READING DISEASE AND OTHER DISORDERS: a treatment without pills for readers

TITLE: The Novel Cure

AUTHOR: Ella Berthoud and Susan Elderkin

AVAILABLE: English and Italian

the novel cure

Pills, tablets, syrups, granny remedies and a blanket are our best friends in illness time. Often, on the night table, there are a good cup of tea and the doctor’s number. Just in case.

When you feel sick, obviously, projects, homeworks or houseworks are off limits: your mind couldn’t focus on anything. These uncomfortable days are sometimes lighter thanks to books. Have you ever paid attention to it? There is always a book near a patient.

In these cases you should read “The novel cure”: it’s a very unusual book, in fact it’s structured like a medical dictionary with a great number of diseases in alphabetical order. For all of them you find one or more reviews of books you should read to recover your health. Look for melancholy, cold, broken heart, broken leg or sneeze. Yes, even for constipation! If you need more books to feel well there are short lists of titles that could ease your recovery. Or to spin it out, of course.

I hear you… you are afraid of this new type of treatment. Don’t worry, the authors are the best experts in this field. Ella Berthoud is a painter and an art teacher, Susan Elderkin, instead, is a writer. They founded together a bibliotherapy service some years ago and “The novel cure” is the summary of their researches. All remedies have been tested on humans and there isn’t any type of side effects. The style is simple without being trivial, it’s well-finished, but not polished.

The authors already knew that for bookworms a good book’s power can recover everything (or pretty much), but the experience could be positive even for that strange species of human being which mysteriously dislike reading. However the selection is very hard because of the excellent authors’ expertise: Daisy Ashford, George Perec, Shaun Tan, Philip K. Dick, Wilkie Collins, Amando Jorge, Helen Fielding, Nikolaj’ Gogol, Lucio Apuleio, Philip Pullman…

All things considered, do you really need your sleeping pills when you have hundreds of books waiting for you?

Vulp

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