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Gretchen Rubin

Bibliotherapy prescription for a new you

in Non-Fiction by

No matter what your resolutions for 2015, books can help. The right book can amuse, teach, reassure, or even heal. The term “bibliotherapy,” from the Greek biblion (books) and therapeia (healing), was coined in 1916 by Unitarian minister Samuel McChord Crothers. Books were therapeutic tools in military hospitals during the two world wars, and clinical bibliotherapy is still popular in treating mental illness, often in combination with medical approaches. Libraries also support “creative bibliotherapy,” mining fiction and poetry for their healing capabilities. The School of Life, philosopher Alain de Botton’s brainchild, is a London hub for studying how to live. Classes, secular sermons, and a library of recommended reading tackle subjects like job satisfaction and creativity. The School also offers…

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Four ways to turn self-help books into daily practices

in Non-Fiction by

For me, there hardest part of reading a self-help book is turning the advice into daily practice. Out of habit I usually end up reading straight through a self-help book the same way I would a novel or skim through it too quickly, a bit overwhelmed yet eager to soak up sage advice. How can we bring this self-help wisdom into our everyday lives in small, manageable, actionable steps? How can we empower ourselves to take action from what we’ve learned? Over the years, I’ve devised a few strategies. Here they are: 1) Magnetize it! My copy of Danielle LaPorte’s Fire Starter Sessions came with a magnet: “Everything is Progress.” I liked it so much that I made about 20…

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