I knew not to look at my phone first thing long before Patricia Lockwood confirmed that it was a bad idea, but for whatever reason, I think about what she said every time I wake up and stretch my claws towards the bedside table where my hateful phone sits festering and waiting to tell me the news.
Paul Ford: A Defense of the Internet’s Absence of Meaning (The New Republic)
The lesson of that kind of reading is a simple one. It has taught me that my own life is ephemeral. Despite all the heroic myths about the unique, irreplaceable preciousness of our daily lives, I am absolutely convinced that someone, someday 50 or 100 years from now, will be working at a computer near where I am seated right now, and he or she will come across the address of my office mentioned in this article—902 Broadway—and will read with amusement or wonder or puzzlement about my experiences. I greet you, and the people who follow you, and the ones after them, and I hope that I give you a moment’s satisfaction, and that you take as much pleasure from your search as I did.
Ceridwen Dovey: Can Reading Make You Happier? (New Yorker)
Bibliotherapists Ella Berthoud and Susan Elderkin prescribe fiction for healing and self-exploration.
Berthoud and Elderkin are also the authors of “The Novel Cure: An A-Z of Literary Remedies,” which is written in the style of a medical dictionary and matches ailments (“failure, feeling like a”) with suggested reading cures (“The History of Mr. Polly,” by H. G. Wells). First released in the U.K. in 2013, it is now being published in eighteen countries, and, in an interesting twist, the contract allows for a local editor and reading specialist to adapt up to twenty-five per cent of the ailments and reading recommendations to fit each particular country’s readership and include more native writers. The new, adapted ailments are culturally revealing. In the Dutch edition, one of the adapted ailments is “having too high an opinion of your own child”; in the Indian edition, “public urination” and “cricket, obsession with” are included; the Italians introduced “impotence,” “fear of motorways,” and “desire to embalm”; and the Germans added “hating the world” and “hating parties.”