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.