Illustrated person relaxing on a hammock, Phone with Libby collection called 'Build a better you'

Recommended Reads, Trends

Take time for shelf care: 10 books to help you feel your best


Oct 05, 2022

Take a bubble bath. Meditate. Read a good book. Spend time with people who restore your energy. All sage advice for those seeking to take time out for self-care (especially the book part 😊). Whether you’re reading fiction to escape your everyday life, or self-help to try to improve it, reading is restorative. Self-help books can offer a new mindset and fresh perspective to shift into healthier and more balanced modes of thinking. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that mental health is of the utmost priority, and books can be the perfect support system.

Fortunately, you don't need to shell out your entire paycheck in the name of self-care. Free books from your library through the Libby app do just fine to keep you happy, healthy and reading. These 10 books will help you improve your life, career, wardrobe, relationships and more—but only if you choose, because a big part of self-care is learning that you're pretty great already.

The Lost Art of Doing Nothing

For the over-extended

The Lost Art of Doing Nothing by Maartje Willems

When is the last time you did nothing? I give up, too. With all of the nonstop notifications in our lives, we’ve lost the art of kicking back. In this book, we learn about the best-kept lifestyle secret of the Dutch: niksen, or the art of doing absolutely nothing. Sign me up!

Happy Puppy, Angry Tiger

For little people with BIG feelings

Happy Puppy, Angry Tiger by Brad Petersen

Any toddler caregiver can tell you, those little people can have some big feelings. To help them recognize, process and name those feelings, this book pairs animal characters with 24 different emotions. This serves as a great beginning to building empathy, learning the words to the corresponding emotions and developing emotional intelligence.

The Body is Not an Apology

For those struggling with body image

The Body is Not an Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor

This manifesto on radical self-love invites readers to make peace with our bodies and heal from the systems of oppression that injure our relationship with our self image. The author invites us to celebrate every body and never apologize for the body that takes care of us so well.


For the self-explorers

Listify by Marina Greenway

Who doesn’t love a good list? Lists help us to focus, set priorities, remember tasks and free up our brain space. Journal your way to self-discovery with list writing— just follow the prompts and list things like “Five nice things that happened to you today” or “Routines and activities that center you.”

The Curated Closet

For those looking to simplify

The Curated Closet by Anuschka Rees

So many clothes, nothing to wear. This is the problem style writer Anuschka Rees helps readers solve in this practical guide to authentic and unique style. Filled with style and shopping strategies from assessing fit to mastering a budget, this book teaches you how to maintain a streamlined closet that you can wear confidently.

Out of Office

For office workers

Out of Office: The Big Problem and Bigger Promise of Working from Home by Charlie Warzel

The pandemic left many of us with a big question: Where will we work? Gone are the days of long commutes and jam-packed work schedules. This books helps us consider a more balanced approach to work and aims to reshape our entire relationship to the office.

Toxic Positivity

For emotional awareness

Toxic Positivity: Keeping It Real in a World Obsessed with Being Happy by Whitney Goodman

From the popular therapist behind the Instagram account @sitwithwhit, this guide serves as an antidote to the “good vibes only” and “life is good” advice. Owning our emotions — even the difficult ones — allows us to show up authentically in the world, and there’s nothing more refreshingly honest than that.

Make Your Bed

For advice seekers

Make Your Bed by Admiral William H. McRaven

Make your bed. Seemingly simple advice taken from Navy SEAL Admiral William H. McRaven’s inspiring graduation speech, this timeless book provides wisdom, practical advice and words of encouragement that will inspire readers to achieve more.

Forgiving What You Can't Forget

For those ready to move on

Forgiving What You Can't Forget by Lysa TerKeurst

Learn how to make peace with your past in this step-by-step process designed to free you of hurt. This #1 New York Times bestseller was written with deep empathy, therapeutic insight and rich Bible teaching to help free you from the cycle of unresolved pain.

The Way Out

For healing pain

The Way Out by Alan Gordon

A psychotherapist and the founder of the Pain Psychology Center in Los Angeles created this groundbreaking mind-body protocol to heal chronic pain, backed by new research. Combining accessible science with a concrete, step-by-step plan, this book helps teach sufferers how to heal their own chronic pain.

Sit back, relax, take time for you and discover these ebooks and audiobooks, plus many more, in Libby, the free reading app from your library. Download Libby today to start reading!


About the Author

Annie Suhy has been working in the book industry since 2006. When she’s not working, practicing yoga, or petting cats, she’s doing paint-by-numbers and buying more plants. An avid poetry fan, her favorite collection is "The Splinter Factory" by Jeffrey McDaniel.


Never miss a post

Get the best in books straight to your inbox weekly!
Unsubscribe anytime!
Stay connected

Follow for updates on TwitterFollow for updates on InstagramFollow for updates on FacebookFollow for updates on TikTok