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Consumer Watch: Reading for stress relief


Oklahoma entrepreneurs looking to make reading as a form of stress relief a part of their subscription box plan. (KOKH/PNG)

Subscription boxes continue to grow in popularity. From clothes and razors to make-up and food, Forbes magazine says the industry is growing more crowded, but remains popular. The magazine also says top subscriptions include IPSY, Blue Apron, and Hello Fresh. Of the top ten subscriptions, none are book subscription boxes, yet. Now, two young Oklahomans are making a space for themselves in this industry, and hoping to help clients be less stressed in the process.

It was dealing with a disease that inspired Literacy Lounge founder Harmony Tamaalevea.

“I got really down and depressed, and that is kind of when I picked up reading again. It helped me physically and emotionally, “says Tamaalevea.

Tamaalevea has Lupus, an autoimmune disease.

“During my-- it was the fall semester of my senior year of college, I had a flare up, so I couldn't go to work, I couldn't go to school. “she says, and it was reading more that helped keep her feel happier, and sparked the idea.

Now, Tamaalevea and fiancé Dorion Gigger say they want to support authors and build a stronger community through Literacy Lounge-- a monthly subscription box highlighting black literature

“People are always on their phones. They are always, you know, busy, and a lot of times you don't sit down and take the time to just focus on just one thing, “says Gigger, co-founder.

Gigger adds that on top of helping people practice more self-care by reading, Literacy Lounge wants to create a space for more diversity on your reading list.

“We want to be able to create change, make an impact. That is the main thing -- it is not just us selling a box, we are creating a community, “he says.

A 2009 University of Sussex study does point to reading as being able to reduce your stress levels by more than half. With that information at hand, the boxes include a book and other a few extras to help enhance the relaxing reading experience. That study on reading to de-stress found that it really didn't matter what kind of book you read, as long as it is something you enjoy-- you'll benefit from stress relief.

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