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Open Dictionary word of the week: bibliotherapy

bibliotherapy (noun)

providing therapy by recommending particular books for people to read
John Cunningham visit[ed] Batley Public Library, where ‘bibliotherapy‘ is helping to tackle health problems.

(Submitted from United Kingdom)

I can strongly recommend bibliotherapy as an effective form of therapy. In particular I recommend Bill Bryson if you like to travel and/or are feeling a bit SAD. Possibly also reading biographies can be uplifting and inspiring or, if they’re tragic, can make you feel better about your own mediocre, but not totally lost to drugs and alcohol, life . Thrillers can get you out of the house if you’re anti-social (for fear that the postman might knock thrice, for example); science-fiction can get you out of the present; historical fiction can reconstruct the past. I may have misunderstood the precise meaning of the word, but from my understanding of it, I’m looking at my bookshelf and thinking I’ll never need a therapist again … and that’s a money-saver. I feel better already!

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Laine Redpath Cole

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