Reading is an essential skill as we grow up, not until I found this term; bibliotherapy.
I was intrigued with the term as I read it through the local daily newspaper.
Bibliotherapy is a concept of “healing” through reading.
The words come from Greek word which “biblios” means book and the word “therapia” means healing.
As I was searching further for an in depth meaning of the word, it was described as, using literature or books to help people cope with emotional, mental health issues or change in their life.
An article “Heal yourself through reading”, quotes a study by English neuropsychologist, David Lewis, reading does lower the stress levels by 68% compared to music (61%), a cup of tea (54%) and a walk (42%).
The comparison was interesting as I did all of the methods that the study compared, however I could not determined the right solution.
Maybe, next time if there is trouble I might pick up a book rather than going for a walk.
As I was growing up, I learned that to change my life for betterment, I must know how to read well.
I never thought that through reading can heal an injured soul.
Here the concept fascinates me that somehow as humans, when we go through turbulence in our life reading other stories does have a consoling effect on us.
The term was introduced during the first World War where doctors and nurses grappled to heal injured soldiers. A librarian at a veteran hospital introduced books to them in order to treat the mind of the wounded soldiers from the horror of the war.
It was well received.
I was wondering what kind of book that was introduced at that time?
According to Cecilia Peterson in her study shows, literature or books that are recommended to read as part of the therapy is contemporary novels, classic, modern classics, and poetry.
However, nowadays even bibliographies and memoirs can be used as tools for this unique therapy.
Another factor that determined the effectiveness of this therapy is the individual. An avid reader reads more than 3.5 hours per week.
If someone has reading habits cultivated in their early life, then, these are the strong push factors that drive the person into reading.
In order for the therapy to be successful, the reader must first identify the characters in the story that are coping with issues that are like them.
I think at a particular point in time only librarians have the skill to identify the suitable book.
The readers need to immerse themselves in the stories to have an insight into what the character has been through and worked through various solutions.
This will lead the reader to correlate the issues that can be solved using similar solutions.
To live longer
In the article that I mentioned before, a study was done on more than 3600 people over the age of 50 for 12 years. The scientist observed that avid readers lived on average 23 months longer than those who did not read.
This is an open secret for those who want to lead a happy and healthy life even though there is no prescription for a book.
Reading can be done anywhere at any time in your own comfort spaces.
You just need a good book to begin with and a cosy background music and a cup of tea.
As we acknowledge that exercise is good for the well-being of the body, reading is also good for your mind.