Welcome to your bookish, cat-inspired guide to feeling calmer & happier

Believe it or not, one of the easiest, most reliable antidotes to the everyday stresses of life is to read a good book! Scroll down to learn more about the science behind this bookish magic.

Learn how to create & maintain a healthy, relaxing habit of reading ...

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yes, life is stressful


But pushing yourself and living with too much stress can leave you feeling overwhelmed and unable to relax or focus, even physically ill.


If the stress increases or becomes chronic it could actually affect your health in some pretty scary ways.


your secret antidote to stress: read a book


One study found that reading is a superior form of relaxation, and that the activity can reduce stress by up to 68%.

Which makes reading more relaxing than:

listening to music (61%),

drinking coffee or tea (54%), or

taking a walk (42%).

read your way to feeling calmer & happier …


Thankfully, these benefits aren’t limited to the over-achievers among us who are reading stacks of books each month. It’s the act of consistently setting aside as little as 10 minutes of quiet time each day and truly focusing on the words on the page that gets results.


Reading books does wonderful things for our brains. The mindful concentration required to read a book not only reduces stress, it also expands your vocabulary and enhances your memory and other cognitive skills. And, if you’re a regular reader of so-called “literary” fiction, you may even notice that a regular habit of quiet, uninterrupted reading time actually helps improve your abilities to listen and to empathize with others.


If all that weren’t enough: When you choose a peaceful, quiet spot to read your book, the silence itself offers additional stress relief.


Want to know how to read and relax your way to feeling calmer and happier?


It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3 . . .


how to unlock the magic …


First: slow down and take a deep breath . . . or three.


Grab a book.


Then take your cue from your favorite house cat: Find your favorite comfy cozy spot and curl up for some quality quiet time.


Your new mantra?  Read. Purr.


cultivate your best bookish life …


Have no fear: You won’t find any reading challenges here.


I won’t encourage you to complete a huge reading list, or to read faster.


Your reading goal shouldn’t be to simply read more; it should instead be to get the most out of the book you’re reading right now.


Because, let’s face it, when you’re calm, focused, empathetic, and well-read, you’re ready to do the work of being — and making — positive change in the world. Which is something we could certainly use right now.


Want to Read & Relax your way to feeling Calmer & Happier?

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guide to the Four Bookish, Cat-Inspired Steps to Feeling Calmer & Happier.

Welcome to the online home of The Novel Cat, where reading, relaxing, and snuggling with cats are a way of life. I’m Jennifer, and I help former and aspiring readers maximize life’s simple pleasures — like the joy of savoring a good book — by helping them create quiet spaces (both mental and physical) inspired by the habits of cats, who are masters at finding joy in life’s small details.

“The only important thing in a book is the meaning it has for you.”

W. Somerset Maugham

“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”


“There are perhaps no days of our childhood we lived so fully as those we spent with a favorite book.”

Marcel Proust

“Standing there, staring at the long shelves crammed with books, I felt myself relax and was suddenly at peace.”

Helene Hanff

“What a happy woman I am, living in a garden, with books … birds, and flowers, and plenty of leisure to enjoy them!”

Elizabeth von Arnim

“A book is a dream that you hold in your hand.”

Neil Gaiman

“The art of reading is … an intimate ritual, that a book is a mirror that offers us only what we already carry inside us; when we read, we do it with all our heart and mind.”

Carlos Ruiz Zafón

“When I … looked round at the familiar bookshelves, and could hear no sounds but sounds of peace, and knew that here I might read or dream or idle exactly as I chose with never a creature to disturb me, how grateful I felt to the kindly Fate that has brought me here and given me a heart to understand my own blessedness.”

Elizabeth von Arnim