can be great medicine for the mind and soul.
For all avid readers who have been self-medicating with great books their entire lives, it comes as no surprise that reading books can be good for you.
Several years ago, I was given as a #gift
a remote session with a bibliotherapist at the London headquarters of the School of #Life
, which offers innovative courses to help people deal with the daily emotional challenges of existence. I have to admit that at first I didn’t really like the idea of being given a reading “prescription.” I’ve generally preferred to mimic #VirginiaWoolf
’s passionate commitment to serendipity in my personal reading discoveries, delighting not only in the books themselves but in the randomly meaningful nature of how I came upon them (on the bus after a breakup, in a backpackers’ hostel in Damascus, or in the dark #library
stacks at #graduate #school
, while browsing instead of #studying
). I’ve long been wary of the peculiar #evangelism
of certain readers: You must read this, they say, thrusting a #book
into your hands with a beatific gleam in their eyes, with no allowance for the fact that books mean different things to people—or different things to the same person—at various points in our lives. I loved John Updike’s stories about the Maples in my twenties, for example, and hate them in my thirties, and I’m not even exactly sure why.
But the session was a #gift
, and I found #myself
unexpectedly enjoying the initial questionnaire about my reading habits that the bibliotherapist, Ella Berthoud, sent me. Nobody had ever asked me these questions before, even though reading fiction is and always has been essential to my life. I love to gorge on books over long breaks—I’ll pack more books than clothes, I told Berthoud. I confided my dirty little secret, which is that I don’t like buying or owning books, and always prefer to get them from the library. Geridwen Dovey
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#alirezaataollahi #علیرضاعطاءاللهی @alirezaataollahi