UAE readers seek out books that focus  on the ‘here and now’ at SIBF 2020  

Books on mindfulness emerged as a popular selling genre  at the recently concluded 39th Sharjah International Book Fair

02:50 PM | 14 Nov, 2020

SHARJAH - 2020 is the year that has changed lives, plunging the world into an uncertain future. As the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic led to an overwhelming sense of vulnerability, the whirlwind of emotions including fear and anxiety has spawned a massive interest in books on mindfulness, said publishers at the 39th Sharjah International Book Fair.

The fear of the unknown has challenged individuals to live in the moment, learn to take one day at a time, and embrace and adapt to new experiences, rather than resisting or fighting them. At no time before has the world felt the need to improve emotional and physical wellbeing as much as it did this year. As the key to stress reduction and overall happiness, mindfulness, or the practice of consciously focusing attention on the present moment, has surged in popularity worldwide. 

This has also reflected in the uptake of books on the subject at SIBF this year, one of the top sellers was Zen – The Art of Simple Living by Shunmyo Masuno, which draws on centuries of wisdom to enable people to worry less about what cannot be controlled. As the perfect antidote to the chaos of modern life, the art of Zen also helps one to eliminate negative emotions and find a renewed sense of peace and fulfilment. 

 A lovely combination of self-care, meditation, and modern spirituality, Natalie Macneil’s The Ritual also found plenty of buyers at SIBF 2020. Featuring 40 empowering spiritual practices from around the world, the book offers simple practices to cultivate well-being, deepen relationships and discover one’s true purpose.

 With colouring gaining global popularity as a deliberate anti-stress therapy and studies showing a correlation between mindfulness and art therapy, another bestseller this year was The Little Book of Mindfulness Colouring featuring 45 original illustrations of the natural world to colour in. The book also has a collection of 50 inspirational quotes to still the mind and relax the body, whilst subconsciously expanding the imagination and nurturing creativity. 

 A scientifically recognised and evidence-backed lifestyle, practising mindfulness is today a recommended daily ritual for those struggling with anxiety and stress in their everyday lives. Creating a greater capacity to deal with adverse events, the role of mindfulness in nurturing feelings of interconnectedness in a world marked by physical distancing and isolation has become increasingly important.

 Stronger focus, memory, and problem-solving are other key benefits regular mindfulness practice brings to those impacted negatively by stressful and traumatic conditions. As a tool that will aid individuals in both the pandemic and post-pandemic future, mindfulness techniques that focus on relaxation have enabled people to savour the simple pleasures of life such as blue skies, blooming flowers, laughter and love, fostering both physical and mental well-being.