So you can read my books

Friday, September 18, 2015


"What wound did ever heal but by degrees?," wrote Shakespeare.

Plato wrote, "We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light."

“If you would have me weep,
you must first of all feel grief yourself.”

~ Horace


1.) Each of these quotes made you reflect. IT MAY HAVE ALSO EXTENDED YOUR LIFE!
The world is gradually dividing into two populations.

Not the “haves” and “have-nots” of the political agitators. This is something much more precious than mere money: It’s those who learn and those who don’t.

In bald numbers, educated men live 14 years longer, on average, than uneducated men.

Educated women live 10 years longer, on average, than uneducated women.

But learning minds are not limited to those with degrees ... learning minds are merely those who read, reflect, and learn from the prose.




Reading is the best way to relax and even six minutes can be enough to reduce the stress levels by more than two thirds, according to new research.

And it works better and faster than other methods to calm frazzled nerves such as listening to music, going for a walk or settling down with a cup of tea, research found.

Psychologists believe this is because the human mind has to concentrate on reading and the distraction of being taken into a literary world eases the tensions in muscles and the heart.

The research was carried out on a group of volunteers by consultancy Mindlab International at the University of Sussex.

Reading worked best, reducing stress levels by 68 per cent, said cognitive neuropsychologist Dr David Lewis.

Subjects only needed to read, silently, for six minutes to slow down the heart rate and ease tension in the muscles, he found. In fact it got subjects to stress levels lower than before they started.

Listening to music reduced the levels by 61 per cent, have a cup of tea of coffee lowered them by 54 per cent and taking a walk by 42 per cent.

Playing video games brought them down by 21 per cent from their highest level but still left the volunteers with heart rates above their starting point.


The idea that literature can make us emotionally and physically stronger goes back to Plato.

But now book groups are proving that Shakespeare can be as beneficial as self-help guides. There is a rise in bibliotherapy.

Medical staff tell stories of the remarkable successes they've seen:

the neurological patient who sat in a group saying nothing for months, then after a reading of George Herbert's poem "The Flower"

"Who would have thought my shrivelled heart

Could have recovered greenness?"

launched into a 10-minute monologue at the end of which he announced "I feel great."

The brain-damaged young man whose vocabulary significantly increased after he joined a book group;

the husband caring for his disabled wife whose exposure to poetry has proved not just a respite but a liberation.

To outsiders, the outcomes might seem small, but to the staff and patients concerned they're huge breakthroughs.

Judith Mawer of the Mersey Care Mental Health Trust explained,

focusing on a book is the decisive factor:

"People who don't respond to conventional therapy, or don't have access to it, can externalise their feelings by engaging with a fictional character, or be stimulated by the rhythms of poetry."

One particularly successful initiative has been reading poetry to and with dementia patients, some of whom have lost all sense of who and where they are but can recite the words of a poem learned at school 70 years ago.

"One sheds one's sicknesses in books," DH Lawrence once wrote.
Bibliotherapy, as it's called, is a fast-growing profession. A recent survey suggests that "over half of English library authorities are operating some form of bibliotherapy intervention.

Read the evocative words of Emmylou Harris from THE PEARL which touched the dark heart of a patient struggling with Cancer:

O the dragons are gonna fly tonight
They're circling low and inside tonight
It's another round in the losing fight
Out along the great divide tonight

We are aging soldiers in an ancient war
Seeking out some half remembered shore
We drink our fill and still we thirst for more
Asking if there's no heaven what is this hunger for?

Our path is worn our feet are poorly shod
We lift up our prayer against the odds
And fear the silence is the voice of God

And we cry Allelujah Allelujah
We cry Allelujah

Sorrow is constant and the joys are brief
The seasons come and bring no sweet relief
Time is a brutal but a careless theif
Who takes our lot but leaves behind the grief

It is the heart that kills us in the end
Just one more old broken bone that cannot mend
As it was now and ever shall be amen


And we cry Allelujah Allelujah
We cry Allelujah

So there'll be no guiding light for you and me
We are not sailors lost out on the sea
We were always headed toward eternity
Hoping for a glimpse of Gaililee

Like falling stars from the universe we are hurled
Down through the long loneliness of the world
Until we behold the pain become the pearl


Cryin´ Allelujah Allelujah
We cry Allelujah

And we cry Allelujah Allelujah
We cry Allelujah
For the Cancer patient there was emotional healing to these words.

*{A photo of some of the leather bound volumes in one of my


  1. I, for one, couldn't agree more! I know sitting down with a book always calms me down, and I don't doubt that it helps loads of people. I love the term bibliotherapy--definitely going to have to use that!

    1. Reading and reflection always made me feel better, too. Now, we know why, right? Bibliotherapy! :-)

  2. I read myself to sleep every night. I don't understand how people can live without books. I didn't know that it is truly beneficial though and really does reduce stress, so thanks for this. And that Plato quote is something else again, but then, of course, it's Plato.

    1. Hibbs, the cub with no clue, agrees with you about Plato. I have fun with this by having a grown Hibbs put himself to sleep by reading Plato in The Bear With Two Shadows. :-)

      I feel badly for today's children who have grown up without the healing benefit of reading. :-(

    2. I have known to well, while lying on my back for a year in 2004, and again this last few months and for a few more months to come.
      While agonizing pain, of spinal surgery, one has a hard time even seeing to read. But, the Great Audio books, which you turned me on too, indeed healed my savage beaten Soul. I looked so forward to hearing stories of grandeur, and Yes, I did heal more-so, all the sudden being bed ridden became a new experience, where I no longer agonized over my pains, as looking forward to hearing a book being read, gave me a LOT of Hope, and basically finding peace with healing, which hurt like nothing else can.

      I first read Plato's Republic when I was a JR. in High School, starving for knowledge, Philosophy, Philanthropy and Theology.of every single religion.

      I read it again 5 years later, and have never been the same since. When I found Kerouac's great books, ie Desolation Angels, (which On The Road is also contained in that book twice the size of OTR ). It wasn't til the year 1996, that I would discover Kerouac was a 3rd generation removed in my Family Genealogy. Kerouac was so appealing to me as he spoke and wrote the same things stirring in my own Soul, like no other. Has to be the French-Canadien blood, or genetics?

      Stanislavski once said of Acting, (the founder of the Method School of Acting, during the Romanoff period. Konstantin's Father was a Writer of Plays, and His Son, became a Master of Drama and acting. Konstantin, said: "When the viewers, audience become one with the story and see themselves thru the actors/actresses eyes and ears; then the Audience and the Story on Stage becomes One, and that is the ultimate accomplishment for a Writer or Actor, a Director or Producer. One with the story, as if were living it ourselves, and not those on stage.

      Many Blessings to You Roland, I became a better person, by being a lucky one, to Know and call you Brother, Friend, Confidante, Brother in Spirit and Soul. Thank You my Friend, for being YOU...!.