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Reading for the Stressed September 16, 2009

Posted by bookgoddess in Books, Fiction, Mysteries, Public libraries, Reading.
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And who isn’t, these days?  If you haven’t personally been afflicted by unemployment, health issues, concerns about children, etc., I’m reasonably certain that you are closely acquainted with people who have. 

Everyone copes with stress somehow, and of course some responses are healthier than others.  Unsurprisingly, I think one of the healthiest resources would be a good book.  For our purposes, books can be useful, or distracting, or in some cases, both. 

Let’s assume that you really can’t do too much about the stressful situation in which you find yourself.  You’re sitting by the hospital bed, you’re waiting for someone to come home, the results of your test won’t be available until tomorrow.  You may want something to distract you.  My regular readers know that I favor mysteries, and one reason is that they almost invariably feature a resolution.  This can be a very welcome vicarious experience when your life has gone awry. 

Your choice may be something other than a mystery, and I say, go for it.  You might even consider nonfiction.  Our next month’s selection for the Second Saturday Book Club is The Worst Hard Time:  The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl by Timothy Egan.  I suggested this book because I thought it might give us some perspective on our own economic crisis.  We shall see how that goes. 

On the other hand, escape reading of any kind will only take you so far, and I want to remind you that the libraries and bookstores are filled with useful books for almost any situation.  If you’re facing divorce, you might be well advised to read a book for laypersons on the topic.  Educating yourself about health issues is essential.  There are lots of books on how to save money and cope with financial difficulties. 

Two important reminders:  Make sure that you are choosing a resource by someone who has the appropriate qualifications for the topic.  And get professional help if you need it. 

What about those books that are both useful and entertaining?  One of my friends, who adores romance novels, claims that they helped her to know what kind of men to avoid and who to marry.  I think she and her husband have been together happily for twenty years or so.  I make no representations that this will work for you, but I am not one to argue with success. 

Happy Reading! 

The Book Goddess