Read a book month September 2023
A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.
George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire #5).
You’ve probably noticed in the last week or so that the evenings are getting shorter, the nights a little colder and that the leaves are beginning to fall from the trees – a sign that Summer is just about over; days will get shorter, the weather may deteriorate and we’ll have more opportunity to stay indoors. September is a great time for the Read a New Book month; September 6th is the National Read a Book Day 2023.
As a child I loved to go to the local Library; it was a place filled with magic and imagination and information! I soaked it all up like a sponge, reading about far away places; I could be lost for hours in a good book.
I would then go home with an armful of books, read them avidly then go back for more.
What did I read?
Everything! I worked through the Enid Blytons and loved the Mallory Towers books, then found Elinor M Brent-Dyer, who wrote about the adventures of the girls of the Chalet School; I was thrilled by the antics of girls in an international chalet school with exotic backgrounds and unusual names. Their lives were very different to my own and I loved to read of their adventures.
I moved through the classics such as Lorna Doone, Treasure Island and Anne of Green Gables, then later onto Mills and Boon style stories and Dennis Wheatley, alongside non-fiction books on all manner of things, including UFOs and aliens; I also learned new skills – just by reading books.
When our children were young they followed the same pattern and read avidly, with the added bonus of audio cassettes, audio books and later ebooks. In our house, Harry Potter was a great favourite!
We always had lots of books in the house, some from the Library, some new; whenever we went away we would load up with charity shop books which were then passed on in the next town or made their way into my classroom collection, alongside fishing and cycling magazines, Argos catalogues and lots more.
It was always very satisfying to see Year 8 boys and girls engrossed in everything from Dick King-Smith to Peter Clover’s “Sheltie” to JK Rowling, Ursula Le Guin, Alan Ahlberg plus non-fiction and maps.
What does reading have to do with therapy clients?
When I start work with new clients, particularly those with anxiety, I ask questions about their interests and what they do for fun. Reading is still quite a popular activity but when anxiety rises the ability to read anything of any length diminishes. It can be a source of great sadness that a previous pastime is no longer accessible because they just can’t hold onto the plot.
It’s a really good measure of progress when a client tells me that they can get through something longer than a couple of pages.
What books do you like to read?
Nowadays I have a few things on the go at the same time – various authors connected to my work, short stories, murder mysteries and craft/cookery books. My most recently downloaded from Kindle is “She Says She is My Daughter” by Lauren North; I’m saving it for the next time we are travelling.
Where do you like to read?
I like to curl up on the sofa or in a big chair with the cat by my side or on my lap.
When do you like to read?
Sunday morning or late Saturday afternoon are good for reading; I don’t read novels late at night because I would just keep reading until the story ended!
How do you like to read?
I prefer to have a good chunk of time if I am reading a novel, but do love to dip into other books when I have 5 minutes.
Why do you read?
I love to escape from the real world; I also spend far too much time looking at screens!
You’ve seen my answers; what would your answers be to each of those questions?
Remember, I am not a doctor and cannot diagnose; if you have health concerns you should speak to your GP, a pharmacist, call 111 or consult the nhs website.
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