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Nellie

Does the presence of books affect your mood?

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It has been a very busy few weeks in Nellieland, and I was feeling somewhat frazzled when I got home last night. So, I thought I would sit quietly and calm my mind a little.

 

I sat in the room where we keep most of our books. I didn't read, or listen to the radio, I just sat. I have noticed that just the presence of books seems to calm me, I have the same reaction when I go into a library. Is this just me? :confused:

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I had never thought about this before, but I believe I am affected in the same.

 

A walk through a good bookshop will do wonders for my mood. I think I prefer new books for a better mood, although I do love to browse secondhand bookshop too, but somehow I don't quite get the same euphoria.

 

Libraries are good for mood enhancement and libraries never explored before can be better than the local tried and tested one.

 

I too have a room full of books and it is a kind of sanctuary. The only problem is the books are never really as tidy as I would like them and once they are tidied I keep adding to the TBR pile - so making it untidy yet again. :o

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An interesting question. Yes, I think I am cheered up and calmed down by being around books. Being in my study certainly calms me down.

 

On the other hand, though, I am surrounded by books at work and I don't think it has the same effect. The English store is one of the least calming places on earth and it is chock full of books. (It was particularly un-calming yesterday morning when my headteacher told me I had to make way for new shelving, but that's another story!)

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A mooch through a book shop does wonders for me. Less so a library. I would love a library at home rather than bookcases everywhere I can fit them. A room lined with books, an old glass reading lamp and a soft sofa. Bliss! One day maybe.

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It's not just me then!

 

At work I even find my technical books relaxing. If I am getting a little fraught I will flick through them for 5 mins and it seems to steady me. :o

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Oh yes, I agree, it's a great relief to have books to hand. I have a friend whose house is immaculate, not a magazine, paper or book anywhere. I can never settle there. Usually I'm there because we're going out for the night, so I always put my book in my bag so that when she goes off to get ready, a time when I'd normally have a flick through any reading material that was lying around, I have something to do. The telly just isn't the same.

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You're not alone! When I'm at school, and I've had a bad day....I go to my Debating teacher's classroom (she is head of English) and just sit there, she has a lot of books all over the class...and it seems to make me feel a lot better!

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I sat in the room where we keep most of our books. I didn't read, or listen to the radio, I just sat. I have noticed that just the presence of books seems to calm me, I have the same reaction when I go into a library. Is this just me? :confused:

Nellie, you helped trigger a memory. This spring when I was wandering the streets of San Sebastian with my difficult elder brother, incadescent with rage and about to commit fratricide, Mr bp saw the signs and steered us all into the English language bookshop. Within ten minutes I was calm enough to get through the rest of the day :)

 

I will head off to the library when feeling mixed up and at odds with the world. If I can't get out, even an hour with the online catalogue and my TBR book list calms me. Potty.

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I agree with you 100% Nellie. It's certainly not just you. I was only thinking, when reading in my local library on Saturday, how relaxing I find being there. The same with book shops.

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Nellie, you helped trigger a memory. This spring when I was wandering the streets of San Sebastian with my difficult elder brother, incadescent with rage and about to commit fratricide

 

I know how that feels!

 

I will head off to the library when feeling mixed up and at odds with the world. If I can't get out, even an hour with the online catalogue and my TBR book list calms me. Potty.

 

Not at all potty, perfectly sensible if you ask me. :D

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Books are the greatest friends I have. They're always there when you need them and they almost never let you down. They don't mind when you ignore them for decades and they are a treasure house ever-waiting to be unlocked. Yes bookstores do have a calming effect unlike clothes shops.

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From all the above it looks as if BGOers all respond positively to being amongst booiks - much as we might expect really. But it has just occurred to me that our public sanctuaries (bookshops and libraries) are disappearing or diminishing virtually by the day.

 

We have lost several chain bookshops - is it only Waterstones now? I would mention W.H.Smith but I have never yet found one that feels quite the same - the books are always in amongst so much other merchandise that it dilutes the sanctity of the books for me. And so many smaller bookshops are closing too.

 

Libraries are shrinking too in the sense that they do not have as many books visible to the public nowadays - and maybe not such large stocks in the basement either. There is an article in our local newspaper today on that very subject; Jannette Winterson, who comes from Accrington (just down the road from me) bemoaning at the Edinburgh Boook Festival the fact that her once local library has far fewer books now in order to make way for the 'digital' age of dvds, etc. Added to this of course is the threat of closure for many branch libraries (well it's been mentioned here) because of the recession.

 

All this makes sad reading not just for us bibliophiles but I do wonder whether it has far reaching repercussions for the future of our communities as a whole.

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I'm quite proud of where I work (and also where my library service is) because they've been working really hard on improving the libraries, which has meant better quality books, and often more of them, which is a complete opposite to my home town library which was given a new home about 2 years ago and some books are still 'in transit' from the old library at the other end of the high street. I suspect 'in transit' is code for 'gotten rid of'

 

Waterstones is the only major chain now, but I'd be inclinded to include Oxfam Books, which seem to be springing up all over, and are brilliant. Especially the Winchester one, which is always changing stock and has excellent staff.

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I'm so glad I'm not the only one who feels better when they are surrounded by books! Actually some of my best friends are books so that isn't surprising :D I am lucky enough to have my own study, it was my sons play/junk room but when they got too old I cleared out all their rubbish and made it mine! My bookcases are all mismatched and untidy but I don't care, it's my favourite room in the house :)

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Books don't always affect me in a good way. I almost hate to confess it but sometimes they make me vaguely anxious.

 

Books I should be reading/should have read. Time I should spend writing. Books written by people who have published two or three books in the time it takes me to work through one manuscript...

 

Time I should be able to find to do things like read except I don't have enough, and I waste what I have....

 

:help::cry:

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Currently it is a little dismal in my sitting room as there are just one or two repaired and tattered children's books and a dominating shelf of DVD and CD cases. A year ago most of my books got destroyed and I have only a few new ones around . When they get read they'll go back in the sitting room.

 

No, don't find libraries always soothing, as they do have their own characteristics, a carrell with grafitti , metal shelves with scientific journals, gathering dust and sweat. Bookshops are better for me than online buying and must dash as it's well over a week that my book has been waiting to be collected - Camilla Gibb's Mouthing the Words - harrowing but pertinent, shan't be rereading.

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Having books around always makes me feel better. I love browsing in the book shops, in fact I've never met a book shop that I didn't like. I also love my local library, I think I'll love it even more when it has moved to its new location which is two minutes from my house.

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