• Gabriela Dittrichova

The life-changing power of books

I was never a fan of books but now I’m hooked! I never understood why Bill Gates and other global thought-leaders are such fans of reading. Now I finally get it! Books are like inspiring conversations, only condensed into a couple of pages that you can access at any time, over and over again. Books are fantastic! Here is how books have changed my life and what I'm reading now.

Thankfully, I didn’t have to pass the Czech final high-school exam, for which you have to read dozens of books. Neither studying English literature nor setting up a magazine and becoming a copywriter turned me into a bibliophile. I learned to love poems - their short structure, multiple meanings, directness, and relative shortness. Whilst studying editorial design, I flipped through endless books but then always put them away. Even having published two magazines didn’t make me fall in love with books, not the inside, at least. I struggled to get through three issues of Forbes I collected over a year and didn’t open a regular book since my last summer holidays in 2018.

Books are loyal companions. You don’t have to go anywhere, you don’t need to talk to anyone. You simply open a book and get the silent conversation started.

And so, when I got asked to read the book Essentialism, I made a promise to myself to start reading more. As Xmas would have it, I collected multiple gift vouchers to various bookshops and that was a sign! The first book I successfully finished was indeed the Essentialism. Then I moved on to The Caramel Jungle by Tereza Salte. I didn’t have much hope in this piece, but out of curiosity wanted to see how others blogger writes and what they publish books about. I must apologise for the prejudice against Tereza. From page one, I was completely absorbed by her story and started looking forward to those moments right after lunch or before going to bed when I get to dive into the caramel jungle. This book is incredibly catchy, honest, and beautifully outspoken. I love it!

Okay, that’s book number two. What else? Well, I was fortunate enough to receive a gift card from the most wonderful book store in the Czech Republic. The Booktherapy. Here, I purchased three books. Inspired by the ‘Hide and Seek’ by Gestalten we received this Xmas, which has significantly changed the career trajectory of Mark, I wanted to have more beautiful books at home. I made a pre-selection online and left the Brno’s store with these three publications.

1. The Great Alone

Having spent plenty of time outdoors this year, hiking and moving in nature has become my new remedy. I wrote about walking as therapy, but I never truly experienced a proper hike only by myself. I am always accompanied by a friend, a dog, or a family member. Never truly alone. Hence I want to read about the experience of Tim Noors and see what it takes to be a solo hiker. Let’s do this!

2. Calm

My wonderful mentor, Veronika Mahdalova, recommended The School of Life to me a couple of months ago. As life would have it, I got distracted from purchasing their play cards and slowly forgot about the initiative altogether. And so, I was beyond excited having found this book in the repertoire of Booktherapy. An easy-to-read, easy-to-carry book that is smart, swift, and at least for me, incredibly sexy. I can’t wait to finish reading it.

3. High Grade Living

This book I was excited about the most. From the second I held it in my hands I knew it was the one. I talk about it as if it was a lover but I truly feel we clicked. The beautiful design, the hefty binding, the strong aesthetics, the subtle images, every element of the book is just perfect. But what’s more, I feel it will strongly influence my life too.

Books are loyal companions. You don’t have to go anywhere, you don’t need to talk to anyone. You simply open a book and get the silent conversation started. The introvert in me is smiling now, the extrovert is a little upset, but with the ongoing lockdowns, the extrovert has long retired anyway. Besides, once I will set off for a gathering, the book will accompany me on the way there and back. So it’s a win-win!

I never thought I would become a passionate reader. Quite frankly, I am still far from that, but I’m trying. It is not a sprint, more a marathon, and this year I took the first step in becoming a regular reader. I cannot wait till I cross the finish line, but as with everything, it takes time, so I will do my best to enjoy the ride. And has it been splendid so far!

Let’s make a cuppa, cozy up in a warm blanket, and look for that page you last drifted away from. I hope you fall in love with reading too. And if you have any recommendations for books about self-love, living, and mindfulness, please, do let me know. Thank you and enjoy your book!