The Reader’s Workout: 10 Fitness Tips for Book-Loving Minds and Bodies

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If there’s one question we get most around here, it’s, “What should I read next?” If there are two questions, the other is, “How do you stay in such great shape?”* And because booksellers are nothing if not generous of spirit, we are delighted to share our fitness tips with you today.

(*Entirely possible that we’ve only imagined anyone asking us this question.)

The book-lover’s workout really comes down to three steps:
– Lift book.
– Read.
– Repeat.

But if you want to get creative with it, you could try these additional moves:

1. Raise a book over your head with both arms, or lift a whole stack:

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2. Try reading while standing to get your blood flowing. You could even add a resistance band. (Reading and resistance go hand-in-hand, you know.)

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3. Try a stair workout with a book in each hand. For full-body benefits, make sure to engage your facial muscles in a smile.

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4. Many exercises are perfect for the bookshop environment. For example, you could stop into your favorite neighborhood bookstore and walk a shop dog. For added difficulty, try walking a shop dog who refuses to move, like Lewis here.

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5. Looking for a great core workout? Engage your abs while pushing a book ladder.

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6. For the advanced athlete seeking a challenge: add a fellow book-lover to the ladder.


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7. Booksellers do a variety of tasks that build strength and dexterity, such as packing books to ship to readers nationwide. Swap out your hand-weights for a tape gun and enjoy the fresh challenge!

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8. “Flapping” is an activity wherein booksellers open a book and fold the inner flap to the signature page. It’s how we prepare books to be autographed quickly and easily by authors, and if you practice, you can become very fast at it, which makes it a fantastic cardio routine.

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9. But if you’re not a bookseller, you can also do this kind of flapping, which gets the heart rate up just as well:

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10. For a proper cool-down, take a few moments for some book-lover’s yoga. Close your eyes while holding your favorite pose; think of your favorite line from a book; and snuggle a goat.

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(A pup or cat or ferret or very laid-back parakeet would probably also work, but if you can avail yourself of a yoga goat, you’ll find it really is a supremely relaxing experience.)

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Get started RIGHT NOW on your new workout routine by picking up some reading material at your nearest bookstore. We highly recommend our favorite new fitness guide, The RBG Workout: How She Stays Strong . . . And You Can, Too! It’s perfectly illustrated and full of simple, effective exercises from the personal trainer who keeps the spry Supreme Court justice in ageless good shape. (We’ve been doing the exercises in the store, which is probably why you’ve noticed our increased book-carrying capacity and straighter posture lately.)

Ginsburg Workout Book

And be sure to join us here at Parnassus this Saturday, November 4, 2017, at 2 p.m., when the folks — and goats — from Shenanigoats Yoga present their new book, Goat Yoga: The Light in Me Honors the Goat in You.


** It probably goes without saying, but just in case . . . None of these bookseller photos should be considered a professional exercise demonstration; however, both of these books ARE full of professional advice. 

As always, see our calendar online for more fun events!