And Reading Therapy (Or, A Future Occupation?)

Bibliotherapy. Evidently, it’s a real thing. Of course, any reader can tell you the mental and emotional benefits of reading. (Not just self-help books either but fiction.) It’s an escape into a fictional world. The Rivendell to the journey through life.

But it’s also a way to deal with problems. Last time, I wrote about how writing has helped me through different events in my life. (Okay, so I only listed one major example, but there are plenty of others.) Reading has done the same.

During that same time of growing up that I mentioned in the last post, I was very much into The Lord of the Rings. Like, my mom and I had weekly marathons of all three films. I found myself relating heavily to Sam Gamgee. He is the epitome of loyalty. The journey wasn’t really his, but he wouldn’t let Frodo go alone. He supported Frodo at every turn, even when that meant he would inevitably die. I was good at being a friend before, but I think I became a better one thanks to Sam.

Evidently, though, this idea of bibliotherapy started with the Greeks and has carried on into modern society. And for good reason. It works. And here’s the original article that inspired this post in the first place: “Bibliotherapy Is Real and Wonderful.” (Newly discovered note about the link: It now redirects to an offer to download their plug in before showing the article. Obnoxious, I know. If you click on the round “Go to blog post” at the bottom, it’ll show the content I meant for you to see. Sorry about that!)

So I suppose this means that, if I ever decide to move away from teaching, I can become a bibliotherapist instead.

What books have helped you through hard times in your life? Would you want to be a bibliotherapist too?


4 responses to “And Reading Therapy (Or, A Future Occupation?)

  • Anthony Lee Collins

    I tried to go to the link, but a popup popped up that wanted me to add their addin to Chrome in order to fix my grammar in everything I write. I found this to be presumptuous.

    So, I’m back here. :-)

    I find that movies are more therapeutic at times than books (for me). Moonrise Kingdom is a recent one. How can you not feel good watching that?

    (Also, the journey may not have been Sam’s, but I’ve always thought it was his story.)

    • S.B. Roberts

      Sorry about that! I’ll see if I can fix it. It’s been a couple of week since I originally found the link so Lord only knows what’s happened since then.

      Yeah, there is something especially soothing about movies too. I wonder if movie watching therapy is a thing yet. :)

  • Josh Glover

    Bibliotherapy is most definitely a real thing in my opinion, like you the Lord of the Rings was definitely the most therapeutic reading journey that I’ve ever embarked upon.

    The sense of hope that Tolkien purveys is also a great help if you’re in a bad place, it’s one of the true beauties of hope, and it’s contagious.

    • S.B. Roberts

      That’s for sure. The books are so hopeful, even when things are at their most dismal. I realize there aren’t always happily ever afters to every real life story, but those are the sorts of stories I would rather read. :)

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