Bibliotherapy Zine #4

After a rather long hiatus, welcome to the fourth edition of this weekly magazine designed to nudge you to read more.

Happy Reading :)



“One of the most common woes of modern readers is being 'overwhelmed by the number of books in the world'.

Though more books are being published than ever before, people are in fact selecting from a smaller and smaller pool.

If you actually calculate how many books you read in a year — and how many that means you’re likely to read before you die — you’ll start to realize that you need to be highly selective in order to make the most of your reading time.

And the best way to do that? See a bibliotherapist...” ~ Ceridwen Dovey, 'Can Reading Make you Happier?', The New Yorker (June 2015)

This article introduced me to the term Bibliotherapy this March, and hence was instrumental in the inception of this little lockdown ‘sanity project’.

Bibliotherapy (noun) - ‘The use of books to aid people in solving the issues that they may be facing at a particular time.’ First coined during the trying times of World War I.

Bibliophile (noun) - ‘An 'ape-descended life form' who prefers books to other 'ape-descended life forms'. One who doesn't like people less, but loves reading more.’

For a concise primer about Project Bibliotherapy, including the origin story, check out...

The tale of my own journey as a reader, told through nine montages & nine quotes, can be found in my debut ScrollStack post...

...and also in this thirty-slider post on LinkedIn, along with a host of crowd-sourced goodread recommendations in the comments. Feel free to add your own to the growing list. :)


“No! It didn’t hit me in a bathtub. The idea of a sabbatical had been simmering in my head ever since I read about the concept of “time billionaire".

The word billionaire is defined as owning and having control over a billion monetary units but if you can reach a stage where you own and control 100% of your time, you would still be a billionaire—but in a different dimension.

You would be a time billionaire...” ~ Swanand Kelkar, Managing Director - Morgan Stanley, currently on month 8 of a year-long sabbatical.

For being one of the very few leaders in the Indian corporate ecosystem exploring life beyond the norm for themselves, Mr Kelkar deserves a round of applause. Check out his Sabbatical Chronicles, published in Mint since February, to know more...

Also, listen to his podcast debut on 'Paisa Vaisa' with Anupam Gupta for insights on structuring a 'gap year' plus his own adventures so far... (53 mins).

Personally, the best life decision I ever took was embarking on a sabbatical back in August 2017. And I wholeheartedly encourage folks to align their life goals towards reaching a stage where one could afford to take a little bit of time out for oneself. It helps.

For a few reasons why, visit - hosting tales from a 36-month-long 'gap year' for your reading (and my writing) pleasure. Introductory post out now...


“And the second thing fiction does is to build empathy.

When you watch TV or see a film, you are looking at things happening to other people. Prose fiction is something you build up from 26 letters and a handful of punctuation marks, and you, and you alone, using your imagination, create a world and people it and look out through other eyes.

You get to feel things, visit places and worlds you would never otherwise know. You learn that everyone else out there is a me, as well.

You’re being someone else, and when you return to your own world, you’re going to be slightly changed.” ~ Neil Gaiman, The Guardian (2013)

If you're short on time / attention at the moment and can only read one article out of all those linked out in this zine, please make it this one...


“The ultimate in comfort reading because nothing bad ever happens in P.G. Wodehouse land. Or even if it does, it's always sorted out by the end of the book.

For as long as I'm immersed in a P.G. Wodehouse book, it's possible to keep the real world at bay and live in a far, far nicer, funnier one where happy endings are the order of the day.” ~ Marian Keyes

As Kiran Manral also eloquently explained in a quite enjoyable Zoom session last weekend, a Wodehouse a day keeps the lockdown blues away.

For tributes from Shashi Tharoor & Stephen Fry, along with the link to 5200 pages of Wodehouse for less than a $ on Kindle, do check out...


“The lesser you know about the 'Amitabh Bachchan of Dalal Street' before watching this gorgeous adaptation of 'The Scam' by Sucheta Dalal & Debashis Basu (available to read for free on Kindle Unlimited), the better.”

For a couple of valid reasons to 'cough' up ₹999 for an annual Sony Liv subscription, head towards...

For all the Quizzards out there, this three-episode 'Quiz' show depicting one of Britain's strangest crimes is mandatory viewing.

“In September 2001, Charles Ingram, a British Army major, went on the prime-time game show 'Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?' and won the top prize, despite acting strangely at times, repeatedly switching answers.

The next day, he was accused of having cheated. Ingram’s wife, Diana, and Tecwen Whittock, a college professor, who sat among the potential other contestants when Ingram won, were said to have coughed at strategic times to give him the correct answers.” ~ Alex Marshall, The New York Times

Watch the first episode for free on Sony Liv...


Travel back to simpler times of Orkut and Channel V courtesy a peek at Random Anthology (2010) - a neat 'Mad Magazine' -inspired satire attempt by the folks behind Comic Con India.

Also, do visit the previous three issues of Bibliotherapy Zine (August - September) below, chock-a-block with a variety of departments waiting to be explored...

 Bibliotherapy Zine #2Bibliotherapy Zine #3

Name. One book/author/topic on your reading list for 2021. Email. Phone number (optional). That’s all.
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