I hope you’re staying healthy—mentally and physically. A big part of that at our house is, of course reading.
I love how a book can let you experience events that you don’t actually have to face. I had a conversation about this a couple years ago with a teenager who had just finished reading Where the Red Fern Grows. She had loved the book—until the end. She was mad about how the book made her fall in love and then broke her heart. How great is it, though, to be able to engage that deeply with characters and emotions and not have to face the loss in reality? To gain the emotional knowledge of the situation, to know how you would feel, and not have to go through it personally?
I have found, however, that this means when I’m stressed I have to pick my reading material carefully. I had a sleepless night last weekend and started a new book. Three chapters in it took a violent turn; it was masterfully written and I can see how important that scene will be to the story, but it didn’t help with the sleepless night! In the past week I have started and set aside several books. Some were too intense for the stress level of everything going on in the world right now. Some had characters that annoyed me and left me grouchy after every interaction with the book. Let’s not lie: there’s enough grouchiness to go around without adding to it by reading!
Here's a picture of Nikabrik, whose second-favorite thing is to be surrounded by books. (Her favorite thing is having people to do her bidding.)