Tuesday, April 16, 2013

N is for Novel

     Today “N is for Novel.” One function novels serve that is rarely addressed among novel readers when discussing why they read is bibliotherapy.

     Huh? Well, that’s a word out of the counseling literature describing the approach to helping readers understand more about situations unfamiliar to them or to cope better with situations similar to theirs by observing how novel characters do.

     I was really into bibliotherapy (back in the day). I must have been pretty dangerous as a non-licensed psychologist advising acquaintances to read specific novels in order to get insights into why they were screwing up their lives! (Apologies, friends.)

     Still, there IS something to bibliotherapy in the hands of a qualified practitioner who also knows a lot about novels.

     You’ve done it, and so have I. We connect with a novel’s character. We connect with an event. We learn another way to react, respond, reply as we observe our fictional friends coping with similar situations. 

     When one reflects on the novel’s handling of life events, when one sees those connections to one’s own life, the novel has an impact that lasts beyond the closing of the novel

     I believe that is why most of the books I read, I cannot recall later. Whereas, books that keep popping into my consciousness are novels that had a bibliotherapeutic effect. I learned something as a result of having read that particular novel. And the life lesson learned is what keeps the book fresh for me. Of course, that is where the polysemous nature of the word, novel, comes into play, too!


  1. You know I have been a reader all my life and have been affected by some... and totally forgot ( as you do) the others after completing them. I did NOT know that there is a word for that. Bibliotherapy...how cool is that. I love words and the other that I learned from you is "polysemous". You are just a font of information. Great post.
    Patricia, Sugar & Spice & All Things ? Nice

    1. Thank you! I do love words! Check out today's post for another word fun thing. I love your posts! So glad to have found you from this blog tour.

  2. I had never known of this type of therapy, but I do think that's why some novels stay with us- we can relate to the characters. Thanks so much for visiting and yes, I think some crust sprinkled on top of the mixed berry pie ice cream might just really finish it. Great to meet you in the A to Z! Your topics for each letter look fun- I'll have to come back!

    1. Your posts are fun to read. I am a real foodie (check out www.sharonarthurmoore.blogspot.com "Parsley, Sage, and Rosemary Time") for some of my recipes/cooking tips, etc. This blog tour introduced me to a whole bunch of new sites!