. But there’s more.

medium_7019888809 Reading Books Boosts Mood: Photo of woman lying on the floor reading next to a stack of books
Photo Caption

I used to struggle with feelings of anxiety and depression. I was working a dead-end job. I was smoking and drinking. I’d come home from work, flip on the TV and zone out. I fell asleep to the glow. The next day I woke feeling even worse. 

Things were getting bad. I was slowly falling into a deep funk. A friend gave me a book: Siddhartha by Herman Hesse. That book started me back on my reading journey. I found that reading books boosts mood.

I’d been an avid reader as a kid, but nearly quit books in my late teens and early 20s. After reading Siddhartha, I began to read again. I started reading the classics. I started studying the Bible. I read it three times through. I started studying books on radio broadcasting, religion and psychology. I returned to college when I was 30. I’d discovered the power of reading.

Reading Books Can Boost Your Mood

When we read fiction, we temporarily escape. When we read nonfiction, we learn something new. Both these experiences make us feel better. Reading can get our mind off what’s worrying us. If you stick with it, reading can slowly lift you out of a rut. Reading stimulates endorphins in the brain that increase happiness. It worked for me. Here’s what I did:

  • I started small. I read 15-30 minutes a day.
  • I set a goal to read four books per month.
  • I set a screen-off time of 9pm.
  • I spent the last hour of my day reading.
  • I began to read in the mornings for 10-15 minutes.
  • I started working on several books at the same time.

At First, Reading Was A Distraction

It helped me to forget about my feelings of anxiety and despair. In time, it became a habit. I found that books boosted my mood. The book habit slowly began to replace less healthy habits. I stopped smoking. I stopped drinking. I went back to school. I felt better about myself and my life. Plus, I was learning. It was a win-win.

Over the years, I’ve read many books. Here’s a partial reading list:

Classics

  • Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan
  • Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
  • The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli
  • Walden by Henry David Thoreau
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  • The Razor’s Edge by Somerset Maugham
  • The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

Self Help & Psychology

  • The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People by Steven R. Covey
  • How To Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie 
  • Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman
  • The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
  • The Meaning of Truth by William James
  • Principles of Psychology by William James
  • The True Believer by Eric Hoffer
  • Man And His Symbols by Carl Jung

Many, Many Others…

I’m not writing this post to show off. I’m writing it to inspire you to read. I especially encourage you to read if you’re feeling a little blue. Reading books boosts mood. If you have minor anxiety or depression, pick up a book and read. It did wonders for me.

Since taking up writing regularly, I’ve cut back on reading. Still, I haven’t stopped. I’m currently reading:

  • Rework by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson
  • Essentialism by Greg McKeown 
  • Aloof by Tony Kriz

Reading is a wonderful pastime. It’s simple. You can read just about anywhere at anytime. I encourage you to read a little every day. The best news is: Reading Books Boosts Mood

Have you read a good book lately? Try it. You’ll feel better. You can start right now with my free book. No signup is needed. Just click on the link below:

The Happiness of Simple

Simple / Facebook / Twitter / RSS

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInPin on Pinterest

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *