Thursday, February 24, 2011

Can A Book Cure the Blues?

I say yes.

Last week was particularly challenging and, as those of you who are my Facebook friends already know, my little boy (he's seven) has been diagnosed with a potpourri of learning disabilities. There's no easy fix and we will have ot make major life adjustments to ensure that he gets the help he needs.

In times of uncertainty, I like to head to my bookshelves and just touch the spines of some of my old favorites. I find this tactile experience most comforting. I glanced at the pictures in one of my favorite childcare's books, Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, read a few chapters from
The Secret Garden, examined one of J.R.R. Tolkien's wonderful maps, and lovingly ran my fingertips over the handset type of William Morris's Defense of Guinevere. I also have this super cool Victorian book that shows what people's facial features and head shape reveals about their personality. How I'd love to show it to you!

The smell of the pages, the feel of the covers in my hands, and the words of these familiar friends were an instant boon. How I love books! Everything about them brings contentment.

What book do you reach for when you're feeling blue?

22 comments:

Shiloh said...

I guess I reach for whatever I'm reading at the moment, but I always make sure I have some favorites on standby within easy reach--"Jane Eyre," "Sunshine" or "The Blue Sword," the latter two written by Robin McKinley... Mostly it's the feel of a book in my hands and the smell of the ink on the pages that brings me comfort...

Storybook Woods said...

You know I have severe dyslexic, which I did not even know until I was 10. When I started my blog 5 years ago, it took me almost an hour to write a simple paragraph, one letter with one finger at a time. Now I have written a novel. Was it easy, NO, it is full of grammar flaws, well, was before it was edited. You know what my learning difficulties are what makes me, they are my gift. They force me to just do what I dream of doing in my own unique way. I would not change myself because I think I would not be as creative and bull headed, if it was not for my dyslexia. It is not a short coming in me; it is just part of my uniqueness. It affects my life every day but it is also all I know. Make sure you make your son feel whole, just the way he is. Hugs Clarice

Aurian said...

If I am having the blues, I do reread one of my beloved favourites, so I know for sure it is good, or I watch Grease2 or Dirty Dancing. Those movies always cheer me out of my black mood.

Dru said...

I have a little book of bible quotes that always helps me when I'm at crises. Another pick-me up is my worn copy of Naked in Death by J.D. Robb and to really pick up my spirits, I put in my DVD of Hello Dolly and I'm singing right there with Barbra Streisand.

Tonya Kappes said...

Ellery~I'm so glad you are proactive about your son's diagnosis. By day, I'm an early intervention developmental therapist~so I know what your going through. I reach for my feel good beach reads that don't make me think too much.

Booklady said...

I find just being around books makes me feel better. That's one of the reasons I became a librarian. Books can be as comforting as chocolate. Some of my favorite children's books are anything by Beverly Cleary, Kevin Henkes' Lilly books, and Make Way for Ducklings and Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey. I find McClosky's illustrations very soothing. Best of luck with your son. He's does have one powerful and valuable advantage - YOU.

Anonymous said...

Mary Roberts Rinehart is my author choice for reading comfort food. I never fail to escape with her books.

sumagoo said...

I know how you feel, went through the same with our son. Remember he is your son, you know him better that anyone else.

For books, I need to laugh or be in touch with my family roots, as a reminder that they had it harder than I do, and they made it so can I.
Love Maddie Hunter, and Laura Levine for the laughter.
For family roots read alot of New Mexico and Southern Colorado writers. One favorite is Joe Hayes.

My son's favorite book are still Bill Wallace books. Even at 21 when he is down, he will pick one up.

Kristine said...

A book and a cup o' hot tea are always my first go-to's!

Bella said...

When I'm feeling blue I like to go back to my favorites. Either Pride and Prejudice or an Agatha Christie mystery. Agatha's mysteries always make me feel better, especially the Miss Marple ones.

Becky said...

When feeling blue I need something funny and very light. I reach for The Stephanie Plum Series by Janet Evanovich. Can't help but laugh at the antics between those pages.

On a rainy day, I want some Tolkien. Don't know why, but I feel his books should be read in the rain.

Cozy mysteries always bring me satisfaction, especially if they're British.

signlady217 said...

My Bible, or a cozy, or a Nancy Drew (except she's packed up in a box in the attic!). Also going to a store and reading the greeting cards, that's always a help (although, I tend to start laughing hysterically at some of them and people begin to stare). :)

Annette said...

Ellery, I will hold you and your family in extra prayers. And I do go to books when I need some cheer. I read either my Susan Elizabeth Phillips, or early Julie Garwood romances both are filled with silliness. And seeing silliness is a good thing.

I believe that eventually you and your son and your whole family will find new strengths and new talents. You will realize that your capabilities will overwhelm the problems. I have faith in you.

Ellery Adams said...

Ah, Pride and Prejudice. What more need anyone require from a book? Or a BBC series, eh?

Thank you for all the well wishes. We'll get through this and I'll probably make a bunch of mistakes, but it's a delight to not feel alone - to have so many cyber friends to whine to. ;)

Sara Rosett said...

Love The Secret Garden, too, Ellery. That illustration is the one I remember when I think of the book. I always have a book "in reserve" that I'm holding onto in case I can't find anything else to read, usually by one of my favorite authors--that's where I go if I need an escape or cheering up.

Shushan said...

Like signlady, I often reach for one of my Bibles, followed by a cozy mystery. Occasionally Wodehouse, Dave Barry, Ogden Nash, or a humorous fantasy fills that sad spot.

Serious literature of any stripe won't help me when I am already unhappy. I don't mind watching the BBC Pride and Prejudice when I am down (or my favorite version of the Mikado,) but reading it is something I will only do in a reasonably good frame of mind. :)

Nanc said...

The Little Prince by Antoine Ste. d'Exupery of the Velveteen Rabbit...both books that teach us to love can at times hurt but in the end...it is all worth it. My Bible also reminds me every day that the most important thing above all is to love...as He loved us. Selflessly and with abandon...
Nanc

Mandy said...

My oldest was having a rough day a few months back and I picked up one of my copies of Mandy by Julie Edwards off the bookcase and started reading out loud to her. I'm not sure who felt better, but the familar old "friend" was a nice comfort and I introduced my 14year old to an adventure she probably would've never picked up.

Vickie said...

Books have always been my refuge from whatever is going on in my life, good or bad.
I can't of any one that does it for me, whatever is to hand at the time on the nightstand or what I dig out from the back of the stacks. I am a mood reader.

Carol Brown said...

You and your son will make it through this. As for my "comfort books", there is, of course, the Bible, and I still prefer the 1611 King James Version. Then,those books written by authors who always make me smile for one reason or another. I love Ann B. Ross' "Miss Julia" books, David Rosenfelt's "Andy Carpenter" books, and you. And if I need a real kick in the head to remind me that I CAN do it, there's the old original The Little Engine That Could. Remember, there are some people who have been highly successful in this world who have had serious learning disabilities. With your help, and your encouragement, your son might just be another one of them. And if that doesn't happen, he'll still be the best "he" he can be, with the greatest mother he could have. (And I hope this all makes sense.)

Maggie Sefton said...

Sending out good energy to you and your family. Take care of each other----and yourself.

Bettyann said...

Sending kind thoughts out to you..I love reading, so when I am blue I even read cook books lol