11 Ways To Beat Stress & Anxiety With Books

Look, New Year's resolutions are great and all that. If you've promised yourself that you're going to spend the new year eating only kale, or finally finishing War and Peace, or giving away all your earthly possessions and moving to a distant mountaintop, I'm on your side. But how are you going to treat yourself this year? How are you going to reward yourself when you reach a goal? How are you going to pick yourself up when your love life or your job or America's current political climate has got you down? Here are a few affordable, bookish ways to treat yourself well.

After all, "treating yourself" doesn't have to mean eating junk food or shelling out for fine leather goods. You don't even have to rub avocados on your face if you don't want to. Just give yourself permission to buy that new book, even though it's still in hardcover. Let yourself read something that your English teacher would disapprove of. Finally take the time to craft that perfect reading nook.

There are plenty of ways to splurge on your literary life without breaking the bank. Here are a few ideas to pamper yourself or that special book nerd in your life:


Take a long, literary bubble bath

Draw a bath. Add bubbles. Settle in and read your favorite book (or, alternatively, a book that you like but won't mind getting wet). Reading in the bathtub is a tried-and-true method of literary relaxation, and every book lover deserves a long soak now and then.


Buy yourself some bookish swag

The Little Prince Book Tee, $34, Litographs

If you have a couple of dollars to spend, spring for that Little Prince t-shirt you've always wanted. Or that Great Gatsby book purse. Or that Harry Potter lingerie. Whatever it is, find a stylish way to rep your book nerd status loud and proud.


Treat yourself to a literary meal or cocktail

Make yourself a butterbeer, or Harry's favorite treacle tart. Have some pie and ice cream like Jack Kerouac in On the Road. Make tea with actual tea cups and scone and wear a fancy hat like in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. You can turn it into a literary party if you like, or just make time for yourself to enjoy some book-inspired edibles.


Splurge on a nice edition of your favorite book

Treat yourself to a brand new hardcover, or a vintage printing of a classic, or just a nicer copy of your best-loved book. I mean, we all have that one novel with the actors from the movie on the cover, and we all kind of wish we could replace it with a different edition. Gift yourself a truly beautiful book that you'll want to display on your shelf.


Reread an old favorite

Yeah, I know that Russian novel has been on your TBR list forever. I know you told yourself that you were definitely going to finish Les Miserables. And I know that you promised to read your friend's abstract poetry. But forget all that, and reread a book that you truly love, even if it isn't what you think you *should* be reading.


Sell your old books and buy something new

We never want to part with our books, even the ones we've already read or long ago abandoned in the middle. But suck it up, take a big bag of your books to the used book store, sell them, and buy a new book just for you with the money. You can treat yourself and free up valuable shelf space in one fell swoop.


Give yourself a piece of literary jewelry

Book Lover Quote, $14, Etsy

Who says you can only buy jewelry for other people? Etsy is crawling with beautiful, literary jewelry for under $20. You deserve that bracelet of book charms, or that locket with your favorite book quote, or those earrings that look like golden snitches. Or, if you're the crafty type, you can DIY your own book necklace.


Sign up for a book subscription box

Cozy Reader Club, $65, Cratejoy

If you're really looking for an excuse to splurge on yourself, sign up for a literary subscription box. These services will send you a monthly package of books, snacks, t-shirts, and other goodies. There are several options out there, from OwlCrate for Potterheads to Litkit for experimental writers. Or, if you can't afford to go for a full on crate every month, you can sign up to get a monthly audiobook from Audible instead.


Make the perfect reading nook

Find the perfect corner, chair, candle, tea, mug, blanket, and furry companion for a reading nook in your home. Even if you don't own an easy chair, you can build yourself a blanket fort for the ultimate cozy reading experience. Christmas tree lights recommended, cat optional.


Go on a blind date with a book

Blind Date with a Book, $18, Etsy

Not sure what to read next? Go on a blind date with a book—you pick a genre and receive a unique book, hand wrapped in plain paper to preserve the mystery. You can also pick a hot drink of your choice to accompany your blind date book. Or, if you're trying not to spend money, wrap up one of your own books and do a mysterious book swap with a book-loving friend.


Make time for reading

Of course, the best way to treat yourself as a book lover is simply to make the time to read. Skip that social obligation you weren't particularly looking forward to and hunker down with a good book instead.