I really enjoy occasionally reading science material or a self help book on shabbos and it really gives me a lot of ones shabbos. Can I read such material just to relax?
It is controversial among the poskim if reading science books etc. are included in the prohibition not to read shatrei hedyotos or not. The custom is to be lenient about this, therefore it is permitted, however the Mishna Berura says that a G-d fearing person should preferably abstain from this.
O:CH 307-17, M:B ibid 65.