Self-Care Challenge (Day 33): Perusing the Bookstore

aisle in a bookstore

Browsing the shelves in a bookstore brings me a great deal of joy. As an avid (and insatiable) reader, it sometimes seems like my “must read” queue is bigger than my “have read” pile.

Even though I could click a button from the comfort of home and either read a book on my Kindle or have Amazon drop it at my front door within the hour, it’s sometimes nice to have a different, more palpable experience.

While wandering the aisles of a nearby bookstore yesterday, I started to think about the scale of the place. How many books were in there anyway? And how many words did they collectively contain? I thought about how those carefully chosen words represent the thoughts and ideas of their writers. Each book tells a story that is framed by its creator’s unique glimpse of the world.

Within these aisles, though, ideas are often met with opposition. Mixed media becomes mixed martial arts as authors persuade readers to take sides, ignoring the fact that most of us don’t live in black and white, but rather somewhere in the grey.

Learning is a self-care practice that helps strengthen the cognitive dimension of our health, and how we see and think about the world determines how we participate in it. We must decide for ourselves what we believe is true, and then continue to question that truth as we grow.

We can learn by reading, taking classes, talking with others, traveling, trying new things, or simply taking time to carefully observe the world around us. Books help us explore foreign concepts and ideas that we may never be exposed to otherwise.

Words are adventures that we can experience anywhere.

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