My 16-year-old came home from school on Thursday and went directly to bed. Since then, he has moved from bed to couch to bed again, and has basically been miserable. Tonight, his temperature is still up, and he hasn’t had much to eat yet, but I hear him chuckling in his room over the new Terry Pratchett book, the third in the series about Tiffany Aching. He even staggered out of his room to read something out loud to me that particularly amused him!
And that’s where people who look to books for bibliotherapy are going astray. They think in terms of “I need a book about a 16-year-old suffering from a yucky virus” in the hopes that reading about someone like himself will make him feel better. Most of the time, Terry Pratchett or whoever tickles their literary funny bone will work much better.