Self-medicate with a book

I’ve been feeling down lately. Nothing major, probably due to the gloomy weather, lack of sunlight and Christmas stress. But I’ve also been reading a lot of dystopian fiction which it occurred to me might not be helping. When I finish a book and need to take a look out of the window to ensure I’m in the real world and that the book world exists only on the pages I’ve just set down, maybe I shouldn’t be surprised if my mood is less than perky.

One of the most wonderful things about books is that they let you slip on someone else’s skin and live their life for a while, and maybe I should treat that priviledge with caution. I don’t read horror deliberately because a horror story takes wa-ay too long to leave me after I’ve finished the book, so it’s reasonable to think that other genres will have an effect and should be rationed. Books allow you to “walk a mile” in someone else’s shoes; sometimes I should run a mile rather than accept that offer.

Now, perhaps this is akin to the notion that shoot-em-up video games “make” us violent and my mood is nothing to do with my reading matter, but I’m taking no chances. To perk myself up I’m reading a cosy romance where I know that however bad things might appear, life will come right for the characters in the end.

How about you – do you find your mood changes with your reading matter?

2 thoughts on “Self-medicate with a book

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