My dear lovelies, I hope you are hanging in there. Truth be told, I am… not. There will be a few minutes where my mind will be like “oh, maybe we’ll be okay” and then two seconds later it’s like “just kidding, this is a complete mess and it absolutely will not be okay, thanks for playing”. So, while I am not seeking to normalize (please, guys, never normalize) or pretend that anything is “fine”, I do think that self-care is so important. Maybe more than ever. You know the airplane thing where you have to make sure your own oxygen mask is secure before helping others? Yeah. You need to be okay to fight the good fight.

So, to that end, I have been trying to come up with some ways for me- and you, of course!- to take care of ourselves, bookishly. Since that is sort of our thing, yes? Hopefully, these will help get you started, and maybe you can think of some others to share with the class!

1. Reading (Shocking, Right?)

So, I know this sounds fairly obvious. But sometimes it is hard to read certain books when you aren’t in the right frame of mind. So read whatever you want! Re-read some old favorites, find the fluffiest of fluffy contemporaries, or, if you like a good cathartic cry, go ahead and read a tearjerker. You know what you need in the feels department, so have at it!

2. Watch a Book-to-Movie

Sometimes you just don’t feel like reading. Your heart isn’t in it, you’re feeling too down and books are too heavy, whatever. (Seriously though, I am reading Crooked Kingdom right now and all I can think is “why you so heavy,  my arms hurt”.) So you might just want to watch a movie, tune out for a few hours. That is okay! I personally almost exclusively watch book-to-movies. Because I don’t care about anything else. Here’s a few to get you started!


I won’t even pretend to have seen all of these- and I needed the help of Amber to complete both this, and number three, for I fail at movies and TV.

3. Bookish TV Binges

Or, maybe you want a full on binge. Sometimes it’s good to binge watch. I mean, I haven’t done it in years, you can blame my small humans, but it sounds fabulous. You know I am going to recommend The 100, right? Here’s a clip in case you forgot how awesome it is:

There are other bookish shows, too! I mean, I don’t really care about them (though I did try with a handful!) maybe you will have better luck! And someday, I will watch Game of Thrones, when I can afford HBO or something. Or it comes to Amazon Prime. Or I pony up and buy the DVDs, who’s to say?tv

4. Organize your bookshelves

“But that sounds like work, Shannon”. Well, in theory, yes. But if you are just mindlessly trying to make books look pretty on display? Not so much! It’s quite comforting, somehow. I did this the other day, just rearranging, and it gave my mind a task, plus I got to look at and touch all my books. I went back to alphabetical by author because I needed some sense amidst the chaos. post13

Sense in an otherwise senseless universe, perhaps?

5. Book-Themed Coloring Books

Coloring is so therapeutic! And now, thanks to a ridiculous overabundance of coloring books, you can color all your favorite series! I don’t have my official The Hunger Games one yet, but that’s okay. I have a very fun Fierce Reads one, and a knock-off THG, not that I actually color in any of them, but in theory it sounds splendid.post14

I had one about unicorns too but it’s missing. I bet Val stole it, along with Max

6. Read blogs/talk to bookish friends

I would have lost my actual mind without the bookish community this past week or so. Find your friends, talk to them, visit their blogs and cheer them up , too. It’s the little things. Plus, they will probably rage with you if you want to rage, laugh with you if you want to laugh, or cry with you if you want to cry. You need your people. 

7. Create stuff!

I like to make GIFs of The 100. I don’t do it as much as I’d like, but still. I also want to make some bookish (and yes, The 100) quotes and such, just… nice things, hopeful things to look at. Val did this, and I am now inspired extra. I only have ever made one thing, but I was kind of proud even though my friends thought it was dumb:


8. Write like you’re running out of time. 

I feel like it is never too late to start NaNo, right? Well okay, maybe it is sometime (like, December?), but it is never too late to channel some of your energy into writing, if you so desire! If you plunk at your keyboard hard enough, you can imagine you are poking undesirable orange men in the eyeball or something. And hey, who knows, you might end up with one hell of a story! 

9. Take a bubble bath

This might not sound bookish, but hear me out! You can read in the bath. See, now you are clean, moderately relaxed, and have read something. I suggest a magazine, or a paperback that you can cheaply replace, of course.

10. Sleep, and have bookish dreams. Or not.

We need to sleep. I need to sleep. I should be sleeping instead of writing this post. Or reading. The more I think about it, Number 10 here is probably just a way for me to wrap this up and go to bed. You should, too 😉

So friends, what do you do to take care of yourselves these days? Have any tips for us? Love you guys!

Posted November 16, 2016 by Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight in Discussion, Discussion Challenge / 38 Comments

38 responses to “Bookish Self Care

  1. Shannon, this is such a great post! I’ve bookmarked this list – sometimes I forget to do these things!
    I think the one tip here that I love the most, and do the most is probably the book TV binge! Very nice way to relax and if you’re a multitasker like me, who never likes to stay still – you can check bookstagram or twitter whilst you’re at it! ^_^

  2. techeditor

    The best reason to organize books alphabetically is that when you need a particular book, you can find it easily.

  3. So I NEEDED to read this post today. Thank you. I suck at self-care. I mean, I have the basics down (mostly): eat (when my schedule allows, but even if I’m nauseated), sleep (though never enough), practice good hygiene. I do read every day, too, even if it’s just 15 minutes. But you’re so right- self-care is more than that. It’s going out of your way to laugh every day (thank goodness for YouTube and fun bloggers), doing a modicum of exercise (even if it’s just walking 2,000 steps a day), brushing your hair or getting a massage or doing your nails (something not strictly necessary, but that makes you feel better), dancing to your favorite song, etc.
    I like the movie (or TV episode) reality break, too. I find it difficult to put down my sense of obligation to everything long enough to watch, but binging eventually gets me over that. 😉
    And organizing your bookshelf YES. I always say when my life feels out of my control, I calm myself by controlling what I can (which is organizing my bookshelf).
    I also find spending time with my pets (during which I’m not feeling like I’m obligated elsewhere), whether it’s watching them be silly or cuddle with them, helps.

    • Aww I LOVE your suggestions! It’s so true, I usually even fail at the basics, sadly. But I’m trying. And I am the worst with feeling obligated too, ugh. I love what you said about controlling what you can, you totally nailed it! I hope you’re doing okay too, dear ❤❤

  4. I love this post so much! Self care is definitely so important, but it’s so easy to forget or put aside in every day life. I love your suggestions – I do actually read in the bath quite a lot, although I do always worry about dropping the book in the bath! – and I’ll definitely try and make more time for these things.
    I hope you start to feel better soon! 🙂

  5. Self care is very important and I love your tips!! Except maybe the bath one because I don’t trust myself with water + books. Like I can’t even eat and read. WHY AM I SO UNCOORDINATED. Ahem. But rearranging books is wonderful and also doing bookstagram!! I find it so relaxing just to photograph books and create patterns and things with hardcovers. <3 And I felt like I knew the 100 would be mentioned here.? I SO WANT TO SEE IT AT SOME POINT. (Also Game of Thrones is grand but terrifying…you could probably get it at a library though?! just be prepared to be seriously traumatised. SO MAYBE NOT GREAT FOR SELF CARE. ??)

    • Noooo eating and reading is not good! I read mainly magazines in the bath, but I have taken some old paperbacks that I didn’t care much about haha. Bookstagram is mostly stressful for me so that’s not on my list ?

      The 100 is EVERYTHING, Cait. Just so you know, if you DO watch it and decide you hate it I’ll likely cry. Just ask Val haha. Ohhh the library is a good idea, I forgot they have DVDs and such, good thinking! ?

  6. My dear!
    Thank you so much for posting this list. I’ll have to RT on the Twitters because it is wonderful. I would love to read more on your favorite bookish films. That would be really neat!

  7. OMG. I’ve literally been struggling to read anything for the past few months, and nothing has been working. I did get the chance to read Josh Sundquist’s newest book, and I really enjoyed that, but everything else has me feeling like blah.

    I definitely need to do something to get my butt in gear for reading over Turkey Day break (although I’ll be working at the grocery store and lifting 20-30 pound birds). HELP!

    I have found that watching a movie or TV adaptation helps, but then it usually makes me want to reread that book, not read new books.

  8. Great post, and I definitely agree about taking care of yourself before taking care of others. I’m still really upset, but I know I need to focus on good things too or I’ll just be depressed all the time.

    • Thanks so much ❤ I’m so sorry that you are feeling the same. It’s just so… ugh. Neverending, it seems. But we do have to try to take care of ourselves even when it almost seems wrong to. Big hugs, love. I hope you are able to take care of yourself a bit too.

  9. I worry about that too- that we’ll normalize that clown by just moving on and accepting it. Which will happen, to a large extent… not that we’ll normalize it, but the media and everyone saying “Well just give a chance.” so yeah, we need to take care of ourselves because stress is bad and we have to keep on. Love your suggestions- I love book to movies, and I never saw 5th Wave! Or Nerve (although it probably sux). I need to head over to amazon. And The 100- dude we have a release date, I think Feb. 1st?? Yes!!!

    Harper’s in that video!

    I love the cover of that Vampire coloring book! yes to more stabbing- that’s cathartic. Maybe I need to color… or do puzzles or something. And then wreck em. I don’t know. Or lose myself in violent television. I still have Walking Dead shit to catch up… it’s just so tedious now. And I need to stay the $%^& off Politico… it’s like I don’t want to miss any of the controversies, you know? But there will be plenty. anyway great suggestions! Love that last GIF!!!

    • Yessss, February 1st!! It’s basically THE only thing that makes the thought of 2017 not 100% awful. Now it’s only like, 99.999% awful ?

      Seriously though, that’s the thing- it seems like everyone who has any power has just completely given up, which frankly, is bullshit. Like I see people trying to call representatives and getting ridiculous and rude replies, and even Democrats are doing this “give him a chance” nonsense. Like how about you FIGHT instead of rolling over for the bully? Makes me so stabby.

      I’m rewatching The 100 and rereading The Hunger Games. I don’t know what else to do, it’s such a mess. Violent activities really do sound good at this point ?

  10. I looooove this post! I was going through a tough time before that I couldn’t read so I just watched movies and tv series all the time. Sending you virtual hug, Shannon. <3

  11. Great ideas. There was a time when my idea of self-care was to eat a bunch of junk food. But that’s not really the best ida, is it? I binge watch shows like Family Guy and Bob’s Burgers. I know it’s silly, but I love those shows and they are funny and mindless and they totally get me out of my head. Great post.

  12. Great post! It’s good to think about yourself and take care of yourself. These are all great tips. Ofcourse reading is always a good idea, but sometimes when you don’t feel like reading other hobbies or movies or coloring books are a great alternative as well. I always enjoy blog visiting and lately don’t make enough time for it each day, I definitely should make more time for blogging and visiting other blogs.

  13. My favorite thing to do is to head to Starbucks and write reviews. Or go to Barnes & Noble and browse the shelves. There is something about the smell of fresh coffee that I find strangely therapeutic!

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