Taking Care of Myself with a Good Book
I love to read. I’ve loved reading since I was young. Harry Potter was my favorite series of all time until 2007, when I read Outlander by Diana Gabaldon during an English 101 course at our local community college. I was finished with the first book before the end of the semester and had to go back and skim chapters to be sure I was prepped for quizzes. I could not put it down. I stayed up well into the night reading, and took the book with me everywhere I went. I had caught the bug, I read the series that entire summer, during my pregnancy, then nursing my wee little lad, and then again when I was pumping at work.
My professor described Outlander as a little bit of everything; it has elements of sci-fi, romance, drama, mystery, history, war, the list goes on and on. It tells the story of Claire, an accidental time-traveler, as she navigates her new life in the eighteenth century. She’s intelligent, stubborn, and devoted, and she’s got frizzy curly hair, which I love. There are currently eight books in the series, and they all spring off of Claire’s life and family. They are interesting, funny, suspenseful, gritty, sexy, romantic, and devastatingly heartbreaking. Gabaldon has also written several short stories and novellas about other supporting characters.
Starz has turned the book into a series, you can watch the first episode free. This article discusses so many reasons to read and watch and love it.
I know that I love Outlander for the same reasons I loved (LOVE) Harry Potter: the characters. I love them and I take their stories with me throughout the days and years. Isn’t that what a good story does? My mother and my boyfriend have both listened to parts of Claire and Jamie’s stories during long road trips with me or at times when I just couldn’t shake them from my head. If you read Outlander you’re going to need to have your friends read it too because there’s just no better way to enjoy it than by reliving and discussing the story and characters with friends.
As my son moved out of that baby phase, it became harder to maintain my reading habit. Wait, no, let me clarify: it’s gotten harder to maintain any of my habits. Kids need things and it’s our job as parents to balance meeting their needs without neglecting our own. We are parents, partners, students, employees, and so many more things, it sometimes is easy to forget we’re people too and our needs and wants count. We place so much emphasis on reading to our children, shouldn’t we place emphasis on reading for ourselves?
Reading is a wonderful relief and escape, and sometimes I need that. Have I been able to devour Written in My Own Heart’s Blood (the eighth in the Outlander series)? Absolutely not, I’m just over halfway through it in several months. Do I make time to sit quietly by myself and read because it makes me feel wonderful? Yes, and guilt free.
So please, go grab a copy of Outlander from your library, from the store, listen free with a trial subscription to Audible (which as an aside, I think is worth the $14.99 per month membership), or watch it on Starz, and tell me what you think! Or, tell me about your favorite series and characters that I should check out next! Find your own self-care balance and enjoy!
About Shaina Charron
Shaina Charron has lived in Rochester for 25 years. She is the mother of one four and a half year old little boy. She spends her days trying to gratefully fill her roles as a mom, daughter, sister, friend, student, and employee. In January 2010 she left a full-time job of two years in order to spend more time with her child and return to college. She is currently earning her Liberal Arts Associates Degree and planning a transfer to a four year school where she can study social work.
Shaina enjoys spending time with her family and their beloved pets, crafting, reading (her favorites are the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon and Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling), eating and cooking (mostly vegetarian, though occasionally gluten free and vegan as well), spending time with friends, and being outside in nature.
As a mother, she’s found breastfeeding, bed-sharing and gentle discipline to be the best fit for her child. She dreams about the beach in Florida, living in a cabin in the woods, and taking a cross country trip without any sort of time or financial restraints. She is looking forward to sharing her adventures with you.