Why Adults Should Read For Fun

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When was the last time you picked up a book for the fun of it? When was the last time you let yourself get lost in a story with characters that don’t exist (and the inevitable poorly adapted movies..Looking at you:Twilight)?

I realized lately for me: it had been a while. I do a lot of academic reading throughout the year which can make it hard for me to even want to look at another book “just for fun.” I tell myself maybe later and then I doom scroll Tiktok or veg out in front of the TV after the kids have gone to bed, telling myself I deserve a mental break. But if I am really being honest with you (and myself), those things don’t really give me a mental break. In fact, they often lead to more stress and anxiety about the state of the world and all of the sad/scary things happening around us.

At the beginning of this year, I challenged myself to read at least 10 pages of a book every day that was NOT part of my academic reading. I went one step further and took self-help books out of the running.  In recent years I’ve realized the self-help genre made up about 95% of the reading I was doing. Don’t get me wrong, obviously, I love me a self-help book, but with all of the heavy that has happened in the last three years, they became overwhelming. I was no longer inspired by the suggestions and emotional observations, I felt weighed down and more burdened than ever before.

With this new rule, it was lucky that over the holiday break, my mom had brought me the entire Maze Runner book series. I started and almost finished book one in the first 10 days of the year. While reading the other day I realized something: I NEEDED this!

I was getting lost in the story, I was creating the scenes in my head and becoming totally transported to a new place. All the things I tell my kids when I tell them that they should be reading. For an hour, maybe two, my world melted away and I was running alongside these teenage characters trying to escape with them.

During this time, my screen time has decreased, I have felt lighter, and more inspired throughout the day, and best of all I have been able to model the importance of books to my kids. All of the same things we tell our kids are STILL true for us as adults! Reading is such an overlooked, but important tool for our minds and well-being. And while I feel like all genres have a time and place, I want to encourage you, to pick up a fiction book today and let yourself just get lost!

Fiction Book Recommendations : (side note: I like fiction books with fantasy and a sci-fi element which will be evident by my list. But feel free to search out the fiction books that appeal to you the best)

  • The Maze Runner Series by James Dashner
  • Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins
  • Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer (seriously the books are better than the movies and I recommend them) 
  • Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
  • Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordan
    • Heroes of Olympus (this is a second series that follows the events of the Percy Jackson series) 
    • Trials of Apollo  (this is a spin-off of the Percy Jackson series and should be read after)
  • Here I Go Again by Jen Lancaster

  • Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin
    • Something Blue (book two and soooo good)
  • Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon (this one gets a little steamy)
  • Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers (I have read this book no less than a dozen times over the years)
  • Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella (Confession I read this book YEARS ago and only today realized there are 9 books in the series! I can vouch for book 1)

These are a few of my favorites I have read in the past, I hope this list inspires you to go find a book, a series, or an author that you love and get lost in the pages. Take a week off from doom scrolling and binge-watching, come back and let us compare our mental health before and after the books. What do you think? Do you feel different?

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Jennifer
Jennifer is a Coastal Bend Native, born and raised in Ingleside. She began contributing to the Corpus Christi Moms Blog in 2018 and stepped up as the Community Engagement Coordinator in 2019. She is happiest when she is crafting, writing, or doing anything artistic. She loves music, especially ANYTHING from the 90's, and is often seen dancing around the kitchen to Nsync while cooking dinner. She is married to Derik and has two kids, Connor and Keeley (pronounced Key-Lee). Jennifer still feels like a novice when it comes to parenting and enjoys letting other moms know they are not doing life alone. She also admits she watches copious amounts of Netflix, but balances that out by reading to and with her kiddos as much as possible each day.