Fiction, fantasy and Bibliotherapy


Mmm who reads these days? We read short articles selected by a Facebook algorithm (avoiding the rabbit holes they lead to or disappearing into them), platitudes on Instagram and or a bit of clickbait. An algorithm determines what we click on, what we will see more of and arguably what we believe. We sadly are becoming more focused on what we are focusing on and sometimes that is ourselves.


There are some amazing positives to reading. It takes us ‘out of our own head’ and into the life of the protagonist, studies have shown that it increases empathy, well-being and it can even help to fight dementia. Reading from a broad range of topics increases your emotional intelligence, general knowledge and can be a stimulating conversation topic. Experts recommend reading for 10-20 minutes every morning and memorising it well enough to teach it, both to take advantage of the millions of new brain cells we wake up with every morning and to combat loss of memory as we age.


Reading, fiction and non-fiction, can be an integral part of self-care.  I am part way through between 10 and 15 books…and finish one every couple of weeks and no, and while I will admit I haven’t yet read Ulysses I like serious literature, romance, chick lit, self-help, nutrition, social awareness and feminist literature.


The term Bibliotherapy was coined by a Christian minister over 100 years ago. He explained it as the practice of reading books, apart from the bible, as a form of therapy. There are quite a few books on Amazon on Bibliotherapy with recommendations for what you should read for a variety of ailments or circumstances. From being diagnosed with cancer, to a break up to bereavement…there are fiction recommendations for most situations. The recommendation need not be on the same topic as your situation. Byron Bay even has a GP who holds Bibliotherapy sessions, her prescription…to prescribe books as therapy for your situation.

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