Last week, I got hit by a nasty case of the flu. I was bed-ridden and feverish for a few days, and even sending the few e-mails to cancel my obligations made me feel like my entire brain was going to explode. I was pretty convinced I was dying.
I've never been any good at being sick. Growing up, I hardly ever got sick, so now whenever I do fall ill I turn into a massive drama queen about it. I lay in bed and moan, I give everybody in my life constant updates on my symptoms, and on top of everything, I get really, really bored.
Naturally, books can fix some of those problems, and audiobooks especially are amazing when you're not feeling well. You don't have to do any work, you can just lay there and let the narrator sweep you away. When you're not well, a good book must strike an important balance; it must be good enough that it entertains you, and also simple enough that your germ-addled brain doesn't get lost.
So, because I'm a giant nerd, I spent my flu-ridden days compiling this list of books that are perfect for reading while you're sick. After all, a spoonful of literature helps the medicine go down.
1. The Princess Bride by William Goldman
This book even self-advertises that it's good to read when you're sick. Filled with adventure and hilarity abounds, not to mention characters that you'll just fall in love with, you'll feel the world come alive in your sickbed.
2. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
Listening to Harry Potter on audiobook is better than all the chicken soup in the world. Whether you're listening to Jim Dale or Stephen Fry narrate, they'll transport you gracefully to the colorful wizarding world. Plus, if you're a Potter-file like me, it's perfectly all right if you fall in and out of sleep to the dulcet British tones, because you can jump right back in at any moment.
3. Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce
Not only will the Sweating Sickness plot-point make your illness seem more exciting, but the Song of the Lioness quartet by Tamora Pierce has just the right doses of adventure and humor to help you through. Vivid characters will make you feel like you're not fighting the germs alone, and Alanna's determination will remind you that you can make it through even the worst of illnesses. (And the audiobooks do it justice, too!)
4. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
I listened to the Percy Jackson series on audiobook, and it's a blast. As New York kid Percy Jackson discovers the secret world of the Greek gods right in Manhattan, as well as his own secret ancestry, Jesse Bernstein narrates with just the right amount of attitude to delight you through and through.
5. The Arabian Nights: Tales of 1001 Nights by Anonymous
When I was a kid, we used to rent a film version of this classic, and I think that's part of why I associate it with sick days. But also, it's perfect for anyone stuck in bed. Filled with magical stories and brilliant storytelling, this book will both comfort and excite you, paving the way to healthier days.
6. Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding
Bridget is such a fantastic and fun character, that your heart will be warmed right up as you go with her on her quest for self-improvement. Her spunk and her optimism, even in the face of trouble, will make you feel a million times better. Plus, who can resist the opportunity to have fever dreams about Bridget's delectable suitors?
7. Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling
Mindy Kaling is a treasure, and this book is like a pure dose of her wonderful personality. Filled with everything from memoir to rom-com-esque short stories, this book will feel like your BFF and more. Plus, the audiobook is narrated by Kaling as well as her cohorts from The Office, Greg Daniels and B.J. Novak, which promises to be entertaining beyond end.