With both National Book Lovers’ Day and National Lazy Day having taken place last week, I figured it was the perfect time to write a post that combined them. I’m often reading for class or for my personal learning, but when I get a day to myself I still enjoy reading! Here’s 8 ideas for books to read on your own lazy days, each with a theme and a small reading suggestion for how to best enjoy them.
If you want to stop being lazy:
- The Now Habit: A Strategic Program for Overcoming Procrastination and Enjoying Guilt-Free Play – Neil Fiore
Let’s start with this one so we can get it out of the way. 🙂 Sometimes lazy days are great, and sometimes they are a hinderance to our productivity. I loved reading this book because it helped me put things into focus. Reading it made me understand better strategies for getting through what needs to get done so I can enjoy my lazy days without the nagging feeling of ‘I need to do the dishes’ or other such things.
Reading suggestion: Wait until you’re really ready to stop being lazy to read this. Alternatively, read it and get all your stuff done so you can have a real lazy day!
If your body is tired but your mind is buzzing
- Familiar – J. Robert Lennon
Whether it’s resting from an injury, an illness, or just a lazy day while anxiety acts up, sometimes we find ourselves in need of a book to keep our mind occupied while our body rests. Familiar is just the book for this! I read it in one go, because I just needed to know how it would develop, and I wasn’t disappointed at all! The pace throughout the novel is fast, but not so fast that I got lost between the words. It’s definitely one to read when your mind is alert enough to focus on intricacies and nuances of a novel with a deep complexity to it. I like the character development that progresses through the novel and how that shows a whole variety of regrets and life topics. I’m happy that the reason for the main character’s reality shift was kept open ended so that I can make of it what I want, and I think that only adds to the story as it gives it a slight personal edge. This was a truly thrilling read that I keep on the bookshelf closest to my reading nook so I can reread it often.
Reading suggestion: Have some crackers or cookies on hand to munch on while you speed read through this.
If you need a laugh:
- You Deserve a Drink: Boozy Misadventures and Tales of Debauchery – Mamrie Hart
Some days you just need something that will cause fresh waves of laughter every few minutes. You Deserve A Drink is absolutely the right book for this situation. Through her friendly, open, and slightly self-deprecating tone Mamrie shares stories from her past while interjecting them with reflections from her present. I enjoy the honesty and humor with which she tells her misadventures and the life insights that she teaches along the way. Though the book’s light-hearted tone makes it easy reading, there’s a lot to be learned from Mamrie’s tales as well and that’s what makes this book so special for me.
Reading suggestion: Make yourself a drink (Mamrie’s youtube has plenty of recipes suggestions, if you like cocktails), curl up on the couch, and get ready to laugh until your stomach hurts.
If you’re an introvert and feeling bad about it:
- Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking – Susan Cain
I love this book because it focuses on the positives that come with introversion rather than the ~quirky~ side of it that social media so often presents us with. Right away, Cain describes various ways that introverts can be defined. Rather than sticking to the “introverts are shy” mantra that society seems to have adapted, Cain says that introverts are multidimensional and not just a category. I appreciate her in depth analysis of introversion and how introverted minds work. This book will give you insight on communication, situational settings and how they can affect personalities, and how minds work. It’s a heavier read than fiction, but Cain’s writing is smooth and easily understood.
Reading suggestion: Grab notepaper and a pen to doodle as you read, or to write out quotes you like, or ideas that stem from your reading of the book.
If you’re feeling adventurous:
- Going Dutch in Beijing – Mark McCrum
This is somehow simultaneously a travel book and not a travel book at all. It goes through scenarios in different countries that would constitute as cultural mishaps and explains what is and isn’t okay in various cultures. I like that rather than just stating fact after fact, it actually discusses several of them, and compares and contrasts between cultures – without being disparaging of any culture. I like the humorous tone throughout the book, and the small anecdotes dispersed in it. The cultural differences are often explained in depth rather than just glanced upon as an observation, with historical and cultural significance being emphasized and explained so that we can understand what the reasons behind them are. I really love that the author did this as it helps me to gain a bit of understanding of a culture rather than just knowing to not do this or that while I’m in their country. Although nothing will ever replace having lived in and experienced a culture first hand, it’s still helpful to have a little guide of insights. I’ll definitely be rereading this book soon to pick up some tips for my upcoming move to Moscow, Russia.
Reading suggestion: Beyond the obvious read-when-planning-a-trip-abroad, I suggest reading it when you’ve just returned from one and are feeling nostalgic for the places you’ve left little pieces of yourself in. Cook up a feast of your favorite foods from the countries you’re missing, or order from a small authentic restaurant, and dig in – to the food and to the book!
If you’re feeling loving and warm:
- The Joy Luck Club: A Novel – Amy Tan
I first read this for English class several years ago, and I was immediately hooked. The interweaved stories in this book have a way of drawing in the reader as though they too were a part of the Joy Luck Club. Through the four sets of mothers and daughters sharing their stories – of hopes, dreams, and realities – every reader can find pieces of themselves and their own familial relationships. I enjoyed seeing the different mother/daughter dynamics in each of the pairs (albeit one incomplete pair due to the premise of the story), and how each pair interacted and grew from each other. I liked seeing both the mothers and the daughters trying to understand each other, bridging the cultures they identify with, and sharing their thoughts and internal struggles.
Reading suggestion: Share it with your mother or sister or another family member – take turns reading each it to each other snuggled up under the same blanket, or read it separately and then talk it over together.
If you’re going through a rough patch:
- The entire Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series – Ann Brashares
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants is one of my all time favorite book series. Although I identify more strongly with one of the Sisterhood girls in particular, I can see a little of myself in each of the four main characters, and it’s a joy to lose myself in their stories. I love the four different lenses on life that they provide, and the ability to see big life issues from four different points of view. Whether I’m feeling lonely, anxious, or stressed, the Sisterhood series has a special way of putting a smile on my face again. Somewhere between Lena’s misadventures in love and languages, Carmen’s family and confidence struggles, Bridget’s moments of vulnerability and insecurity, and Tibby’s attempt to understand life, there’s comfort and familiarity. Though the issues I face may be different to the exact ones presented in the books, the four characters and their lives still bring a ton of advice and food-for-thought quotes that help me get through whatever it is I’m facing. They may just be fictional characters, but whenever I reread this series I feel like I’ve found four long-lost friends that are always there for me.
Reading suggestion: Order a pizza and settle back for a rollercoaster of emotions and a whole lot of love. (Skip Sisterhood Everlasting if you’re having a particularly tearful day.)
If your heart is aching:
- Chasers of the Light: Poems from the Typewriter Series – Tyler Knott Gregson
This is a hug in book form. That’s really the best way I can describe it. I’ve read and reread and reread this book more times than I could even begin to count. It’s a poetry book and each poem stands by itself, so you can skip back and forth through it as you need. You can read all of it or pieces of it or just the one poem that speaks to you the most. I was very “I do not like poetry” when I was younger. In part because I hadn’t realized how varied and beautiful poetry could truly be outside of what we had to analyze in English class. This book helped changed that, and showed me how creative poetry can be and how open ended it is. I really like the style of writing that Gregson uses and the peacefulness it instills in me. Chasers of the Light is never too far from me, and I turn to its words whenever I need comfort.
Reading suggestion: Put on your warmest and comfiest clothes, settle into your favorite reading nook with a soft blanket and tea or hot chocolate, and let the words on these pages wrap you up in warmth.
I hope this short list gave you some good book ideas. If you liked my thoughts on the books, you may also want to check out my Goodreads account where I’ll be reviewing more books. I’d love for you to give some of these books a chance, and if you do – let me know about it!