5 Practical Ways To Read With A Horrible Headache

*Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional, nor should this article be taken as a substitute for medical advice from a trained doctor or professional.*

Headaches are the worst.

From a normal headache to a migraine, headaches tend to ruin your day. They are relentless, and it isn’t a pain you can easily ignore. They put you in a fog, and who knows when you’ll be able to see the light of day again. Of course, there are countless remedies for headaches, but some are just a waiting game until they leave. It’s a sitting duck position at its finest.

I suffer from headaches chronically (as I write this, I’m suffering from a headache), so I like to think I know how to entertain myself with a headache. I don’t recommend these tricks with a migraine (honestly, just sleep it out), but for normal headaches, here are five types of reading you can do without feeling like your world is spinning.


1. Your Favorite, Most Read Book

You know that book that’s been read so much, it’s buckling at the spine? The book with coffee stains, scratches from moving boxes, the one that you can remember reading years, maybe decades ago, and many more times after? Yeah, that’s the book you should be reading. You know this book inside and out. In a headache-induced delirium, you are bound to skip words or even whole sentences. Here, that can happen and it’s okay. You’ll still know what’s happened, and a book that has been there for you for so long is a comfort during a time when you’re at your most vulnerable.

My current favorite: Bridge of Birds by Barry Hughart

Source: Amazon

Source: Amazon

2. Young Adult Novels

I love YA novels, even without a headache. But the fact of the matter is that when you have a headache, searching for themes and subtleties aren’t going to be your forte. Most young adult novels are plot driven and very, very fast, meaning you can get through them quickly and be immersed in the world with very little effort on your part.

My current favorite: The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer


Source: Amazon

3. Older Books

It sounds crazy, but books that are printed in older generations are just gentler on the eyes. The pages aren’t pure white, and the text isn’t crammed into one page. It’s all spaced out rather nicely, and with little glare. Also, finding authors who write succinctly is far from impossible. As long as you can find a book that hasn’t been reprinted and redesigned (like Game of Thrones), this is a good pick for reducing eye strain and finding some established authors.

My current favorite: Tailchaser’s Song by Tad Williams

Source: Amazon

Source: Amazon

4. Graphic Novels And Manga

This is a tricky one, because some drawing styles can hurt your eyes rather than help them. But if you can find simple, clean edges, graphic novels and manga can really help because you really don’t need to read that much. A lot of the story is in pictures and movement of the pages, with very little dialogue and narration. Just make sure to test read before you buy.

My current favorite: Full Moon O Sagashite by Arina Tanemura

Source: Amazon

Source: Amazon

5. Visual Novels

If you can’t handle looking at screens of any kind during the throes of a headache, this option is not for you. But visual novels handle a similar logic to graphic novels, because the text is limited on a small screen (a Nintendo DS, for reference.) Again, images and progression will assist you in following the story, but they also offer a level of immersion because visual novels will have you interacting with the story. Of course, if your headache is bad enough, complicated visual novels will have you scrambling, but the simpler ones can definitely help.

My current favorite: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney by CAPCOM

Source: Amazon

Source: Amazon

Can you read with a headache? What do you do that helps? Share below!

YouTube Channel: Good Mythical Morning


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