You Deserve a Shelf Care Day
When you're a reader, you tend to gravitate toward other readers––these people who understand when you're upset at the death of a fictional character or when you come across a sentence so perfect you can't help sharing it with someone. A day spent reading is arguably productive. Though a relaxed activity, you're feeling your brain, learning new things, and getting a hell of an arm workout if you're laying down.
But so often when I talk to my book nerd friends they'll say things like, "I didn't do a thing all weekend. I just sat around and read" or "I didn't feel like doing anything after work, so I just read until I had to go to bed." I don't like this notion that reading "isn't doing anything" because not doing anything sounds bad. There's this implicit undertone that says reading all day is lazy and "laziness" has negative connotations. No one gets called lazy as a compliment.
Reading IS doing something. And even if some people disagree, I'd argue that it's perfectly fine to have shelf care days. That's what I call it when I spend a whole day or evening after work reading. Having shelf care days is just as important as taking a nap, getting a massage, doing a relaxing craft, going for a run, getting your nails done, having a Netflix binge, or whatever it is people do for self-care.
I'm also preaching to myself on this one. I've been guilty of this many times, but I'm going to have to be especially mindful now because the busy season at my job is ramping up. (As much as I'd love to be a full-time writer, editor, and book blogger, it's just not in my cards at present.) That means my normal 8-5 could turn into 10-, 12-, or 14-hour days depending on just how busy we get. That means my off days will be even more sacred and I'll need more downtime than usual. So the last thing I want is to feel implicitly guilted for being "lazy" when I'm doing something I love that brings me joy and relaxes me at the same time.
It's perfectly okay to take an entire day to read, so don't let anyone make you feel otherwise. And when people ask you how you spent your time, don't say, "Oh, I didn't do anything, just read all day" because saying you didn't do anything diminishes it. And if you're bad at self-care, schedule a shelf care day on your calendar. Block out the time and commit to doing something for yourself.
Reading is important. Reading is vital. Reading is affirming. You don't need anyone's permission, but if you're looking for it, here it is: you deserve a shelf care day. Take one.