Meet the bibliotherapist who gets paid to prescribe books to Aussies that are feeling down.
Ever heard of a bibliotherapist? Nope? Neither had we – until now, that is.
A legit profession, a bibliotherapist is someone who prescribes books as an unofficial form of therapy, or to help someone during a particular stage in their life – something Lucy Pearson, Bibliotherapist and Kobo Ambassador, proudly does as one of her many jobs.
“While I’m by no means a therapist, I’ve seen the many and varied benefits of books both as a reader and someone who has spent the best part of a decade recommending books to other people,” explains Pearson. “I recommend books to people for a number of reasons – it could be anything from a reader looking for a pick-me-up, to someone who needs help mending a broken heart or a friend feeling uninspired.”
While she doesn’t have the exact number, Pearson explains that she has been approximately reading 50 books a year for the past 15 years, meaning she has ticked-off about 1000 books since turning 18. Though it was once she started working on her blog, The Literary Edit, that readers would go to her for book recommendations – eventually turning into a side hobby.
“During lockdown, more and more people were turning to books as a form of escapism, and many people found themselves with more time than ever before to read,” she explains. “My bibliotherapy sessions were subsequently born as a way to tailor reading recommendations to the individual needs of everyone who came to me for tips on what to read next. A common problem people have is that they want to increase their reading, but they think they don’t have the time. I encourage everyone to keep up these reading habits, whether that be a traditional paperback, ereader like a Kobo or audiobook on your phone.”
So how does she match a book to a person? Well, there are a few things to factor in…
“I always try to spot a pattern in someone’s previous reading habits, or to really get to the root of exactly what they hope to achieve through books. If, for example, a reader came to me nervous about impending motherhood, rather than recommending they read a guide to parenting, I might suggest a selection of books that explore motherhood in all its varied forms.”
Here, Pearson suggest five books, for five different moods.
I think sometimes the best remedy for someone feeling sad is to really get lost between the pages of an unputdownable book, so I’d choose a really captivating classic like Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier.
The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robyn Sharma. I was living in Bali when I first read this book, and have since recommended it to almost everyone. A book that really changed my approach to both life, and the inevitable stresses that come with it, it’s a soothing balm of a book.
In need of a Laugh
I Feel Bad About my Neck by Nora Ephron and The Hungover Games by Sophie Heawood are my two go-to books when for anyone who needs cheering up. Both memoirs, both utterly hilarious, everyone should read them.
How to Fail by Elizabeth Day. For many of us, anxiety can be linked to a fear of failure, and Elizabeth Day’s brilliant exploration of failure – and how it makes us better as people – is a must read for everyone.
Chase the Rainbow and In Search of Silence by Poorna Bell. Two of the most beautiful memoirs I’ve read, Poorna wrote them in the wake of her husband’s death, and they’re both profound, powerful, and beautifully written.
Source @womenshealth.com.au: Read more at : womenalive.org