When you're feeling bad, do you want a book that matches your black mood or one that, with its grace and lightness, might cheer you up? Do you prefer to escape into a book for several distracting hours or use it as a deliberate guide to the "whys" of it all?
Sometimes, I need beauty. Pure, unadulterated beauty, but usually, I go straight to nature for that. Or to the ice cream in the freezer. Sometimes, though, I need there to be a butt-ugly billboard that I can stare at. It simply says: Life Reeks. Or I need a dip into the blunt words of Ecclesiastes, which--no disrespect--could be that billboard, only thousands of years old: "Senseless! Everything is utterly senseless!"
In fact, I think my pattern might be: I want the visual, tactile, sensory experience of art, nature, and ice cream if I'm looking for the Beauty Cure, and I want the structure, intelligence and intimacy of text when I want the Blunt Truth Cure.
What about you?
BTW, this post has nothing to do with my writing life. I found out my niece has to go back for more cancer treatments after just sixteen weeks in the clear.