What do you do when you’re stressed?
In England, the cure for woes of all kinds has traditionally been a cup of tea—heavy on the sugar if you’ve had a shock.
I think for most women who aren’t on a diet, and many who are, chocolate has probably taken over this cure-all-ills role. (It certainly has for me.) And maybe coffee, with its stimulating dose of caffeine, has usurped the humble cup of tea.
I’ve been thinking about this because for a variety of reason both writing related and otherwise, life’s been stressful recently. Unfortunately, I’m a comfort eater. The first thing I turn to is food. But after I’ve dosed up on calories my favorite stress-reliever is losing myself in a good book.
The type of book I choose depends on the circumstances. If I need to retreat from the rat race for a while and chill out, I usually go for fantasy or paranormal romance to take me out of this world. If I feel bruised by something and I’m looking for emotional reassurance, my choice is always romance. I usually pick up historical romance by an author I enjoy such as Amanda Quick, or a short sweet contemporary by an author I trust to deliver an emotionally satisfying read such as Liz Fielding.
When my stress is more due to the monotony of office work or end-of-year tax returns, I tend to opt for something exciting or funny such as J.D. Robb’s In Death series or one of the Stephanie Plum books by Janet Evanovitch.
But I don’t need to be searching for a temporary escape from life to dive into a book. I love the luxury of a week-long vacation where I can spend all day reading without feeling guilty there’s something else I should be doing. For days sitting beside a pool, or under an umbrella looking out over the sea, I choose a mystery with a hint of romance such as Michele Scott’s Wine Lovers’ Mysteries.
What makes you want to pick up a book?