A book can always do something for a psyche – calm it down, cheer it up, instill some missing romance, provide an adventure, travel to an unknown destination – most of the time. The secret to getting lost in a book may be the story, the writing, or the topic, but more likely it’s the reader’s inclination and willingness to give up the present and fall into another world – for better or worse.
When the real world becomes unbearable, and reading a book becomes preferable to doing anything else, no one worries; it’s acceptable to go off in a quiet corner to read and block out the surrounding world.
Nina Sankowitch looked to books to help her cope with the death of her sister. Jan Hoffman of the New York Times describes Sankovitch’s plan to read a book a day as grief therapy, chronicled in Sankovitch’s book, Tolstoy and the Purple Chair.
“I was looking to books for more than just escape and pleasure.”
She read Toni Morrison, Leo Tolstoy, Ian McEwan, Edith Wharton, and more. Some books she found:
- The Laws of Evening – short stories by Mary Yukari Waters
- Little Bee by Chris Cleave
- The Weird Sisters
- Blood, Bones, and Butter
Stacks of books beckon – sometimes reading can just make you feel better.
- Nina Sankovitch, Allaying Grief Through Books (nytimes.com)