Monday, March 25, 2013

Bibliotherapy

My haul

I've been feeling rather rotten lately and -- what's worse! -- feeling sorry for myself because I feel rotten. Lots of feelings, few of them benign. At times like these I do what any self-respecting bibliophile does: I buy books! I don't need them. I won't even read them immediately. But damnit, I need some bibliotherapy*!! 

I took myself to my local Barnes and Noble on Saturday, accompanied by a short list of books from my wish list. None of them were in stock. Not one! With my brother by my side, I lamented about the many woes of being a reader whose tastes are far superior to the general reading public while I marched towards the magazines to pick up the latest issue of Marie Claire. [Editor's note: Snob? Hypocrite? Probably both.]

Luckily I found a lovely anthology of P.G. Wodehouse fiction just before closing time. While I've been enamored with the Blandings stories for several years now (I pay homage to him here), I still haven't read any Jeeves. Luckily for me, this charming edition contains two Jeeves novels and one collection of short stories: Joy in the Morning; Very Good, Jeeves!; and Right Ho, Jeeves. According to the blurb on the back, 'P.G. Wodehouse is the gold standard of English wit.' I agree! Looking forward to digging into this one, and the cover is so cute...  



I also stumbled upon a bargain priced edition of The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester. This non-fiction text focuses on James Murray, head of the 1887 committee formed to compile the OED, who is surprised to learn that one of the chief contributors to the project is an imprisoned murderer. Gripping material, indeed.


Needless to say, I left the store (haul in one hand, frappuccino in the other) a happy camper. What is it about buying books that boosts one's serotonin levels? Normally I frown upon retail addictions, but how can one argue against a propensity to buying what will actually provide a valuable experience and, ideally anyway, an increase in knowledge (as opposed to the new top that will be out of style in six months)? I mean, really.

Jane Austen also gave me a large dose of medicinal wit. Ah, Jane! I can always count on you. One cable channel thoughtfully broadcast the BBC Pride and Prejudice all weekend long. Consequently, I spent most of it in bed indulging in the following: overdosing on Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy, overdosing on Daniel Vincent Gordh as Darcy in the latest episode of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries (which I've watched more times than I care to admit), or reading Georgette Heyer's The Grand Sophy which features a Darcyesque hero. And you know, between my new haul and the inundation of all things Darcy, I feel infinitely better today than I did on Friday.
 
Bibliotherapy to the rescue! :)

Have you read anything from my haul? Do you have books or adaptations you turn to when feeling down in the dumps? If so, please pass on your recommendations.

*I have shamefully stolen this quaint term from Rachel of BookSnob and Old Fashioned Girls.

10 comments:

Cat said...

I hope the bibliotherapy has worked and you're feeling better.
It's been a long time since I read any Wodehouse but should be just the thing to cheer you up.

Ellie said...

I self-prescribed bibliotherapy too yesterday. Had a bad morning, bought some books, felt much better. It is amazing what a good book can do!

Mark Noce said...

Great post, love the blog, especially the cool pics:) Odd that you went to B&N and they didn't have the books you wanted.

joon*ann said...

I'm totally in agreement on your retail reasoning and you know you're right because it worked! I'm sure you're completely cured by now. :)

Vintage Reading said...

I spend too much money on books, too much time planning what I'm going to read and too much time browsing in book shops but I refuse to feel guilty! Nice post.

Diana said...

Thanks, Cat! Yes, Wodehouse never fails to brighten the bleakest of days. :)

Diana said...

Ellie, it really does make a vast difference. I may have bought one or two more since writing this post. One can't overdose on bibliotherapy, in my opinion!

Diana said...

Thanks, Mark! Truthfully I blame myself and not BN in this instance. I went with a particular list of texts that aren't especially popular in my area. At least they had the Wodehouse!

Diana said...

Exactly, Joon Ann! I wasn't fully cured after this haul, but impulsively picking up a book on another two occasions is certainly helping matters. Perhaps I'll be entirely cured after another purchase or two...or three? ;)

Diana said...

My sentiments exactly, Nicola. I probably spend as much time deciding what will be included in an order as I do reading, but I do pick up the books eventually. All's well that ends well, right?