How Books Can Heal You?

The following speech was written by Anais G10 as part of an English assignment.

The great Elizabethan bard, William Shakespeare, once said in his play of Titus Andronicus; “Come, and take choice of all my library, And so beguile thy sorrow”.

We are a medicated generation, a generation who spend thousands on pharmaceuticals to heal us physically… but where in the picture does the psychological healing part come in?

You are probably thinking by now “oh not again, another speech about books”. But hear me out. Books reduce our stress levels by 68%. Lowers risk of dementia by 35%. Lowers risk of alzheimer’s by 33% and lowers the rate of mental decline by 32%. In fact, electrical activity in our brain increases and your body relaxes in only 6 minutes after reading a book. Moreover, our brain muscles strengthen which helps improve focus. Convinced yet?

Without reading…our brain declines faster by about 50%… is that what we want? Are you willing to risk being the 1 out of 5 adults who have to deal with mental health problems when RIGHT NOW….you have access to the ways of limiting this? But then again, statistics are not everything.

A book is like a garden carried in our pocket…Aristotle has considered literature to have healing benefits and reading fiction to be a way of treating illness. It is the medicine to treat the soul.

Books create a sense of connection. We can never know everyone. We can never know every culture. We can never experience all of humanity, but books can help us. Books help us develop our skills of the community. Books help us have empathy. Books help create a sense of belonging. We are able to understand our society better because of books, because of the knowledge accumulated in the text.

It creates a fictional simulation that can help us deal with the social and physical world around us. They give us another perspective and help us re-imagine reality. Provide an alternative to help us realize our emotions.

Reading allows us to use our imagination. It satisfies our ungratified wishes. We can share the emotion, feelings and live the experience through our imagination, while this may not be possible in reality.

Books can help us understand ourselves and our emotions better. A Tale of Two Cities, Of Human Bondage, The Little Prince, Harry Potter, Charlotte’s web, The Lord of the Rings. All of these books are printed again and again and aGAIN. Millions of copies have been sold. Why? Readers searches
for a path and confrontation with the real world which corresponds to what the main character of the book is experiencing.

Ever feel that you relate to a character so much that it seems to give answers to your problems?

Reading IS a form of therapy, seeing a character grow helps us grow as well, and helps us see a healthy way of solving issues.

We should look behind us, look by our side, look around us. We see books everywhere. It only takes the will of picking up one book and to read it. So, come… come and take a book from our library, so that this can distract you from your sorrow… so that your time passes by without sorrow…so that
this can heal you.

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