As I mentioned on the last 'Sunday Snippet', for the last week I have been having trouble with a stubborn ear infection. Even though I'm not the sort of person to dwell on pain too much, there have been times when I have felt a bit sorry for myself. I have not wanted to do much, but pick up a book and read. Although the symptoms haven't gone away, the act of reading has helped my mind focus on something else, meaning that the discomfort has been easier to bear.
It is not the first time that books have helped me to overcome pain and discomfort. In the past whilst recovering from operations, I would read books and listen to audiobooks in hospital. I found that the act of reading not only relieved my boredom, but some of the pain as well.
Recently my friend Aguja (who writes the 'Wordstitcher' blog) read 'The Pillars of the Earth' by Ken Follett in just 2 weeks, because she had a toothache and said that reading helped to keep her mind off the pain.
So instead of antibiotics, maybe the health service could prescribe patients a dose of reading to aid recovery? Perhaps doctors could prescribe a certain length of novel, depending on how long the patient needs to recover for? For example, a patient with a wound or illness that will take a long time to heal, could be prescribed a lengthy novel such as 'The Pillars Of The Earth' . Or a child with chickenpox could be given the 'Harry Potter' books, to stop them from scratching?
These are probably silly examples, but I do believe that the act of reading and a positive mental attitude, have a real effect on pain management and aid a swift recovery.
Do you think there are health benefits to reading whilst recovering from illness or do you think that this is nonsense? Have books helped you in times of discomfort or pain?