Books as friends

Can philosophers help resolve the real problems that people have in their lives?

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duszek
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Books as friends

Post by duszek » Sun Jan 01, 2017 9:01 am

Sometimes we don´t have enough people around us who are good company for us. Not everyone is lucky.

I have discovered that certain writers can write in such a way (no matter what the topic) that you feel good just by reading the friendly words.
One of such writers whom I have discovered recently is Jonathan Maslow and the book is "Sacred Horses". It is about his adventures in Turkmenistan.
He does not beautify anything and yet his words have an up-lifing effect on me.
I will never meet Mr. Maslow, and yet I can enjoy his friendliness any time and feel cosy.
I found the book by chance. It was lying around as a free gift after being removed from a public library.

Has anyone made a similar experience with any writers ?

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Harbal
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Re: Books as friends

Post by Harbal » Sun Jan 01, 2017 10:35 am

duszek wrote:Sometimes we don´t have enough people around us
Sometimes we have too many.
his adventures in Turkmenistan.
Sounds hard to resist.
I will never meet Mr. Maslow,
You never know. You may catch him off guard sometime.
It was lying around as a free gift
And worth every penny, I'm sure.
Has anyone made a similar experience with any writers ?
I've not.

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TSBU
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Re: Books as friends

Post by TSBU » Sun Jan 01, 2017 11:36 am

I didn't feel friendship, I think answers, a bidirectional relationship, is needed for that. But I've felt that they had similar thoughts sometimes, that I wanted to talk with them, or they would understand my thoughts better than anybody (that maybe they were from my planet).
But I couldn't check that (Mostly because they were dead). You know, people is very different when they write and in real life, specially if they are not writing more than characters of a novel (always simplifications of humans).

marjoram_blues
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Re: Books as friends

Post by marjoram_blues » Sun Jan 01, 2017 5:42 pm

duszek wrote:Sometimes we don´t have enough people around us who are good company for us. Not everyone is lucky.

I have discovered that certain writers can write in such a way (no matter what the topic) that you feel good just by reading the friendly words.
One of such writers whom I have discovered recently is Jonathan Maslow and the book is "Sacred Horses". It is about his adventures in Turkmenistan.
He does not beautify anything and yet his words have an up-lifing effect on me.
I will never meet Mr. Maslow, and yet I can enjoy his friendliness any time and feel cosy.
I found the book by chance. It was lying around as a free gift after being removed from a public library.

Has anyone made a similar experience with any writers ?
Well, your words certainly 'speak' to me sometimes, and I look forward to posts such as this one.
I think I now have my answer as to why books I can't declutter easily.
They give me comfort just by being there.
I enjoy hearing your stories and feeling 'at one' with another human. Lifts my spirits. For a while, at least.

PS After picking up a 'lightweight' from the bookcase in the hospice, just to focus on something other than the inevitable, I am still escaping mentally into other worlds. Reading can offer relief from anxiety.
The book was ' The Evening Class' by Maeve Binchy.

uwot
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Re: Books as friends

Post by uwot » Sun Jan 01, 2017 7:55 pm

That doesn't sound like good news, marjoram_blues. For what they are worth, you have my best wishes.

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TSBU
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Re: Books as friends

Post by TSBU » Sun Jan 01, 2017 8:34 pm

I don't like to see you with anxiety.

marjoram_blues
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Re: Books as friends

Post by marjoram_blues » Sun Jan 01, 2017 8:36 pm

uwot wrote:That doesn't sound like good news, marjoram_blues. For what they are worth, you have my best wishes.
Thanks, uwot. It wasn't me but my vigil with Mum. A few months ago. The end was a release and a relief.
But I miss her so.
Last edited by marjoram_blues on Sun Jan 01, 2017 8:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

marjoram_blues
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Re: Books as friends

Post by marjoram_blues » Sun Jan 01, 2017 8:47 pm

TSBU wrote:I don't like to see you with anxiety.
No worries, TSBU. I have moments of all kinds of everything. Like a lot of people.
The point is that books can help. Reading, listening, escaping or communing therapy.

Impenitent
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Re: Books as friends

Post by Impenitent » Sun Jan 01, 2017 9:18 pm

the uplifting book cured the wobbly table...

-Imp

marjoram_blues
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Re: Books as friends

Post by marjoram_blues » Sun Jan 01, 2017 9:39 pm

Impenitent wrote:the uplifting book cured the wobbly table...

-Imp
...better than a Kleenex.

duszek
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Re: Books as friends

Post by duszek » Tue Jan 03, 2017 10:20 am

Thank you, marjoram.

Jonathan E. Maslow died of cancer, in 2008, at the age of 59.
But he had an interesting life for sure.
Perhaps his ghost appreciates now that I cherish his memory.

Mr TSBU is right that friendship may not be the right word because an active exchange of thoughts is missing.
Mr Maslow´s words communicate a spirit of peace and friendliness to me.
He lives on in his books if people read them and feel inspired by them.

Could a writer be called a coach ?

haribol acharya
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Re: Books as friends

Post by haribol acharya » Tue Jan 03, 2017 11:08 am

I cannot find books replacing friends though I am also an avid reader. Sometimes as you have said, books become obsessing. I used to read Tolstoy and Dostoevsky voraciously in my teens and my solitary moments with no one to talk to were befriended in their books. I had a world I was happy in only in their books, and I got lost in their thoughts and imaginations. This obsession really became a kind of addiction and I consequently chose to avoid who came in contact with me. Later on I ponder this over and realized that this does and in fact cannot give me sustainable company. The importance of company cannot be belittled or replaced by books though we can get lost in some imagined characters. I used to read travelogues early in my teens. Now I am a tireless traveler and feel traveling can never replaced by any books written about it.
However I totally agree with you when we have no physical friends we can indeed be happy with fictional friends.

duszek
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Re: Books as friends

Post by duszek » Tue Jan 03, 2017 11:59 am

haribol acharya wrote:I cannot find books replacing friends though I am also an avid reader. Sometimes as you have said, books become obsessing. I used to read Tolstoy and Dostoevsky voraciously in my teens and my solitary moments with no one to talk to were befriended in their books. I had a world I was happy in only in their books, and I got lost in their thoughts and imaginations. This obsession really became a kind of addiction and I consequently chose to avoid who came in contact with me. Later on I ponder this over and realized that this does and in fact cannot give me sustainable company. The importance of company cannot be belittled or replaced by books though we can get lost in some imagined characters. I used to read travelogues early in my teens. Now I am a tireless traveler and feel traveling can never replaced by any books written about it.
However I totally agree with you when we have no physical friends we can indeed be happy with fictional friends.
Thanks for your comment.

Even if we do have physical friends then they can be busy or grumpy or whatever. Or just not really friendly. Which needs to be accepted.

The voice of a friendly writer can provide some quality time. He is not a ficional friend, he is someone we don´t know personally but whose company we enjoy very much.
But he is real.
Many people enjoy the voice of Shakespeare and feel uplifted by it.
Many poets are read for this purpose.

What you focus on are phantacies: one dreams about some friends one has in an imaginary world. This can also be beneficial for a person´s well-being but I am not a psychologist so I am not quite sure about it. Some people escape from the real world by imagining themselves to belong to a different world.

duszek
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Re: Books as friends

Post by duszek » Tue Jan 03, 2017 12:09 pm

Reading some friendly texts is like listening to some good music.

Both can provide quality time.

Both can balance our emotions.

They don´t need to disconnect us with the real world. At least not permanenty, only for as long as their charm endures.

They are like a meditation time one takes to recover from the harsh everydayness.

They are like a yoga exercise.

Dalek Prime
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Re: Books as friends

Post by Dalek Prime » Wed Jan 04, 2017 4:10 am

I'm a fan of quiet distraction.

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