The Reference Couch
In Which A Librarian Tries to Solve Your Personal Problems with Literature
Q: I have been striking out all over lately (broke and broken up with to start), and I’m feeling like a bit of a loser. Anything you can recommend to shake me out of the blahs?
A: Poor reader! Are April showers streaming from your eyes? To make you feel like less of a loser, I told everyone who works here at the library about your situation. Guess what? We’ve all felt like the underdog from time to time. Here are a few recommendations from the gang:
Tom advises watching Rushmore to dust off your blahs (Max saved Latin, what’d you ever do?).
Linda: “I like to watch Ouran High School Host Club. It makes me laugh and laughing always makes me feel better. Other times I re-read Library Wars: Love and War. No matter what is going on, the outrageous premise and beautiful art makes the world brighter.”
Margaret suggests the classic football film Rudy.
Jill: “The Trampps’ Disco Inferno when I’m flame weeding the garden.” (Seriously, she flame weeds. Don’t mess with Jill).
Amy: “Skyrim, a video game available for PS3. Whenever I have an insurmountable task to do, such as filling out federal income tax forms, I pop in Skyrim, slay a dragon, and suddenly “itemized deductions” are a lot less terrifying.”
If none of the above put a smile on your face and skip in your step, then you know it’s serious and I’m going to have to prescribe a Pity Party, attendance: one.
First, get ‘dem yoga pants on. Then, drink down the following cocktail of pop music, in this order:
Shake It Off by Taylor Swift (dance and feel sorry for yourself), F*** You by Ceelo (get a little angry, but in a cute way), Royals by Lorde (rise above it, being broke is hip), Man in the Mirror by Michael Jackson (make that chaaaaange), Shake it Out by Florence + the Machine (see how we came full circle there?).
After that, either pop in High Fidelity because John Cusak is the best lovable loser around or get cozy and read one of these books:
The Gum Thief by Douglas Coupland: Roger is a middle-aged guy working at Staples who gets caught writing a diary in the voice of his twenty-something co-worker, Bethany. Don’t you feel better about yourself already?
Amy Falls Down by Jincy Willett: Amy is a loner author with writer’s block who’s in a rut of her own. Until she falls and hits her head, then gives an interview that she doesn’t remember while suffering from a concussion. Suddenly, everyone thinks she’s a genius.
Heartburn by Nora Ephron: You might be broke and single, but are you pregnant when your husband announces he’s in love with someone else, then the group therapy session you go to to cry about it gets robbed? This book is the most hilarious pity party read of all time. I would suggest it on audio, but Meryl Streep reads it and she does such a good job that you might get distracted thinking about how much better she is at everything than you.
When your party’s ended, you have to put on real pants and go out into the world. That’s the rule. I sincerely hope we’ve found a cure for you and I hope you’ve realized that all the best stories start with a loser.
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