I'm a Christian, a designer, and a gadget fan who lives in Cheltenham, UK.

This is my blog, a creative outlet to mess around and play with as well as a place that logs my thoughts and inspirations.

Book Budget

I just added a new cat­e­go­ry in my YNAB Bud­get under Qual­i­ty of Life Goals, it’s name? Books.
Since I start­ed using Goodreads in 2013 I’ve read 104 books. That’s an aver­age of just under 21 books a year with a low of 17 in 2013 and a high of 34 books in 2016.
Clear­ly I like to read, so it made sense to actu­al­ly bud­get for these books finan­cial­ly since I’m already mak­ing time in my life to read them. There’s some­thing very dif­fer­ent about sit­ting down and relax­ing with a good book com­pared to a film or boxset that I enjoy a great deal. Most of these books are fic­tion, I find they pro­vide me with a good way of shut­ting my mind off at the end of the day by forc­ing me to use my imag­i­na­tion. I have to let my mind cre­ate the images that go with the words, con­vert­ing the writ­ers descrip­tions into visu­als in my mind. The words on the page act­ing as the brush and my mind as the paint to cre­ate the large land­scapes and cityscapes as well as the detail of the char­ac­ters faces and the expres­sions they pull.
Until a few years ago I had gone a few years with­out read­ing a lot, I always had a nov­el on the go but the num­ber I would read in a year was much less. Grad­u­al­ly as I got old­er and remem­bered how much I like read­ing the num­ber would increase, but the inten­si­ty at which I devoured books became greater after I became ill with depres­sion a few years ago. Through­out my recov­ery, and when I find my mood dip­ping again, nov­els become a great source of escape. Usu­al­ly I find con­cen­tra­tion hard when I’m bat­tling a low peri­od, but a good nov­el (often a famil­iar one that I’ve read many times) is able to pro­vide me with some escape. Read­ing the prose of a good fan­ta­sy or sci-fi book allows me to find free­dom from the cir­cu­lar thoughts and spi­rals of what­ev­er I find myself fix­at­ing on. As a visu­al thinker let­ting my imag­i­na­tion build the worlds cen­turies away from today (in either direc­tion) is a great way of exer­cis­ing my cre­ative mus­cles and pre­vent­ing those unhelp­ful thought pat­terns take hold.
When­ev­er I’ve spo­ken to friends who have been strug­gling with sim­i­lar men­tal health issues, I always rec­om­mend they read. It takes a bit of effort to start, but I’ve found it much more help­ful than watch­ing a film. The act of watch­ing images devel­op on a screen is far less dis­tract­ing than hav­ing to engage your mind with the words and sto­ry of a book. Read­ing, I find, is a form of active rest. I can let my body rest and recharge, while using my mind in a way that’s dif­fer­ent from the work of my two jobs, and in so doing let­ting it refresh and recharge.
So here’s to books, to my new book bud­get, and to the many more hours of rest that they will provide.

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