Can books cure disease?
Novels of all kinds, detective, historical, fantastic, love … We go to them when we need comfort, entertainment, throw us a few laughs or evade our everyday problems. But what if the books could cure these problems? Could they be a real remedy?
Immerse yourself in a good book is much more than get lost for a few hours in another universe, it is brought back with us everything that inspired us the plot or personal. Novels not only inform us or entertain us also motivate us, help us to reflect and heal us of our ills. They help us to evade our problems, but also to return to them reloaded and more eager than ever to deal with and solve inspiration from our favorite hero or heroine.
It is what is known as bibliotherapy, a therapy based on guided reading (ideally done with a biblioterapeuta) leading to reflection and in which cure is understood to be open to another dimension.
The first thing to understand is that there is no need to distinguish between physical illness and mental or between big and small problems. The right book can be the perfect remedy if what you want is to find yourself, your soulmate or motivation to give a total turn your life around. But it is also a good remedy for more mundane situations, like when you’re moving house or you’ve broken a leg. There is a literary remedy for every illness or situation and the solution is not only in the pharmacy but also in your library friend, in your library or in your e-book reader.
Bibliotherapy is not just self-help books
Two thousand years of history of literature go far and fans to read to the Yellow Pages have been using novels, consciously or unconsciously, for centuries as if they were self – help books. Balzac pills, salves Agatha Christie, aspirins against headache prescribed by Terry Pratchett and hundreds of yummy syrups manufactured by other mythical authors: Hemingway, Saramago, Cervantes, John Kennedy Toole, etc.
Sometimes, it is the story that engages us and shows us another view, sometimes, is the vibrant prose that gives us a shot of energy and other times, it is the rhythm of poetry which stimulates parts of the brain. a good book is the best medicine.
When you get straight into a novel, turning page after page, you get to see what the character sees, playing what the hero plays, learn what you learn … Yeah, you think you’re sitting on your couch, but really, your senses, your soul, your thoughts, are in a completely different place. In short, you travel to another world accompanied by the author. And around, your life will not be the same.
Science proves it
In 2013, a group of psychologists from the New School for Social Research in New York found that reading literary fiction increased our ability to understand the emotions of others.
Another study by researchers at Ohio State University in 2012 found that reading can even change the behavior of the reader. And another (more!) Study at the University of Liverpool concluded that readers have up to 21% less likely to experience depression than non – readers, and also enjoy greater self-esteem. And at the University of Sussex they have found that after six minutes of reading we can reduce our stress to 68%.
What is great news for those who cannot live without a book in hand?
For every problem there is a remedy and a book
Every year thousands, hundreds of thousands of books are published, but only a few life – changing. Decide what books to read as your circumstances are difficult. And besides, life is too short to waste time reading bad books. Make sure you’re well advised.
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While some librarians remedies do not need the prescription of an expert. We all know that if we are suffering an outbreak of adolescence (because everything directs our eyes and nobody understands us) there is nothing like reading The Catcher in the Rye of JDSalinger. Or that if we suffer for adultery (that of our partner or own) have to manage large amounts of Madame Bovary of Flaubert or Anna Karenina Tolstoy. The broken hearts heal with Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë and if you have reached forty and have something like a crisis can heal you reading Fannie Flagg and fried in Whistle Stop Cafe Green Tomatoes . For the times when we suffer constipated not many remedies in the pharmacy, but they are the perfect excuse to get into bed with a comforting reading that you remove all evil, something like The Princess Bride by William Goldman or age of innocence by Edith Wharton.
If you have a sudden attack of cowardice you will have to take a dose of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and if all you want is to mourn as if there was no tomorrow have to decide between prescribe a pill of Doctor Zhivago or a little of the Notebook .And if you are depressed you can always autorecetarte a little more Plato or less Prozac .When you’ve decided to quit smoking once and for all can read it is easy to quit if you know how. And to stress there is nothing like coloring books, as I have here . For insomnia there is nothing like reading The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa and if you are immersed in a lethargic state, give it a chance to Don Quixote. To combat uncontrolled lust the girl Pearl Tracy Chevalier and to overcome injustice, the reader of Bernhard Schlink.
Find that reading is not a waste of time, but an incredible way to live experiences and emotions that otherwise would take you so much to live … or you would not otherwise. A magical way to discover another view of life and the consequences of the actions of others, the best example. And of course, learned that lesson, being wiser and more empathetic, it is hard not to become a better person. Visit http://ish-world.org/ for more tips and ideas.