As if you needed another reason to read novels, now there are “therapists” who will prescribe books to help you get through a rough patch. These “bibliotherapists,” who are not trained professionals, offer services to people who might be struggling with issues such as a career change or a break-up.
I know this because of a Time magazine article, “Read a Novel: It’s Just What the Doctor Ordered,” in the November 7, 2016 issue. Ella Berthoud, an artist, & Susan Elderkin, a novelist, met at Cambridge University where they helped fellow classmates deal with problems by leaving books in brown paper bags outside their dorm room doors.
Now they have clients who fill out a questionnaire about their reading interests & personal challenges & pay $125 to lie on a virtual couch for 50 minutes via phone or Skype. At the end of the session, the therapist “prescribes” books, usually fiction.
The Color Purple, by Alice Walker–for falling out of touch with siblings
Jitterbug Perfume, by Tom Robbins–for helping you embrace life
Giovanni’s Room, by James Baldwin–for wishing for a Valentine
The bibliotherapists are capitalizing on something I think a lot of readers have experienced: the healing power of fiction.Let’s hear your thoughts in the Comments.