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need something easy to read.....

(26 Posts)
sunflowerblue Sat 09-Apr-16 20:17:50

I've been diagnosed with depression and anxiety, and I really want to read more as I've always found it really relaxing to go bed with a good book. I'm really struggling to concentrate though - apparently this is part of depression. Everything I try to start reading either feels too complicated to concentrate on, or it seems so 'fake' (I know that's the point of fiction, but I want something I really get drawn into and feels more real than the real world!).

Any suggestions please? The last book I read was The Book of Strange New Things which I was into from the first page. But since then I've tried so many books and not found anything.

KingJoffreyLikesJaffaCakes Sat 09-Apr-16 20:20:57

I've been there with the depression/reading thing - I found Miranda Hart's book heavy going.

You need the read Garfield comics. Look up Garfield Classics.

Will get you back into reading. Short and they're funny AF.

sunflowerblue Sat 09-Apr-16 20:30:36

Thanks for your reply. I know it's silly, but I'm really heartbroken to have lost reading. I bought a carrier bag full of books at the chairty shop last week. Some chick lit, some sort of factual?autobiographical by comedians, some more mainstream lit, some more intelligent stuff. I can't get into any of them! Even one by Laurie Graham who I usually love.

I think I might have read those as a kid grin
The kids have a spongebob graphic novel, maybe that would work!

KeithLeMonde Sun 10-Apr-16 15:40:42

My dad always swears by PG Wodehouse when he's feeling low - that or something you loved as a child. Enid Blyton? Little House on the Prairie?

Rangirl Sun 10-Apr-16 15:42:48

Maeve Binchy for me Familiar and safe And good stories

ChessieFL Sun 10-Apr-16 20:33:49

Marian Keyes new book is short magazine pieces which might've good if you are struggling to concentrate.

parrotonmyshoulder Sun 10-Apr-16 20:46:21

Calvin and Hobbes, on the comic theme.

I tend to re-read familiar books when I'm ill, depressed, stressed or just low on concentration. Books like classics, A level texts or children's books. Harry Potter and other children's or YA fantasy novels. Or things I've read many times - Lord of the Rings for example.

Hope you find something that works for you.

RobberBride Sun 10-Apr-16 21:09:53

The James Herriot series (It shouldn't happen to a vet etc) are brilliant when you're feeling crap. Lots of lovely stories about the quirky animals and quirkier humans he met during his career. Each chapter is its own little story, so it is easy to pick up and put down the book, and they are all so funny.

If you're interested in politics at all, the Yes Minister and Yes Prime Minister books are similarly episodic, and made DH and I cry with laughter.

yoink Sun 10-Apr-16 21:11:16

I'm exactly the same at the moment, I've ditched so many books after a few pages.

For what it's worth, I recommend David Sedaris. Funny and short chapters full of warmth.

parrotonmyshoulder Sun 10-Apr-16 21:14:18

I love David Sedaris too.
OP would audiobooks help? You could listen and knit/ crochet/ bake/ garden/ walk/ whatever you like to do.

booksandcoffee Sun 10-Apr-16 21:35:19

PARROT is spot on with Calvin and Hobbies. Any books from your childhood will probably be comforting as they will be familiar. Good luck with dealing with the depression.

crapfatbanana Sun 10-Apr-16 22:00:46

Reasons To Stay Alive by Matt Haig is good. It's about his battle with anxiety and depression and is in easy to digest chunks.

I also go along with the suggestions to reread anything familiar and comforting.

I'm reading The Tent, The Bucket and Me by Emma Kennedy at the moment, which is non-fiction, about disastrous camping trips in the seventies and very funny. Another non-fiction book you might enjoy is A Woman in the Polar North, written by an Austrian woman - Christiane Ritter- in the 1930s. It's quite a short book but absolutely fascinating. She lived for a year with her husband and another chap (they were hunters/trappers) in a small hut on Svalbard, but at times utterly alone when the men were off hunting. It may sound an odd suggestion, but it's a very upbeat book because the writer is.

crapfatbanana Sun 10-Apr-16 22:04:35

I forgot to add, Adrian Mole and Reggie Perrin always soothe me when I'm low and reading is a chore.

tobee Mon 11-Apr-16 16:11:47

I know exactly what you mean about needing to get completely involved in a book. It's so hard because you have to make the journey to get involved to get involved iyswim. No good suggestions from me coz I've toyed with starting a similar post. Agree that re reads can be good plus audio books but that doesn't always do the trick. Sorry to be little help - just wanted to sympathise.

Bebelala21 Mon 11-Apr-16 17:48:49

I find going back to books you've enjoyed in the past can help or as someone else has suggested some YA like Harry Potter or The Hunger Games. I also find The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Houdge a great read (aimed at 11 year olds and written in the 1940s).

jammy388 Mon 11-Apr-16 18:13:23

I tend to turn to children's books when I am ill or low - old favourites include anything by Noel Streatfeild, Arthur Ransome and Laura Ingalls Wilder (also Elizabeth Goudge as mentioned in a previous post) but I have enjoyed discovering more modern children's books too.
In terms of adult books I second the James Herriott suggestion and also if you can get hold of some Georgette Heyer they tend to be light but engrossing. D E Stevenson is another old-fashioned standby of mine - you can get her out of print books online quite cheaply and I find her stories consoling.
Do hope you find something to suit you and that the cloud lifts soon.

Petal18 Mon 11-Apr-16 18:59:02

Sunbathing in the rain: a cheerful book about depression by Gwyneth Lewis - written for people who are suffering from a bout of depression.

Short chapters, cheerful

She recommends OK and Hello Magazine (coming from a poet high oraise indeed!)

highlandcoo Mon 11-Apr-16 22:33:54

Good suggestions above and you could also try No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith. Easy to read and nothing nasty.

Hope you find something that helps soon flowers

asnmdirteha Mon 11-Apr-16 23:00:37

Sophie Kinsella - the first few shopaholic is hilarious because you're basically on a shopping trip with her, really easy and light to read. If you want a book to really cuddle up with and cry your eyes out (I sometimes find that it helps even when I'm super emo..) is My Sister's Keeper and also The Art of Racing in the Rain.

Choccybadger Tue 12-Apr-16 11:00:13

Try some of Clive James' books. I have found them completely hilarious when unable to get into anything else due to a bad bout of depression - I have suffered for a long time now.
Strangely, although not all sweetness and light, some of Adele Parks' books are brilliant as they are so quick to get into and just about normal people really.
Good luck X

Rubydoobiesmum Tue 12-Apr-16 11:06:44

When I am low I find Young Adult books the best - interesting enough but not so complex that I lose concentration.

WillowinGloves Tue 12-Apr-16 12:59:49

Oh, I've been there too! I do sympathise - just when you desperately need to escape into a book, it becomes so hard to do. I agree with many of the suggestions above - Heyer is a standby for me, or Jane Austen. Also Cadfael - soothing to read as all comes right in the end, in a thoughtful way, and it's lovely to know there are more to go on with... YA fiction also often works for me, though some of it can be too bleak. I sometimes find that non-fiction is easier too - something light but interesting, such as travel fiction. Good luck.

wigglesrock Tue 12-Apr-16 14:55:06

When I was going through my first "bout" of depression I rediscovered science fiction/horror but not too blahhh horror. Dean Koontz and some Stephen King really pulled me through. I think it was maybe enough of a disconnect & they pull you in very quickly. I read Nick Hornbys Funny Girl this week & really liked it. It was interesting, fun, easy to read.

Cornishblues Tue 12-Apr-16 18:30:15

Sorry to hear what you are going through. How about Barbara kingsolver's poisonwood bible, or fine balance (rohinton mistry) both books to transport you. Or miss pettigrew lives for a day for a fun and gentle read.

Quogwinkle Tue 12-Apr-16 18:40:20

David Sedaris never fails to cheer me up when I'm feeling low. Even better when he's reading it himself (audio book, I mean, although a personal reading would be lovely grin)

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