The Novel Cure is a fascinating book – not one that you read from cover to cover, but one that you use in a variety of ways. These can range from when you have an ailment (see ailments index in back of book), when you have a craving for a certain author (see author index in back of book), for when you want to share how good reading can be for you, for having a giggle with the girls/boys, for just dipping into to look for your next “good read”, and for genuinely prescribing bibliotherapy.
This wonderful bibliotherapy tool by Ella Berthoud & Susan Elderkin isn’t just for professionals, but it does provide a professional level of knowledge about what can “cure” you in the world of books.
A few examples that I have personally used are:
Ailment: tea, unable to find a cup of – The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
Who could probably have more trouble than oneself in finding a brew than Arthur Dent, when he finds himself spaceship-side, and in need of a good cuppa. Reading Chapters 16 and 17 will do you the world of good. In fact, when you read what Berthoud & Elderkin have to say on the matter, you will no doubt end up reading the whole book as I did.
Ailment: anxiety – The Portrait of a Lady, Henry James
Again, the beauty of a good cup of tea (I sense a theme in my life here), and nowhere is better for it than out on the lawn of one’s country house, on a beautiful summers day with blankets strewn with books laid about like invitations to a party. Just reading Chapter 1 will “cure” you, at least for the duration of reading anyway. Again, when you read the explanation by Berthoud & Elderkin on their reasons for suggesting this reading, you will find your nearest bookshop or Library, and get your hands on a copy toot suite!