Self-Care Challenge (Day 41): Attend (or Start) a Book Club

On day 41 of my 366-day self-care challenge, I explored how being part of a book club has enriched my life.

It would be an understatement to say that I’m a book lover. (I devour them.) In 2015, I read (or listened to) no less than 58 books, which comes to roughly 5 books per month.

For the most part, I gravitate to non-fiction because, for me, learning is the point of reading. I do also have a problem with suspension of disbelief, so that doesn’t bode well for many fictional story lines.

On the other hand, non-fiction always delivers. Even when I don’t agree with an author’s perspective, I always come away with new and interesting ideas. I enjoy challenging my own thinking, and non-fiction helps me do that.

Many fiction-lovers tell me they prefer it because it allows them to escape their own reality and enter a world of fantasy, sort of like watching a movie. To them, this distraction from the real world’s demands is relaxing.

Thankfully, there are genres for every interest.

My love for reading prompted me to start a book club last year. The reason I started one instead of joining an existing one was that non-fiction book clubs are hard to come by, and the ones that do exist tend to focus on a single author or subject. My interests are far reaching and the focus of most clubs seemed too limiting.

It’s hard to believe that last night marked the 1-year anniversary of the Living Upp Book Club. While attendance has been mixed (sometimes the table is full of people excitedly sharing their thoughts and sometimes it’s just me and one other person) the work involved with planning and organizing has been absolutely worthwhile.

Book clubs also create opportunities to meet new people. Discussing the real-life application of new ideas with others is highly motivating, and hearing their stories of personal growth is inspiring. At discussions like this, strangers often become friends.

Learning and challenging ourselves is self-care because it helps support the cognitive dimension of our health. Thoughts are powerful tools that, when translated into action, can bring improvements to many other areas of our health.

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