To Be More Joyful: Read a Good Book

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This is a continuing series about ways in which we can become more joyful. If you missed previous posts or find that you’re still too crabby, go back to the beginning of 14 Ways to Be More Joyful.

I have always been a book lover. My parents taught me to read when I was still in preschool, and as a result, I almost always had a book in hand. Weekly summer trips to the library produced stacks of books. I’d find a cool-er corner of the house and read all day long.

As a mom, not only do I find that reading is a great form of entertainment, but there are huge benefits that reading provides to “life as MOM.”

Gaining knowledge

Learning new ways of doing things can help us be more joyful in our everyday. Perhaps you’re being weighed down by all the tasks at hand — and maybe there is a better way of doing it. Maybe you need to round out some of your homemaking knowledge. Maybe you need to just learn to cook!

There’s no end of the information we can gain from books that can offer practical help in “life as MOM.” Green living, organizing, family fun, cooking, and basic homekeeping helps are just a library trip away. Some of my personal favorites include The Hidden Art of Homemaking, Heart of the Home: Notes from a Vineyard Kitchen, and Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House.

Encouragement and Self-improvement

Sometimes it’s our hearts that need some help. We find that there are areas we need to grow emotionally. Or there are ways that we relate to people (ie husband and kids) that we could improve. Reading good books on communication, parenting, and womanhood can help us over the rough spots.

Some books to consider: Queen of the Castle: 52 Weeks of Encouragement for the Uninspired, Domestically Challenged or Just Plain Tired Homemaker, A Sane Woman’s Guide to Raising a large Family, The Mommy Manual, and of course, The Bible.

A person standing on a subway platform with light blur in background.Photo Source: Moriza


It’s all too easy to get caught up in our own challenging lives that we forget that there’s a whole world out there that is hurting. We think, “Woe is me! I have it sooooo hard.”

In reality, we should be counting our blessings. Reading good books can take us “outside ourselves” and show us the real world beyond.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and The Hiding Place are two books that have helped me do that in recent years. Do I really have it that hard? No, I don’t. And if I really think about it, I can be so thankful for those who’ve gone before me and fought for the freedoms that I take for granted.


And what’s more reading is just plain good old fun. Pride and Prejudice never gets old to me. Rose in Bloom still makes me smile, though I’ve read it twenty times, and The Sharper Your Knife The Less You Cry was a great walk down a French memory lane.

There are books that are good to get lost (and found) in, books that offer catharsis, books that teach, and books that just make you laugh. And we need them all.

Wondering how to include reading more often into the fabric of your life? Consider the following:

Reading good books can make your life more joyful as you grow, learn, look around and laugh.

What’s stopping you?

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      1. Yes and no. I joined several years ago and added lots of the books I was reading, and tracked things for a short time. I don’t remember why I stopped, but I recently updated the account and am going to try using it again. I want to read more for fun and didn’t know where to start, so adding friends to my account has given me ideas.

  1. I love “Rose in Bloom” and “An Old-Fashioned Girl” by Louisa May Alcott. Looking forward to seeing what every one has been reading this month.

  2. I love to read but with all the craziness of work, kids, house, I wasn’t doing it enough the last couple years. Ironically whenever I breastfed my little ones, I found I read the most – hopefully they will all forgive me for having books propped on them! Last year, I let my reading slip – I would read magazines before bed or watch tv, and I found myself not sleeping well and just being more generally frazzled than normal. So the past few months I have shut the tv off, put down the magazines and picked up some great books. What a difference – it winds me down at night (although a few books, including that Swedish trilogy mentioned above have kept me up WAY past my bedtime) and it takes me into different worlds. I’ve enjoyed The Help, the Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, as well as a couple of books by Alison Winn Scotch that really touch upon feelings and attitudes I’ve had as a mom. Who knew fiction meant for entertainment could cause me to reflect on decisions and attitudes I carry with me! So, I’ll continue BOOKING it and hey, if it causes me to be joyful as well, definitely a bonus!

  3. Pride and Prejudice is one of my favorites, too. I re-read it over and over. The copy I have was actually my Mom’s in college, so it has her notes in it (making it extra wonderful to read!)

    Thank you for listing some of your favorite homemaking books. I love being a mommy, I love being a homeschool teacher, and I love being a wife. But, being a keeper of my home and finding JOY in it – I struggle with that from time to time. I need to learn to love that as well, so I appreciate it when others share what inspired me them.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  4. Last year I joined a book club. Not only have I made a lot of new friends, but I’ve read books that I would not have ever picked up on my own. This summer I read The Help, which I really enjoyed. And I was also introduced to the trio of books by sweedish author Stieg Larson – starting with Girl with a Dragon Tattoo. I’ve gone onto share these with family and friends. I love a good book.

  5. I finished The Pigman by Paul Zindal last night; a teen literary classic that I hadn’t read before. Recently I also read Perfect Chemistry; another young adult book that my oldest read, loved, and thought I must read. I also have 2 books started on my night stand that I need to finish: Living with Less so Your Family Can Have More by Jill Savage and Radical Homemakers (can’t remember the author). My mom and grandma encouraged me to read as a kid and I am so glad they did. I absolutely love, love, love books.

  6. Does reading blogs count? 🙂 I’ve been reading A LOT of blogs! I’m ready for a good “old fashioned”, in my hand, flip the page, (not an electronic page) curl up in the big chair book. I think I’ll check out your book club. 🙂