Reading While Sad

What to read while feeling depressed? It’s been plaguing me lately. There aren’t any big crises in life right now: I’ve just been sad.

So I’ve been trying to figure out what to read. I’ve tried going the escapist route, and it’s never worked. A comedy just doesn’t seem funny when you’re not inclined to find anything truly funny. A romance that could lift the soul just seems maudlin. A harrowing adventure feels predictable.

There’s the option of old favorites, of course. But they’re so well-known, so comfortable, that they can’t captivate the mind.

I think I’ve found the answer now.

Books are about emotions, so if I’m feeling sad, then I should read something sad.

I think I can harness the sadness, the melancholy that’s been haunting me, to understand more about a sad book. Not a tearjerker–this isn’t the time for Holocaust novels–rather a story about loss and sorrow. About the human condition.

So after staring at a stack of Virginia Woolf, Vladimir Nabakov, Tolstoy, Rushdie, and many others, I’ve decided to start reading Swann’s Way.

I think being sad can be good. I hope it can lead me to a deeper understanding. It’s not much consolation, but it’s something.

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One thought on “Reading While Sad

  1. It’s a good question – I’ve always been a great believer in using books to lift my mood. If I’m feeling low, I like a book that will take me out of myself, and forget about my stresses, if only for a short time – then bring you back to the real world, feeling more refreshed.

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