Books for medicinal purposes

Her suitcase was suspiciously heavy, now that I stop and think about it. It was only as she was safely back at university that Daughter admitted to having taken ‘a few’ Cathy Hopkins books with her, to relax. And it’s OK. It’s healthy to read to feel calmer in a mad world. My only thought about Cathy Hopkins is that the books are very fast to read, and for weight in books carried, you get less read-time.

When checking the gaps, it would appear that the first six Mates Dates have gone, as well as the first four of Truth Dare Kiss Promise. Oh well. It clearly wasn’t just the physics course book that weighed the case down.

In general, I’m glad Daughter has at long last found her way back to reading for fun. I don’t think the giving up was her fault. Nor mine, even though I do push rather. I think it’s education. There have been three to four years of far too much pressure to succeed and learn to get exam grades, for very much fun reading to take place. She’s not the only one I’ve come across who has had to cast fiction aside for everything else.

The books we picked at the beginning of the academic year, were books I expected to return here, mostly unread. I think one book got read in the first term. (Liz Kessler, so you can see how she picks old-time, safe favourites.) My thinking was that if we pick the first book of a sequence, we can have her begging for mercy once she’s hooked, desperate for the next one. Daughter’s thinking was to pick books by friends.

She is now desperate for those second novels, I’m glad to say. With only a few weeks left of the year, I am travelling north with some second books, as well as the third in a trilogy. Can’t have her fail the exams because she’s unable to relax with Julie Bertagna’s Aurora or see how Keren David’s Joe is getting on, or Nick Green’s Pashki students.

I feel that a couple of questions on quantum mechanics deserve some knife crime or dystopic adventure as a reward. Some Pashki moves for exercise and perhaps a bit of light French revolution courtesy of Sally Gardner before bed.

Because the thing is, even studying diligently, you can fill those gaps of five or ten minutes when you would ordinarily be panicking, because ‘you are so going to fail at everything,’ with fiction. The gaps are there. You just need to have your ‘medicine’ to hand, and you need to realise that reading is medicine and will aid the exams, rather than get in the way.

The original book selection

15 responses to “Books for medicinal purposes

  1. I recall reading ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’ during my exams, which was quite possibly a mistake in retrospect. 🙂

  2. If it’s anything like the film… yes. I was thinking more buttered toast and hot chocolate kind of reading.

  3. Good luck with the exams!
    It will be excellent exercise for you both, carting all those books around. But are there none in S.Land? I remember a lovely town library where the students were always welcome. I hope it has not gone.

  4. Books? Up there?
    She did check the library, seeing as her needs were very specific, and found they didn’t have them. And since my presence is almost wanted anyway, this carrying of ‘drugs’ seemed to make sense.
    We will have to plan better for next year, except rumours have it that it will be so horrendous that books will be needed more than ever, but with no time at all for reading them.

  5. You see, this is what e-readers were invented for. If I’d had a Kindle during my university years… (it would have been useless because not even Amazon had been invented then)… but if it HAD been available, I could have avoided the curse of the gigantic travelling trunk that resembled Terry Pratchett’s Luggage, only not so friendly.

  6. I was just going to comment, Buy her a Kindle, but Nick beat me to it.

  7. But you can’t share kindle books and that’s the worst thing about it (and the best thing about books). I’m not against Kindles, they’re just limited. Also when you drop them in the bath they sink. Not that it helps books either.

  8. Apart from having to have baths, I’d also have to pay for books. And it seems more than once.

  9. Everything is limited. It’s not an either/or choice. And Kindle is only an example; I read on an iPad, for example, though I’d probably prefer a different sort of tablet or ereader if given the choice (It was a gift.). And using conversion software, I share my books all the time between devices. Note too that Tor has now decided to remove DRM from its ebooks.

    That said, I prefer print books for my permanent collection, reserving tablet reading for the lighter stuff or for testing whether I’d like to buy a physical copy of a book.

    And here’s something worth considering:
    ‘Schools are reporting hugely encouraging results after giving Kindles to reluctant readers.’
    (From today’s post, link:

  10. Well, I suppose it’s a sign of familiarity to get blamed for causing exam stress in someone else’s house as well as your own. Isn’t it…? Should I post a copy? I feel an onset of guilt. Remember, guilt is a speciality of mine 😉

  11. Please don’t feel guilt. Although you do it so well. Aurora is now in St A and will be providing whatever solace she/it can. I have already had to spill certain beans, because someone couldn’t go on without ‘the knowledge.’

  12. I might require astrophysical help with the next one. Do you think The One With The Knowledge will spill beans with the bribe of a St Andrews’ afternoon tea? Or something?

  13. Yes, I suspect she will. But I will require my 10%.
    (We found an Italian on Wednesday. He needs putting in his place. You might be the person to do it.)

  14. I’m good at that.

  15. Pingback: Bookwitch bites #79 | Bookwitch

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