New word for an old trick

Apparently, there is a word for what I've been doing since I turned in my dissertation, its called bibliotherapy. This is what I've always done whenever I've been under too much stress to function. How can submitting one's dissertation induce stress, you ask, since it would more likely seem to make it disappear? Well, I asked myself the same question, until my friend G. patiently explained, this is Transition Time for me, with not one, but two, capital T's. Even though the dissertation has yet to be defended, the impending changes are causing Alice some emotional turmoil, which she won't detail here at this moment.

The more pressing matter is, what is she doing about it? Reading, reading and more reading. I am pleased to report that I'm now caught up on all of the New Yorker issues that had piled up, almost done with a pretty decent novel, and finally taking the time to read the paper every morning, instead of guiltily tossing it aside to tackle my writing and barely skimming it before going to bed. This lavish lifestyle does not afford time for much else. New York Times for breakfast, New Yorker for lunch, and the novel at bedtime. The pre-semester clean has yet to happen. So does the 30 minutes per week of exercise that I've signed up for at The Active Academic. As you can see from my things to do list, I have yet to do laundry or buy a calendar for 2008. These are trivial matters that will be attended to one way or the other. But hey, 2008 has been branded the year of reading, so go out there and do some bibliotherapy for yourself. Still hesitant? I haven't exactly made a case for it myself, pointing out the practical fallouts, but as the Guardian puts it convincingly:
Books don't always save lives: writing about the Holocaust didn't prevent Primo Levi from ultimately committing suicide; and the reading - or perverse misreading - of The Satanic Verses led to the deaths of innocent people. But literature's power to heal and console outweighs its power to do damage. Hector, in Alan Bennett's The History Boys, puts it beautifully when he describes how, in the presence of great literature, it's as if a hand has reached out and taken our own. That's the hand which Davis is trying to extend.

Plus, at a public library, its even free!

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