• 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 big 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 only to put them down shortly after. Even having published two magazines didn’t make me fall in love with books, not the content of them, 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. But deep inside, my lack of reading was worrying, perhaps even frustrating for me, and so, when I got asked to read the book Essentialism for a review for the #lessbutluxe blog, I made a promise to myself to start reading more.


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.

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 bloggers write 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 got to dive into the jungle. This book is incredibly catchy, honest, and beautifully outspoken. I simply loved it and it was a welcomed contrast to the long parade of various self-development books.


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 where we purchased three books. Inspired by the ‘Hide and Seek’ (Gestalten), which has significantly changed the career trajectory of my partner - an architect, 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 shortly after.



1. The Great Alone


Having spent plenty of time outdoors in 2020, hiking in nature has become my new remedy. I wrote about walking as a therapy, but I never experienced a proper hike all by myself. I am always accompanied by a friend, a dog, or a family member. Never truly alone. Hence I got to read about the experience of Tim Noors and see what it takes to be a solo hiker. Very eye-opening, inspiring, but also worth thinking-twice about.



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 when I found this book in the Booktherapy's repertoire. 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 minute 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 influenced my life too. The High Grade Living is a representative of what I believe in. It is simple, calm, and mindful. The virtues I strive the most towards.



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 inner extrovert has long retired anyway. Besides, once I will set off for some gatherings, a great book will accompany me on the way there and forth anyway. So it’s a win-win for both - the outgoing and the quiet person in me!


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 man has it been a splendid one thus far!


Let’s make a cuppa, cozy up in a warm blanket - or have a cold drink and spread wide in the sun, and look out for the page you last drifted away from. I hope you fall in love with reading as much as I did. And if you have any recommendations for books about love, slow living, or mindfulness, please share. Thank you and enjoy your book(s)!