Is Reading Attached to your Happiness? by Maureen Lang

A friend of mine, author Sunni Jeffers, came across an interesting post that linked positive thinking to reading. Being an avid reader myself, it naturally made me wonder if I’m in a generally better frame of mind when I’m immersed in a book—either reading or writing one.

The answer to that is an absolute yes. The only thing that annoys me when I’m reading a good book is an interruption keeping me from reading that good book.

And when I’m writing a book, once the plot and characters have caught me and start acting everything out for me to record—well, there’s just nothing better. Those are the days I can’t help but walk around with a smile on my face. I feel like I was wired to write, and those kind of days just prove it.

The article talks about how the things we experience via reading can not only entertain and educate, but expand our experience level and give us more compassion. I absolutely believe this. A few years ago I wrote a story about a woman who is the mom to a severely handicapped child. Because of some especially challenging circumstances in her life, in one desperate attempt to end her life and her child’s, she attempted a murder/suicide. Not something I could imagine doing, or even sympathize.

Until I got inside the head of a woman desperate enough to do such a thing. Since that book, My Sister Dilly, is inspired by a true story, I had the opportunity to speak to a woman who’d been through such a horrific experience. Through her, I understood a least a little of what such a thing might have been like. And it gave me more compassion. I’ve heard from several readers that it did the same for them. It was even possible for me to maintain a positive attitude about a subject that, at least on the surface, might have been a downer.

So can reading improve our life? Our mood? Our attitude? What do you think?


About Maureen Lang

Author of a dozen novels, Maureen Lang has won the Selah Award, a Holt Medallion, FHL's Reader's Choice Award, and been a finalist in such contests as the Christy, the Rita, the Carol, Book Buyer's Best, and others. Before publication she was the recipient of a Golden Heart and a Genesis (then called the Noble Theme). She resides with her husband and kids in the Chicago area. Titles by Maureen Lang All In Good Time Bees In The Butterfly Garden Springtime Of The Spirit Whisper On The Wind Look To The East My Sister Dilly On Sparrow Hill The Oak Leaves Remember Me Pieces Of Silver
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2 Responses to Is Reading Attached to your Happiness? by Maureen Lang

  1. vickihinze says:

    Maureen, I diefinitely believe what you put into your mind in books, and frankly in anything else, can impact your attitude, your outlook and mindset. I see it all the time–the shifts in attitude shifting perspective.

    It so bothers me to hear negative self-talk. It reinforces that negativity over and over until it becomes accepted as fact–and it could be 180 off base. But shift the perspective and the attitude truly does shift with it.

    Books can open minds, change attitudes, change moods and help with perspective shifts. Sometimes I think it’s an alignment (oh, someone else is going through this too) or sometimes (gee, I thought I was in a rough patch but look at these guys). It can be all kinds of shifts. Once I reader told me she read because life was too hard without it. I asked what exactly she meant. “Books remind me I have a heart.”

    Tapping into that is a good thing, no? 🙂


    • Maureen Lang says:

      Oooh, I totally agree about life being too hard without books! I love that.

      When I’m immersed in a character who is fighting for a good cause, or strong enough to withstand some kind of extraordinary circumstance, I can’t help but pick up some of that attitude, and feel some of that strength.

      Books really should be a part of any positive therapy, so long as they’re books with a positive message!


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