University of Library Studies and Information Technologies (BULGARIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN21 Proceedings
Publication year: 2021
Pages: 7326-7334
ISBN: 978-84-09-31267-2
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2021.1481
Conference name: 13th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-6 July, 2021
Location: Online Conference
The crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, like globalization, affects all or almost all areas of human existence. It is, health, economic, social, political, psychological, etc. The pandemic is leading to both increasing globalization and deglobalization. It is impossible to determine how long it will take to comprehend and overcome the consequences of these profound changes in our daily lives.

The lockdown has caused enormous economic damage, but it also created a situation of fear, hopelessness and depression in the ordinary man. One way of dealing with psychological discomfort is reading books.

The use of literature can help people overcome their emotional problems; changes in their lives are at the core of bibliotherapy.

The project entitled "Study of attitudes to the therapeutic potential of reading in atypical situations for the individual", funded by the National Science Fund, led by Ch. Assist. Prof. Sabina Eftimova-Ilieva, PhD aims to look for different ways to improve the mental comfort of the individual by reading appropriate literature.

The authors are part of the project team and set themselves the task of analyzing the impact of books on the emotional state of readers. In the report, they share their own reflections on books that have shaken them so as to provoke them into philosophical reflection.

The aim of the report is to examine aspects of the impact of literary works on the emotional and mental state of the reader. In bibliotherapy, the opportunities are used by reading works of art to achieve balance, to prepare people for potential difficulties. But the fact is that there are books that, after reading, eat away at the readers, putting them in a situation of discomfort.

In 1935, the British philosopher of science, Karl Popper, proposed a seemingly paradoxical criterion for the scientific nature of a theory. ''In order for a hypothesis to be "scientific", it must be "falsifiable", i.e. to have an experience to disprove it." It is namely falsification as a criterion for demarcation in bibliotherapy that is used in this report.

The emphasis is placed on books that shake the reader and leave a feeling of tension and discomfort, works dealing with difficult and grave topics. Sometimes, it is precisely this tension and discomfort that some works bring that lead to catharsis and the achievement of positive results.

Through observation and analysis, the thoughts of readers from one of the most popular Facebook book groups called "What do you read?" are presented regarding the possibilities of books to deal with the sadness of the death of a loved one. Conclusions regarding Erich Maria Remarque's book Borrowed Life are also synthesized, which speaks not only about the emotional but also about the physical strain from reading the book. Other examples in this direction are also given.

A survey has been conducted on the basis of which readers' practices have been singled out . The emphasis is placed on books that affect physically and emotionally, on the therapeutic effect of books, but not only this. Among the questions are those which point to books that are so powerful that they cause pain and sadness.

These given examples and reflections do not rule out the possibilities of bibliotherapy to deal with existential crises. On the contrary, they support the idea that bibliotherapy is empirically justified and has the potential to deal with cases arising from the COVID-19 crisis.
Bibliotherapy, demarcation line, falsification, survey, book, affect of books - physically and emotionally.