How books can bring peace to your life

stack of books

How can books bring peace to your life? I love reading, but just because I love reading doesn’t necessarily mean I read a lot. Which is a shame, because books have so much power to calm, heal, and inform. Moreover, some of my most loyal friends are books. That’s right. Books speak, but they don’t scold. Books communicate, but they don’t judge. And if your book doesn’t providing a rewarding, life-enhancing experience, then you simply place it back on the shelf or donate it to a local thrift shop.

As author Nora Ephron once said: “Reading is grist. Reading is bliss.”

Reading is everything. Reading makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something, learned something, become a better person. Reading makes me smarter. Reading gives me something to talk about later on. Reading is the unbelievably healthy way my attention deficit disorder medicates itself. Reading is escape, and the opposite of escape; it’s a way to make contact with reality after a day of making things up, and it’s a way of making contact with someone else’s imagination after a day that’s all too real. Reading is grist. Reading is bliss.”

Nora Ephron as published by

How can books bring peace to your life? Books can bring peace to our lives, but they can only do so if we make time for books. And making time for books means quieting other parts of our lives. Because there are only 24 hours in a day, of which just a few are available for “leisure” activity, might I suggest the following steps to follow in order for books to unleash their healing potential in your life.

How can books bring peace to your life

Listen to audio books

Yes, I know it seems a little cliche’ to recommend, but audio books are such a great way to start bringing good literature into your life.

Some of the pros with audiobooks include: (1) Many titles are more affordable than the printed version, (2) You never lose the book, (3) You can read while driving, (4) If you’re lucky, your narrator will have a soothing voice, which will help calm your nerves from an otherwise stressful day. H

Some of the cons with audiobooks include: (1) You don’t get the full “experience” of holding a book and notating pages, (2) Audio books can be little “too” soothing and put you to sleep, (3) Sometimes you get stuck with a narrator’s voice that isn’t all that soothing and is actually distracting.

Although I’m a big fan of audiobooks, they occupy only a portion of my book reading experience, as you’ll discovering while reading this post

Read two books at once

I recommend reading two books at once. Read one book that is a long-form text, like a novel, and choose another book that is easier to read in bite-size pieces. An example of this type of combo would be: “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” by Susan Cain and “Chicken Soup for the Soul” by Jack Canfield.

Reading two books at once can help ensure you don’t get bored with one book too early and risk stopping reading altogether. By having another book on standby, you can chip away at both books in a sort of tag-teaming way.

Create the right set

I’ve already established that reading can be such a rewarding experience, but if you really want to take it to the next level of bliss (not grist), might I suggest creating the right “set.” Find the perfect chair, lighting, snack, drink, background music, etc. Creating an ambiance that is perfect for you will help you relish your reading experience more and more each time. Just a word of caution, though: Don’t spend so much time staging your set that you fail to actually spend meaningful time reading your book!

Here’s my perfect set for my reading ritual:

Time of day: 9 p.m.

Location: Curled up on sofa

Lighting: End table lamp. All other lights in the house are off.

Music: none

Snacks: None

Drink: La Croix Sparkling Water (Razz-cranberry)

Phone status: Turned off

Other props: Lap blanket and notebook

reading book while relaxed on couch


As Cicero said, “A room without books is like a body without a soul.” Reading really is a wonderful way to lift one’s soul, especially if you choose books the align with your passions. Avoid books that are gloomy. There’s enough of that in our world. Avoid books that are flash-in-the-pan airport bookstore new releases. Often, they lack for depth and meaning. Instead, begin with some of the tried and true classics. Think of people in your life that you admire greatly. What books did/do they read? Choose books as much by who writes them as what’s in them.

Read on.