Barack Obama once said that he learned how to empathize with the plights and situations of people unlike himself -- indeed, "how to be a citizen" -- by reading novels. Literature: it's the way people used to learn about the world. Shakespeare, it's interesting to consider, never traveled. Yet he's credited with understanding people better perhaps than anyone before or since. One famous scholar claimed Shakespeare "invented the human."
Alison Kerr Courtney's BiblioRemedy helps people put literature back in the center of the way they process the world. It's stress relief therapy, without the Rx. Kerr Courtney may not make a Shakespeare or Obama out of her clients, but she gives each of them a chance to engage the world using a richer set of experiences -- and therefore with greater tolerance and understanding -- all earned vicariously through reading. Literature presents characters in the round, an essential way to consider our fellow human beings -- full, rich, complex, contradictory, petty and generous as we all are. BiblioRemedy recently got a nice shout from CNN, which quotes a bunch of experts testifyging that there's no better way to increase your "emotional intelligence." As fans of Jane Austen, J.K. Rowling or Norman Mailer know, there's lots to learn. Or as Shakespeare wrote: "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."
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