Skip the Netflix and curl up with a good book instead
The days are getting cooler, the nights are getting longer and work is getting stressful. The lead-up to the holidays can be intense, so it’s important to take some time for yourself. Instead of turning on the television for a few hours each night, try reading instead. Not only does reading stimulate your mind, it also helps reduce stress, improves your memory and boosts focus, analytical thinking and concentration. As an extra bonus, putting the screens away before bed can help you get a better night’s sleep too.
So, treat yourself to a book. We’ve rounded up five of our favourites to read this holiday.
The most important relationship we’ll ever have is with ourselves, so it’s worth investing in it. Whether you’re a pro at #selfcare or you run at the first mention of Freud, Jen Sincero’s “You Are a Badass” series is for you. Think of them as the new generation of self-help books. They’re inspiring, easy-to-read and effective. Sincero’s books will help you understand where your self-limiting beliefs came from, and help you move past them. These are great reads for anyone who struggles with self-doubt, procrastination or money matters.
Read more: 5 Gifts Your Host is Sure to Love
When life loses some of its magic, it can be helpful to view the world through another’s eyes. That’s where biographies come in. Reading someone else’s story shows their struggles alongside their triumphs, and reveals how the world’s greatest figures came to be. Chances are, if you admire them, there’s a biography about them. But if you don’t know where to start, Walter Isaacson’s “Leonardo Da Vinci” is gripping. It highlights the humanity of the world’s most famous artist. It doesn’t portray Da Vinci as a genius or a hero, it shows a glimpse at a regular man with an endless thirst for knowledge. So much more than a painter, Da Vinci’s zeal for life is nothing short of contagious and this book will have you viewing the wold a little differently.
Sometimes real life is hard, and it’s nice to escape into a book. Adventure and fantasy are great genres for this, because it offers a completely new world to explore. Some people stick to the classics, like “Lord of the Rings” or even the “Harry Potter” series. But if you’d like something a bit more contemporary, look to Neil Gaiman. One of Britain’s most beloved fantasy writers, he blends mythology and folklore to create enchanting stories that will distract you from your real life. Start with “American Gods” or “Neverwhere”.
Even if you’re in a healthy, committed relationship, nothing beats good romance novel. Of course, there are bodice-rippers like “50 Shades” or classics like “Pride and Prejudice”, but fabulous new romance stories come out every year. And they’re not just for holiday reading. One of the best of 2019 is “The Bride Test” by Helen Hoang. It tells the story of a young man with autism who thinks he’s incapable of love. His mother knows differently and returns to her home country of Vietnam to find him a “perfect bride”. What ensues is a touching, slightly saucy romance that deftly tackles tricky subjects and ultimately reaches far beyond the realms of your typical romance.
Read more: The 5 Spots Hong Kong Bloggers Love
While books are an incredible means of escapism, let’s not forget their true purpose: to share information. One of the most pivotal books of the last year is “She Said”, written by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, the two reporters who helped launch the #MeToo movement with their Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation of Harvey Weinstein. Here, they reveal what happened during their months of reporting, and discuss the social structures that exist to protect abusers. It’s a hopeful take on an intimidating topic, and worth reading.
Ready to pick up your next favourite book? Check out a few of our favourite bookstores below!
Shop 326 – 328, Landmark Prince’s Building, 10 Chater Road, Central; +852 2522 1785
Bleak House Books
Unit 2705, Well Tech Centre, 9 Pat Tat Street, San Po Kong; +852 3705 0251
8/F-10/F, Hysan Place, 500 Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay; +852 3419 6789
Kelly & Walsh
Shop 204, Pacific Place, Admiralty
Kubrick Bookshop Café
Shop H2, Prosperous Garden, 3 Public Square Street, Yau Ma Tei
All photos are the rights of their respective owners