Bibliotherapy – Tolstoy and the Purple Chair

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:

Stacks of books beckon – sometimes reading can just make you feel better.

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6 thoughts on “Bibliotherapy – Tolstoy and the Purple Chair

  1. Leeswammes

    I like that: bibliotherapy!

    I read the book but wasn’t too impressed. It was more about the author telling about her history and how she tried to cope with the death of her sister. The actual book reading didn’t take as large a place in the book as I’d hoped. Others liked it better than me, though.

      1. Leeswammes

        Yes, definitely, and what your expectations are. I was expecting a lot of stories on how she was indulging in her books – but when I started to think about it, I realised that that would be quite quick and boring – what can you say about that? Anyway, the actual theme of the book wasn’t really for me.

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