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Crossword puzzles: They're not just a relic of the pre-internet, pre-television, pre–information overload digital age in which we currently live.
It may seem like crosswords are merely an artifact of a simpler time, when you would wave to your neighbors as you walk down the driveway on a Sunday morning to retrieve the newspaper, bringing it back inside to peruse as you sip from a warm mug of coffee, a sunlight-dappled scene of calm. But they're so much more than that.
Crossword puzzles are exercises for your brain. They're the mental version of going to the gym, except you can do them from the comfort of your own couch, wearing pajamas, surrounded by last night's takeout if you so choose.
As someone who enjoys words, logic, and sitting quietly with a cat on my lap, I realized in recent months that crossword puzzles would be a natural hobby for me to take up.
Which is why I logged onto Amazon and ordered some "best of" books offering 50 puzzles each, from easy Monday puzzles to challenging Friday puzzles. (I'm leaving the ultra-tough Saturday and Sunday books alone until I get more comfortable in my solving abilities, tbh.)
And honestly, getting these puzzle books was one of the best decisions I've made recently.
Sure, you can just find crossword puzzles online if you so desire. But there's something charming, something pleasant, about taking hold of a pencil and eraser and putting them to paper. Watching as body and mind come together, the lead flicking across the pages of the book, moving in harmony with each epiphany that comes into your head. It's damn poetic, ok?
Plus, it's the perfect activity to engage in while my roommate's cat climbs all over me after getting home from work. Crosswords + cat = win/win.
If you're looking for a way to turn a $10 purchase into hours of intellectual fun, let me firmly recommend giving crossword puzzle books a chance.
You can also subscribe to a local or national newspaper that offers crosswords, but that only gives you one each day. And once you start solving, you'll want so much more than that. Your brain will thank you.