I read. A lot. It’s therapeutical and just about anyone who really knows me will readily attest to my need for therapeutic intervention. Some of the greatest minds to have ever put pen to a page have lent their wisdoms and talents to greatly benefit my physical and mental well-being. My blood pressure regulates, my blood sugars lower, and my anxieties are quelled when I sit with a book in my hand.
I’ve tried other forms of treatment. I’ve driven to offices in multi-storied medical centers or cozy little cottage-like buildings and sat upon soft leather chairs, scratchy linen covered sofas, or hard plastic chairs and stared across the room at men and women with their achievements and accolades in gilded frames upon their walls, listening, or at least trying to listen, to their assessments and suggestions. They almost always sent me away with prescriptions and referrals, some of which I tried, some of which were necessary, but none of them proffered any relief without medicinal, chemical or what I felt, intrusive aide.
So with the exception of those doctors and specialists I needed to control the physical aspects of my healthcare, I stopped driving to their offices. I stopped seeking assistance in the form of degreed professionals and I sat in my own cozy, softly covered chair in my own lovely living room or beneath the soothing sun beaming down upon my porch and began to read. Reading was nothing new, I’ve devoured books throughout my life, but somehow I had forgotten the healing power of simply relaxing and drifting into another world and losing myself, as well as my worries and fears and whatever ailments are ailing me, between the covers of a book.
Some days, some weeks and months, my need is greater than others. My family often jokes that when I am on a reading bender, it means I’m crazier than usual, and often that is true. Sometimes though, I read simply for the joy of reading. Either way, it benefits me and fills a need within me.
In January I decided I’d keep track of the books I’ve read for the year. I also decided I’d write up a little review for each of them, but after reading one I’d grab another, and then another and the reviews were forgotten. I’m determined to do it still, but I have to finish my current selection first . . . we’ll see what happens.
Maybe my Books I’ve Read list will one day become a Books to be Read for my children and grandchildren and they will begin their own list for future generations of readers. I like the thought of that.
My list thus far is varied and random, as it will always be – Some months the number is higher, some lower. I’m curious to see the picture my monthly page count paints as a reflection upon the status of my state of mind over time.
Books Read in 2016 – January & February
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury – 247 pages
The Tragedy of Mr. Morn by Vladimir Nabokov – 144 pages
Iremonger, Heap House by Edward Carey – 405 pages
Foulsham, Heap House by Edward Carey – 324 pages
Lungdon, Heap House by Edward Carey – 502 pages
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman – 293 pages
The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Expury – 96 pages
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’engle – 245 pages
The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury – 275 pages
Coraline by Neil Gaiman – 160 pages
The Asylum Novellas by Madeleine Roux – 337 pages
Blindness by Jose Saramago – 326 pages
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce – 357 pages
The Confessions of Max Tivoli by Andrew Sean Green – 267 pages
The Defense by Vladimir Nabokov – 256 pages
The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy – 53 pages
Look at the Birdie by Kurt Vonnegut – 251 pages
The Storied life of A.J. Fikry by Gabriella Zevin – 267 pages
How to Think Like daVinci by Daniel Smith – 186 pages
Candide by Voltaire – 130 pages
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel – 333 pages
The Man Who Made Lists, Love, death, madness & the creation of Roget’s Thesaurus by Joshua Kendall – 294 pages
The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King – 495 pages
Alice by Christina Henry – 291 pages
Pride & Prejudice & Zombies by Jane Austin and Seth Grahame Smith – 317 pages
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Phillip K. Dick – 244 pages
Midway into March now and I have a growing stack of books to add to the list and beautifully filled shelves of books waiting to be read. I think my therapy is going well . . .