A books is not just the best present but a way to strengthen the relationship. No, not those books with bright adult photos but the serious literature.
I give credit for this method to my husband. In the first year of our life together, all of a sudden he offered: «Let’s swap our books! You recommend a book to me, and I recommend one to you».
This was an excellent idea. Over some years, we found that book swapping helps to:
- get to know each other better,
- create a shared vision of the world faster,
- develop new qualities in ourselves,
- set the subject for evening discussions,
- overcome the crisis in the relationship
- and it has the therapeutic effect.
Bibliotherapy as a method of psychotherapy uses literature to help patients. Such unusual word treatment can be either stand-alone or a complementary method of therapy.
No need to be a psychotherapist to help your loved one! Use bibliotherapy! Just recommend the literature that would be to the taste as well as useful.
The first time we swapped books with my husband, I offered him «The Schopenhauer Cure» by Irvin Yalom because he was suffering the loss (like many others who read the book, he was addicted to schopenhauerism for two months: he quoted Schopenhauer to the purpose and off the point). And I got the «Brave New World» by Aldous Huxley.
But before you begin to sculpture a person of your significant other, have a look at the following recommendations for this method:
- The swapping should be voluntary. You cannot force anybody to read, especially thoughtfully (say hello to your literature teachers).
- The swapping should be mutual. As they say «This is a great book, you should read it!», we nod our approval thinking: «Thank you, clever fellow, I don’t need you to tell me what to read!». The mutual exchange is the solution as each one’s recommendation is important.
- Books are to be chosen according to the type of literature preferred by your friend (if you are fond of fantasy, and your loved one is not, it’s better not to suggest Tolkien!).
- Before offering a book. think of what it would give to your other, how he/she would benefit from it (for example, it might help to get past the grief or cheer up).
- Do not lessen the value of the literature offered and do not criticize! It is offered from the heart, a person bares the soul for you, so if you happen to dislike a book, find a small idea or some part in it that seems quite interesting.
- Get ready for the situations when your partner rejects to read some book for some reason. Do not force him or her to do it! Just offer another book!
I hope you liked the idea to swap books! The article is short, as George Orwell with his «1984» is waiting for me. Plus, I need to find Viktor Frankl’s «Say «Yes» to Life» for my husband 🙂
Author Iuliia Shender
Translator Nataly Bondarenko