Reading Therapy

I participated in a reading last week at a lovely small town Saskatchewan library along with a friend of mine, Annette Bower. I read from my romantic suspense, Backlash, and she read from her newly published e-book, Moving On: A Prairie Romance. An old converted school house with original tin ceilings and hardwood floors, it contained a small library and an art gallery. We read in a cosy room in front of a beautiful mural created by young local artists to fifteen or twenty interested attendees.

I had a very entertaining conversation with an older woman who hadn’t read a book of fiction since high school. It’s true. Apparently, it’s possible to go fifty or sixty years without reading a book. I’m sure she’s enjoyed many other creative pursuits, but still…

I thought about all those times I’ve read books to save my sanity. Like recently, when I found myself awake at 2:00 am three or four nights in a row because I was coughing and couldn’t sleep. Tucked up in bed, propped up against a mound of pillows, Vicks Vapor Rub smeared on my chest, waiting for the cough medicine to kick in, I poured through four books.

On those bi-monthly weekend Greyhound bus rides from Regina to Saskatoon to visit my now husband in my twenties. Airports, hotel rooms, doctor’s offices. What do people do in these places if they aren’t reading? Okay, excluding hotel rooms!

On our way home from the reading we talked about creative ways to promote ereaders and ebooks. Someone mentioned their niece reading on her ereader while breastfeeding her baby. Oh, how I wished I’d had one way back when to pass those long hours.

It’s been a long day and the next one promising to be just as long. What do you do? You pick up a book and allow the story to sweep you away. There’s nothing quite like immersing yourself in a great book. I’ll even take a not-so-great book over no book. I’ve used books to soothe away teenage angst. I remember once, shortly after moving away from home for the first time at eighteen, a group of girlfriends got together one night to watch the movie: Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I read an entire Harlequin romance once I returned home to my dark, little, very empty house. I don’t remember the name of the story, but it saved my sanity that night.

When has reading saved your sanity?

I hope you check out my friend, Annette Bower and her new release, Moving On – A Prairie Romance.

Moving On-A Prairie Romance

Anna is a mysterious woman that has just moved to Regina Beach. The residents of the small town know everyone’s business and they are very interested in discovering Anna’s secrets. Nick was a Sergeant in the Canadian Army, doing active duty until a horrific accident sent him home to recover. He helps Anna feel safe and comfortable in her new environment, just as he has always done for his men in strange, dangerous places. Meanwhile, he focuses on preparing for his future physical endurance test to prove that he is capable of returning to active duty.

Anna doesn’t talk about her past, and Nick doesn’t talk about his future therefore she is shocked to discover that his greatest wish is to return to active duty. She won’t love a man who may die on the job again. Intellectually, she knows that all life cycles end, but emotionally, she doesn’t know if she has the strength to support Nick.

6 thoughts on “Reading Therapy

  1. Can non-readers be brought into “our” world? (Genuine question.)

    Speaking from my teacher perch, “I don’t read fiction” comments are often spoken from fear. Somehow the pressure experienced at school concerning reading has stayed with the person (and there are dozens of reasons reading in school could instill fear). But the Harry Potter books were read by hundreds of thousands of non-readers, too-busy-to-read readers, and don’t-read-fiction readers. For the right combination of hero, conflict, and subject, even non-readers will give a book a try.

    Attending a book reading when you don’t actually read … hmm. Is it possible she wanted to be convinced to give reading for pleasure a go? Or maybe the ad for attending was a bit of a Harry Potter lure for her — and did she say which aspect lured her inside to hear you two?

    • Hi Lynn,

      My answer is absolutely! This particular lady left with a free copy of the SRW’s anthology of short stories about Saskatchewan. She promised to read the one she had a connection to. So, who knows? Maybe she’ll find a new love – reading!

      In this lady’s case I’d say, yes, schooling had something to do with her reluctance to pick up a book! She listed the three books she’d read in school. She still remembers them and that say something. You bring up very interesting points about books being read by non-readers. Look also at Fifty Shades of Grey. This book is also being read by others who wouldn’t have erotica before, not to mention the non-readers who are curious and picking up a copy. It’s on our book club list for next year and we’ve never read a book like this. EVER. I think Twilight falls into this category, too.

      As for why she was there? She had a person connection to Annette and the setting for her book. Hopefully, she’ll decide to read that story, too.

  2. I love cozy libraries like that. I’m not native to Saskatchewan and I’ve been discovering so many great libraries and towns here.

    I’m not sure I could imagine ever not reading. Reading is my go-to activity for everything, whether I’m happy or just want to escape life stresses. I have a few favorite books and whenever I need a break from life, I will re-read these books and feel instantly renewed and ready to take on anything again.

    • Hi, Bella. Nice to see you here! The province is full of those kinds of places and I’m glad your having fun discovering them. I re-read books, too. They are especially great during times of stress – when only an old friend will do.

  3. It’s so difficult to credit someone who gets to a fair old age and doesn’t read books. I guess I must be lucky that I’m always in an environment where reading matters…a lot! As an ex teacher of 11-12yr olds I do, however, and very sadly, have to acknowledge that I could imagine some of my former pupils only reaching for a book on suffereance. Their loss! Nice reading of the blog today, thanks!

    • Thanks, and welcome, Nancy! Too true. I was lucky enough to have had the love of reading passed down to me. There were always books, newspapers, and various types of reading material in my house growing up. I often received books as presents. And my sister is a teacher of 10 – 11 year olds and I’m sure she’d make the same observations as you. It’s too bad, because when you enjoy reading for pleasure, it makes school easier.

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