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Treat Yourself!

10 Reasons to Buy Books for Yourself this Holiday

By Ashly Moore Sheldon • December 19, 2023

Many of us may feel that during this gifting season, we should only be buying presents for others, not ourselves. But we're here with a counterargument. Because after all the work of taking care of everyone else's needs, we're going to need a little time to recuperate and relax in the best possible way—with books!

From health benefits to entertainment to cognitive development, there are so many benefits to reading. And there's no one more suited to picking our reading material than ourselves, after all. Here are ten good reasons to treat yourself to books this holiday season.

1. Reading makes you smarter.  

"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go." Dr. Seuss was riffing on some real science here. Obviously, we gain new knowledge from books, but reading has also been shown to increase scores on intelligence tests, as well as to improve our ability to focus. Just as hitting the gym makes us stronger, hitting the books gives our brains some needed muscle.

2. Our friends and family will thank us!

Reading makes us more empathetic and this, in turn, makes us nicer to the people we interact with. A growing body of research has found that people who read, especially fiction, tend to have better understanding and acceptance for the feelings of others—even those who live very different lives from themselves. This is because even if we readers haven't had the same experiences as someone, we have the ability to imagine ourselves in their position. In theory, this makes us more thoughtful and kind to everyone we meet.

By the same token, reading about people who have gone through the same things we have helps us understand and articulate our feelings, leading to better closure and peace around our own hurts and traumas.

3. So many books need homes!

Much in the same way that rescuing animals saves them from shelters (and worse!), buying used books, like those we sell at ThriftBooks, keeps them from ending up in landfills. On that note, here are a list of popular books with lots of great deals on used copies:

Not seeing something you want? Check out more of these great deals on used books here.

4. Reading is great for your health.

Reading has been proven to have a host of health benefits like helping to reduce stress. Researchers have found that people who read for just six minutes experienced reduced muscle tension and a slower heart rate. This kind of stress reduction is good for our immune system, which keeps us healthier long term and can even help us fight disease. Studies have also shown that reading before bed helps us sleep better and that the activity of reading may reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease.

5. There's a sad empty space on your bookshelf.

Nothing says happiness like a full bookshelf, right? Our bookshelves represent who we are. People understand something about us when they peruse our books. What's your shelf style? Do you arrange your books by color? Maybe there's a specific hue that you need to complete your spectrum. Maybe it's a favorite book or author that will help complete your collection. What's missing from your library?

6. Reading is contagious!

Many bookish parents fret about how they can pass on the love of books to their kids. It's simple. Read to them. Read with them. And, of course, let them see you enjoying books often.

7. To keep up with our friends—Portlandia style!

"Did you read it?" There are always those books. You know, the ones that everyone is reading. Your book-loving friends don't ask you if you've read it. They ask if you've read it—yet. Here are some of the "it" books of 2023:

See more of this year's "It" books on our Best Books of 2023 page.

8. Books make our space look (and smell) nicer!

From attractive coffee table books to beautiful boxed sets to collectibles (with that wonderful old book smell), books add style and class to our homes and improve our overall environment.

9. For the benefit of our animals

Have you noticed how happy your cat or dog gets when you settle down somewhere comfortable to read? They're like, oh yay, finally! And who knows, maybe it's not just the cuddling. Could they be reading over our shoulders? Hmmm.

10. You'll never run out of entertainment.

We don't just read because it's good for us. It's also fun!! For many of us, there's nothing more enjoyable than getting lost in a good book. Below is a list of some books that, in our opinion, have that ability to suck you right in. (Please feel free to add any of your favorites in the comments.)

So treat yourself to as many books as you want this season! And if anyone gives you any trouble about it, just direct them to this post.

You can follow us on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram where we share daily book recommendations, literary tidbits, and more.

Read more by Ashly Moore Sheldon

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