Book Therapy: Another Forbidden Shopping Spree

From left: The Healer's Apprentice, by Melanie Dickerson; The Diamond Secret, by Suzanne Weyn; Wild Orchid and The World Above, both by Cameron Dokey.

 It’s finals week, my FINAL finals week as an undergraduate. Stress is high, sleep low and functionality declining. The light at the end of the tunnel is graduation, but even that is daunting. What will I do next? I don’t have a job lined up; I haven’t really had time to search during school. I’m the first of my parent’s children to graduate from college and that has its own pressures.

What does one do when so much pressure is weighing down on them? Go book shopping, of course. There is something about shopping therapy that just lifts the mood. Now I have more books to entertain me while I search for a job.

After my first final this morning I was killing time until my next one and decided to visit the campus book store. They have a pretty good young adult section and their prices aren’t too bad. I also successfully put off doing homework for a good twenty minutes.

Obviously I am not going to read all four books in the next five hours or even the next five days. It just relieves a little stress to know some books are waiting for me to read.

I’m going to share a little secret; I judge books by their cover; more by their spine actually. If the spine, or title, interests me I will pick it up and read the back or the flap. If that interests me I will consider buying or checking out the book. I love color, fun type and illustrations. Some designers I would caution though, if I can’t read the title, that shows bad taste on your part. Cursive is fun, super curvy cursive people can’t read is not. The books I chose today had interesting fonts, colors and just a hint of the front illustrations, bringing my interest in and keeping it with the summary of the work. I also keep an eye out for authors I have read before.

 The school library has a counter to my spine judging tendencies, they re-cover beat up books with horrible colored hard back binding and take away all summaries that were included in the old cover. Then I just have to rely on the title, and sometimes that just isn’t enough. Note to libraries: people need a summary to tell them why they should read the book. That’s why they put them on books in the first place.

Once upon a time, people bought books because friends recommended it or they liked the title. They had nothing more to go on. Today we are a visually driven people; sight must be appeased before a book is even picked up. It is true of almost every book I pick up. With so many books being made into movies, many teenagers find it hard to get interested in book. Why read when you can watch?

I myself read books by imagining them being made into a movie or being played out in real life. No cartoons run through my head, I want to think of real people saying the words, doing the actions and feeling the feelings. If I didn’t have a healthy imagination, I would probably stick to movies too.

Bring out the design elements, the bright colors and fun fonts. Bring out the eye catching elements to capture a young reader’s attention. Too many youth these days put down the books in favor of movies and TV. How do we bring them back?

We need to stimulate the imagination, from the spine, to the cover, to the summary and finally to the words written in the book. Once they are hooked, they are hooked. If there is anything I would advocate getting addicted to, it would be reading. Moderation in all things of course, but reading is something worth overindulging in every once and a while.

Christmas break will be a time of family, fun, relaxation and reading. I hope you get to enjoy all of those things too. I will be breathing a huge sigh of relief and enjoying the holidays.

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