“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”
—1 Corinthians 13:4-8, NIV
Books hold a special place in my heart. Of course books can be cerebral things, teaching practical skills and transmitting knowledge, but they can also offer up powerful and emotional experiences, and feed the soul—both for you and for those around you.
Today I’d like to show you three different ways that books can help you to enjoy a bit more love in your own life.
Love Your Partner
The people we love—whether a spouse, family member or lifelong friend—may not always know just how much we love them. Or they may not always feel the depth of that love as often as they’d like, or as often as we’d wish them to. One way to show your love and genuine appreciation for them is through the use of books, and to do that, try out the suggestions below:
– Read to your spouse. It could be a book of love poetry, an interesting novel or even a nonfiction book on a topic that both of you are intrigued by. Combined with physical touch, like one person laying in the other’s lap or holding each other in bed, there can be something intimate and soothing about reading to one another, listening to the sound of the other’s voice and enjoying and experiencing a new book with your spouse. Try it regularly and see how much closer it brings you together.
– Share books, or passages from books, with your loved ones. If you come across a book that someone you love may enjoy, then don’t hesitate to buy it and give it to them, especially when there’s no holiday or anniversary on the horizon. And if you read a passage in a book that you believe your loved one may enjoy, or that reminds you of them in a good way, then write it out for them and include it in an email or a letter or a card. Or read it to them in person or on the phone. Simply bring them some book-inspired joy and let them know that you are thinking of them.
Love Your Past
Do you remember the books that you read? Chances are that there are at least one or two books out there that can help you reclaim your past in a positive way. Consider these options:
– Reread books that you remember once brought you pleasure. Whether fiction or nonfiction, go back and reread the books that you remember putting a smile on your face. While you may not experience the book in exactly the same way, you’ll likely gain a new appreciation for the book.
– Reread books that you remember reading during important moments in your life. For example, maybe that book someone gave you when you first got married, or that book you liked to read when your son was growing up. You can re-experience and cherish the books that were important for you along the road of life, and that helped make you into the person you are today.
Self-care helps people not just to take care of themselves and guard against illness, unhappiness and depression, but to actually improve their lives. Appropriate self-care activities can vary from person to person, but might include swimming, taking a class, making a new friend, playing board games, getting a massage, learning a new skill, walking on the beach, writing in a journal and reconnecting with family or old friends. Books, however, also offer many opportunities to practice self-care. Think about trying the following activities:
– Go to a bookstore and browse without any expectations (or you can try doing the equivalent in a virtual bookstore). You may find yourself naturally drawn to your favorite subjects, or you may discover new subjects, genres or titles that you wouldn’t have considered before. Open your mind and enjoy your new discoveries.
– Select and read a book by your favorite author, about your favorite subject matter or in your favorite genre. Don’t even think about what others might think. Just focus on reading a book that will make you happy—and then do it.
– Write and publish your own book. Enjoy the writing process, put your thoughts down on paper and then share the finished product with the world. (If this sounds interesting to you and you’re not sure how to go about it, I can help.)
Dudley Court Press
Dudley Court Press works with writers like you every day. As a full-service, hybrid publishing house, we help thoughtful people write their books and become successful published authors.