Enjoy some bibliotherapy with ‘The Novel Cure’ at Truckee Library
Special to the Sun
While self-help books may have been around for nearly a century (think Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” published in 1937), lovers of literature have been using novels either consciously or unconsciously-for centuries. The library, of course, is a treasure trove of literature, both old and new.
Now there’s a nifty new book on the shelves of the Truckee Library to help you navigate through that treasure trove, titled “The Novel Cure: From Abandonment to Zestlessness-751 Books to Cure What Ails You.”
While we read fiction for entertainment, we also learn about life and about ourselves in the process. And, if read at the right moment in your life, a powerful novel can, quite literally, change it. It’s called bibliotherapy.
The Novel Cure is billed as “an apothecary of literary solutions” for whatever troubles you. As the title suggests, the book is arranged alphabetically so you can look up an ailment and find the best novel to read as an antidote to your suffering. Some “treatments” will lead to a complete cure, while others will give you solace, showing that you are not alone.
The goal of the book is to reaffirm literature’s ability to distract and transport, to resonate and reassure, to change the way we see the world and our place in it.
It does not discriminate between emotional pain and physical pain. You can find cures for a broken heart as well as a broken leg. You can find cures for common predicaments like moving, mid-life crises, or finding Mr. or Ms. Right. Life’s bigger challenges such as losing a loved one or becoming a single parent are also covered.
Fears are covered as well, from a fear of commitment to a fear of doing tax returns. Not enough is also a common theme, from risks, not taking enough, to orgasms, (simply) not enough.
Sprinkled liberally throughout the books are a number of Ten Best Lists. Ten of them are age-specific lists from the Ten Best Novels for Teenagers to the Ten Best Novels for Over One Hundreds, and for every decade in between.
Others favorites include Ten Best Novels to Lower Your Blood Pressure, Ten Best Novels for Duvet Days, Ten Best Novels to Drown Out Snoring, Ten Best Novels to Cure the Xenophobic, and Ten Best Novels for Seeming Well Read.
Finally, there are a number of so-called Reading Ailments and their cures. My favorite, as a youth services librarian, is Children requiring attention, too many (CURE: Designate a reading hour.) My favorite as a librarian/bibliotherapist is Overwhelmed by number of books in the world (Cure: See a bibliotherapist).
Drop by the Truckee Library and you will find some of the The Novel Cure’s Ten Best Lists and Reading Ailments posted in rotation over the next few months. Or you can just check out the book itself to peruse at your leisure. If you have a fear of starting, the cure is to dive in at random.
Teri Andrews Rinne is the children’s services librarian at the Truckee Library, 10031 Levon Ave. Call 530-582-7846 or visit mynevadacounty.com/library.
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