Blogging, Books, Current Events

Anxious People Book + Wonderful Stamps Too

This month, I hope to bring to you one book a day from that huge list of books pending reviews from my side, plus a little something extra as well. Excluding Sundays of course where I will go back to my usual Sunday Scribblings! If possible, I will go through the books from A through Z. Starting it off for the letter A and the first of the month, I bring you Anxious People by Fredrik Backman.

The extra: stamps….postage stamps, I mean.

Read on to find out more about both.

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Anxious People

Book Info

Anxious People: A Novel by Fredrik Backman (Literary Fiction | Atria Books | September 8, 2020)


Set against the backdrop of a botched bank robbery turned hostage situation, Anxious People takes us on a rollercoaster of events that delve far deeper than its initial premise. Backman’s characters, each with their own set of anxieties and insecurities, find themselves trapped together, creating a catalyst for self-reflection, personal growth, and genuine connections.

My Thoughts

I finally read this book earlier this year after keeping it on the top of my TBR from the time it was released. Over the last couple of years, each additional glowing review about this book or the author’s other books (which I am yet to read as well) tempted me to get started but I put it off until recently. And boy, am I glad I read it.

What I Loved About It

It is easy to simply say – everything.. but the first thing I totally loved here is Backman’s writing. It is brilliant, to say the least. Now I have one more author that I aspire to write like..

Quirky, cool, humorous, a contradiction in itself, sensitive, clever, insightful, and then some..

All those diverse characters ending up together in one place, in that place where they end up being captives in a truly weird hostage situation does not even seem out of place or impossible. And Backman manages to take us into each of these character’s minds as well as move back and forth in time effortlessly.

The book is one that captured my attention once I started reading it and I had to get to the end. I can say lots more but need to stop somewhere right.

In Summary

Brilliant writing, quirky and flawed and real characters, truly cool storyline and wonderful character development, and all those unexpected twists and turns make this book a must-must-read for all.

Stamps, Wonderful Stamps: Therapy for Anxious People?

July 1st is National US Postage Stamp Day, observed on this date for the United States issued its first postage stamp on this date in 1847. While stamps were not required at the time and people could mail their post without a stamp having the recipient make any payments for postage, stamps became mandatory in 1855.

And since that first stamp almost two centuries ago (176 to be exact), stamps have had a cool, colorful, and wonderful journey indeed. In addition, stamp collecting (part of philately) is considered one of the most (if not the most) popular collecting hobby in the world. In an earlier post on my blog, I talk about being an avid(sort of) stamp collector as a kid but then kind of outgrew it until I had my own kids and discovered my father-in-law’s stamp collection a few years ago. Now, while I don’t have that same passion I had ages ago, I do thrill at the discovery of unique stamps or even just fun ones. And continue collecting, albeit at a leisurely pace.

How Stamp Collecting Can Help Anxious People, or Help Deal with Anxiety?

Like with any other hobby, stamp collecting can help people relax and calm down. In the words of Harry Lindquist, founder of Stamps, a leading American weekly publication,

“There is something peculiarly soothing to the mind and calming to the nerves in stamp collecting. No matter how inescapable may be the trouble that is weighing him down, the collector will find temporary forgetfulness in his stamp albums. Then, after an hour or two with his stamps, when he returns to his problem, it is with a refreshed mind and outlook; he often finds that the old enigma has a solution after all, which his tired mind, running in circles, had not been able to discover. The hobby of stamp collecting not only heals and refreshes the tired mind, but it becomes a healthy stimulant to the idle mind.” (source: PhilatelicDatabase)

The article including the above quote from the Philatelic Database has many other examples of how stamp collecting has proven to be a powerful therapeutic and relaxation tool. (link in next section)

This is so very true of collecting stamps and working with them. Even today, when I look at the stamps I have, it makes me feel better in so many ways. The memories of discovering those stamps, the stories behind them, the things I learned because of those stamps, and so much more.

All the Benefits

Thus, stamp collecting is definitely a great hobby to have. Just look at all the pros below

Relatively inexpensive

As long as you are not after those rare stamps, collecting stamps is pretty inexpensive. You can start off your collection with stamp sets online, and since stamps are light, you do not have to pay much in postage (stamps, I mean) for them!

An Art Collection of Sorts

Stamps are like miniature works of art.. So you have a museum within that album!

Cultivating Curiosity and Learning and Stories Too

The history and geography lessons as well as other related learning it contains within is enormous. Stamp collecting definitely broadens our knowledge of the world. We can learn about various cultures, significant events, as well as the history, geography and other stories behind each stamp. This not only fuels intellectual growth but also shifts our focus away from anxiety-inducing thoughts.

That tiny piece of paper includes and inspires so much learning, and this learning can provide an additional sense of accomplishment. In addition, each stamp comes with its own personal story. If used (like in many cases in a stamp collection), then who used it, when, and why make up the stamp’s story with other details coloring the story as well. And in my case, sometimes there is a personal connection to the stamp, and that adds a touch of sweet nostalgia.

Cultivating a Sense of Accomplishment, Mindfulness, and Relaxation

Collecting and organizing stamps brings with it a sense of relaxation and accomplishment that is right at our hands. The repetitive actions involved in sorting, categorizing, and arranging stamps can have a soothing effect on the mind, thus bringing comfort and stability to the minds of not just anxious people but everyone.

That whole process helps our minds focus on the stamps themselves thus improving our mindfulness, and each time we organize the stamps better, or add to the collection, we feel accomplished!

Read More Here + h/t and References:

And Now, the End of This Post

Dear reader, have you read Anxious People? Or any other book by Backman? Your thoughts on the book? Do you collect stamps? If you do, then how long have you been doing so? Your favorite memory? Your favorite stamp? If not, any other collecting hobby?

collection of stamps in a stamp album and pin title says: How Stamp Collecting Can Help Anxious People, or Help Deal with Anxiety?

8 thoughts on “Anxious People Book + Wonderful Stamps Too

  1. I used to collect stamps when I was younger. My son was into for a little while. Just one of those hobbies that went by the wayside. We do still have a small sample of the one’s my son collected when he was in grade school.

  2. Welcome back to the challenge! I’m looking forward to seeing which books are on your list this month! Anxious People sounds exciting to read. As for stamp collecting, I had so much fun doing that when I was younger. I had so many different stamps but when I got married I turned all my stamp collection books over to my little sister. She still has many of them!

  3. Well, I’d rather watch a movie or read a book. But art can be beautiful, so I guess I understand wanting to look at pretty stamps. I have not read the book, and am not likely to, because I fear some degree of violence in the plot. But like you, I do appreciate gorgeous writing and I often wish I could write as beautifully as C.S. Lewis did. And others. Glad you loved the book!

  4. Hello my friend! I hope you are having a good summer so far. I have Anxious People as an audiobook, but I haven’t listened to it yet. Thanks for the review! I’ll have to move it up on the list. Looking forward to reading more reviews from you. – Elisa

  5. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post about “Anxious People” and the connection you made with stamp collecting. Your review of the book was insightful and it made me eager to add it to my reading list. I appreciate how you highlighted the therapeutic benefits of stamp collecting and shared your personal experience. Keep up the great work!

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