Can recovery books get you sober?

For a long time one of favourite things was reading recovery books while sitting in pubs getting smashed. This was something that I’d do regularly. I would visit my local library and check out the most promising recovery book I could find (the places where I lived in those days always tended to have libraries with an impressive amount of space devoted to this subject). Once I had my book I’d then find a nice bar and settle in for the day until I’d finished the book or could no longer read.

So did any of these recovery books get me sober?

I always enjoyed these outings because it really did seem like I was killing two birds with one stone. I was motivating myself to quit while having a farewell drink at the same time. Unfortunately none of these sessions ever did lead to recovery – not really. But despite my own personal failure to find recovery this way I am still a firm believer in the power of books. As far as I see it, when the student is ready the teacher will appear; and they may just appear in a book. I have found that even an otherwise dull book can contain a nugget of wisdom that can have an impact on my life. Even a broken clock is right twice a day – as they say.

I think the great thing about recovery books is that they can give hope and create the will to change. I am not a member of Alcoholics Anonymous but I do think that one of the best recovery books of all time has been the Big Book. I may not agree with everything that it says, but there is no doubting that there is a lot of honesty and truth in there. When I was a drunk it gave me a great feeling of happiness to read about other drunks who had managed to escape addiction and make a good life for themselves. Those people who wrote those stories and got them published in books kept me going for years.

Can recovery books get you sober?

I am not sure if recovery books alone can get people sober, but I certainly believe that they can help a great deal. Books can also be great in recovery and it is great to read about how other people have managed to bounce back from misery and find happiness. I think that even if I’d never been an addict I’d appreciate that.

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