Reading can be therapeutic

Reading As Therapy

They say I’m an addict. But am I? Really? [cue in Not An Addict by K’s Choice] I’d rather be called a book lover – not an addict — because clearly, I love reading.

You see, I own around 700+ paperbacks/softcover/hardcover books and more than a thousand e-books in my hard drive. I have to admit [tongue-in-cheek) that almost 80% of them are romantic fiction.

Unlike some I know who are clearly posers and have acquired tons of books that they only read about 20% of them … I’ve all read mine (with the exception of those in my TBR folder, which is currently brimming with A LOT of e-books).

What can I say? I READ WHEN I AM BORED.

Reading can be therapeutic

… and I get bored a lot. I believe it’s the thing most singletons in their 30’s with a semi-active social life experiences, especially when one is part introvert like me. Sometimes, when faced with a decision to go out and party or stay at home curled up with a book featuring a delicious book boyfriend, I often choose the latter unless my friends threaten me with bodily harm if I don’t go out. 

Don’t mistake my choice to stay home for being a loser or that I’m socially awkward and abhor any social interaction with real people. I do love having the company of live people… and I also love a quiet time with my book boyfriends, too.

I find that reading can be quite therapeutic whenever you are stressed or going through a tough phase in your life. Books are like balms to my weariness. It’s either that or get roaring drunk — which is not a real choice, by the way.

Now, because of the perpetual cumulonimbus clouds hanging over my head for the past couple of months, I’d resorted to my time-tested therapy — reading books.  

It was tough to pick the next best story to read after a reading rut. And in recent months, going to the local bookstore has become tedious. I know it’s totally out of character for me since I’m well known in tight circles as a ‘wriggling’ bookworm. But, I too have to face it. The selections offered by brick-and-mortar bookstores are falling behind what you can get via the internet. There were the usual suspects: John Green, Paolo Coelho, Dan Brown, Stephen King, James Patterson, Nicholas Sparks, Danielle Steel, Anne Rice and a slew of other commercially successful authors that have somehow recycled their story plots after penning their 10th published book.

It’s becoming obvious that it’s the era of the ‘pick-click-download’. And I have fallen really hard. It’s becoming a vice, giving me a shameless high when I spot something I want and it’s so easy to add it my virtual shopping cart to download.

Well, the vice started when I got home from one of my spontaneous gallivanting after work in search of the “next great read”. Sadly, I came home empty-handed after wallowing in frustration with a venti cup of raspberry black currant. Suffice to say, the reading rut has prevailed and none of the offerings magnetically caught my attention.

After that disappointing trip to the bookstore, I went home and clicked like a madwoman on the internet, searching for some light reading. And lo and behold! Fantastic Fiction and Goodreads came through for me and my reading rut withered into oblivion. The result: My TBR folder is at maximum capacity now, bursting with book commercially and independently published ebooks.

My frustration turned into a raging beast. Let’s just say that if I can live off e-books, I would be a huge mountain of a woman, stuck lying on the couch with nothing but words to feed on.

I know I have to follow the 2014 TBR list I’ve posted at the beginning of the year, but somehow, most of the titles didn’t hold much appeal to me lately.

So, I went on a reading binge.

I started with something light as an appetizer. It’s “In Love With Lucy” by C.C. Wood and followed by “The Plan” by Qwen Salsbury. When I say light reading, it was REALLY light reading. The plots are not very original, but there’s still an entertainment factor that made my imagination tingle all the way to the North Pole.

That was the start.

It was then followed by a slew of books featuring divinely handsome heroes with a shitload of baggage that’s paired with idealistic heroines (think a bit of Christian Grey and Anna Steele) thrown in a story of love, redemption, whirlwind emotions and plenty of hot sex.

I gobbled books from authors such as J. Kenner, K Bromberg, Meredith Wild, Tracy Wolff, Laurelin Paige, J.C. Reed, Katie Ashley, JS Cooper/Helen Cooper and Jodi Ellen Malpas. There are still more on my TBR folder, but I decided to rest my poor, wee heart from all the emotional turmoil, because to be honest, even without knowing it, getting engaged in reading can take a toll on your psyche and emotions. You can inevitably fall under its spell and be affected somehow — especially your hormones.

All in all, I consumed a total of 26 book titles in just 4 weeks ( I tracked… I know… It’s so OC of me).

Still on the roll, I satisfied my salivating brain (and eyes) with light reading once again. Goodreads recommend and I followed. The standouts were clearly a no-brainer. There’s Alice Clayton with her redhead, wallbangers, and cocktails and lots more. Who can resist a romantic story with naughty characters and tons of humor? Obviously not me.

I’d have to admit, I was so totally engrossed that I found myself finishing the whole trilogy of her books over the weekend (after barricading myself in my apartment and telling everyone I made plans and can’t change my schedule to do meet-ups). I’m a big, long-nosed liar for flaking on my friends, but heck! They would do the same when they’re being highly entertained by funny/engaging dialogue, shaggable heroes and feisty heroines (which I like to imagine as me).

After marinating myself with fun romance, I went on to search more. That’s what book lover do, right?

So, I discovered R.L. Mathewson, Julie James, Christine Lauren, Emma Chase and M.K. Schiller. And now, my head is filled with shaggable men, potential hook-ups in my imaginary wonderland and a promise of a romance that will be the 2nd greatest story ever told.

In a way, when movies and TV shows failed to entertain and divert my attention from the destructive thoughts, the last remaining therapy to shoo away the cumulonimbus cloud over my head is reading. It worked for me throughout the years and I think when I finally get into the program and produce super babies of my own, they’ll get that from me, too.

A legacy? Maybe.

2 thoughts on “Reading As Therapy”

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