The best way to find yourself is by first losing yourself in a book

By Caitriona Mc Mahon

Have you ever been described as an open book? I have. Ironic enough, considering up until recently I had never even glanced at one.

In a bid to find something other than chocolate I could eat that promised not to expand the waistline I took the advice of fictional bookworm, Rory Gilmore, from the U.S comedy drama, The Gilmore Girls and tried tucking into some books. After all what damage could it do?

A wheelbarrow of books later I was hooked and possibly mistaken for Matilda heading down the road smiling.

You see Libraries are no doubt a hidden treasure. An under used treasure that is 100% free and available all over Ireland.

Stocked wall to wall with inspiration only waiting to be discovered. Let’s face it, holidays do not come cheap these days that’s why I recommend reading as an escape. An escape that can take you on a fictional holiday to a land of bliss or on a trip down memory lane that warms the heart. The choice is yours plus there’s no risk of your luggage going missing

Along with providing book rental they also offer computer /internet access and DVD rental absolutely free, which is ideal for all ages.

On a deeper level, books provide a platform for self discovery. On reading a book, certain aspects may resonate forcing us to reflect on our own lives.

I feel it is through reading between the lines we really learn. Books merely plant a seed, it is up to us to provide water and allow ourselves grow.

“Reading is to the mind, what exercise is to the body,” as Joseph Addison once said.

Have you ever had a book title jump out at you from a shop shelf? If the answer is yes then not only have you possibly a black eye but perhaps it is happening for a reason and that book contains a lesson that will further you as an individual on your journey.

Another vital trick is to choose an appropriate reading space.

Fans of the Gilmore Girls may remember when Rory starts college. Due to her housemates creating distractions she is forced outside to find the perfect reading spot.

When she finds it (A tree that fits her back perfectly), a handsome chap refuses to move. As you can imagine Rory refuses to take no for an answer and cleverly buys the tree from him for 20 bucks.

A clever woman in my opinion and clearly appreciates the importance in having a reading spot you can afford to lose yourself in.

Although our consciousness is taken up with reading what is in front of us, the subconscious will seize the opportunity to absorb the calm music, the silky breeze, the smell of the meadow and so on, maximising the benefits.

Now if you find tracking down the perfect tree to fit your back difficult, Tea n Tales in Abbeyfeale Co.Limerick have the ideal solution to your problem. It certainly solved mine.

Tea n Tales is a haven for book lovers in Limerick
Tea n Tales is a haven for book lovers in Limerick

In the West Limerick town of Abbeyfeale a cafe called Tea n Tales offers something every heart desires. So in a bid to know more I asked Kadie Colbert (Owner) what inspired her to open such a wonderful place:

Opening a shop like Tea n Tales has been a dream of mine for years. Through the years I’ve found that reading self-help books and books on how our thoughts create our reality has helped me immensely. When I started on my journey of self discovery there were just a handful of like minded people here in Abbeyfeale and surrounding areas. We would get together to do meditation and just chat about life, discuss books that we felt may help, so that would mean travelling to Limerick or Cork to find a shop that would have the books we were looking for. From there the idea of Tea n Tales came about – a nice little coffee shop with a relaxation room, inspirational books to read and time out for you where you can sit for hours with out being rushed out the door

As a regular visitor I can honestly say Kadie is a woman of her word. It’s clear for all to see that bringing like minded people, messages of positivity and communities together on a voyage of self discovery is paramount for her and all her staff.

Greeted by a smile and the perfect blend of coffee and books on display you instantly enter a place of tranquillity within yourself.

With coffee and book in hand, you can then proceed to a little haven even Rory Gilmore would approve of.

Dimmed lighting, flickering flame of a fire, and tribal music engulf you as you sink into the soft couches.

Any problems you enter with seem to drift away along with the incense as it burns.

This is more than a cafe – it’s a retreat for the soul and a real treat for the taste buds. I look forward to seeing it grow to a franchise with one in every town and community.

A place that brings people together in the community, distributing positivity to all. If passing through Abbeyfeale heading to Co.Kerry it is a must.

In conclusion one should never under estimate the power of a book and the influence it can have on ones journey. In the words of Harper Lee:

“The book to read is not the one that thinks for you but the one which makes you think”

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