This section is from the book "Feeling Better? Amusements and Occupations for Convalescents", by Cornelia R. Trowbridge. Also available from Amazon: Feeling Better.
It would have been a great help in planning this book for the days of your convalescence, Gentle Reader now happily Feeling Better, to have had you clearly before the mind's eye. But while the outlines of your portrait have at times stood out clearly, so that it has seemed possible even to detect an approving smile on your lips or a gleam of interest in your eye or, perhaps-alas!-a frown of displeasure on your forehead, at other times the lines have wavered and blurred and almost escaped recognition. For are you male or female? At home or in a hospital? Spending but a few days in bed or facing a long siege of it? Alone or surrounded by relatives and friends? In the country or in the heart of a city? Dependent on the resources of the ordinary household or able to have every need met, every wish gratified as if by the waving of a magician's wand?
Out of many imaginings that have taken shape and then altered and crowded each other out like pictures from a swiftly moving film there has emerged the figure of one of Us Humans, still in the classification of invalid but with health returning, able to sit up in bed, beginning to find the world interesting again and ready to be amused or occupied if the means to those ends are at hand. He has shifting moods. He likes one thing one moment and something quite different the next. One day he wants to use his head and another his hands. He wants to try experiments only if they are simple and require little exertion. If some craft interests him, he wants to be able to work at it for so long or so short a time as his zest for it lasts and then to put it away until the next time. His strength is still uncertain and may fail him suddenly if it is overtaxed.
Do you recognize yourself in this portrait, Gentle Reader? If so, for you this book has been written.
Material for it has come from many sources. Workers at handcrafts, art teachers, scout masters, Red Cross directors, occupational therapists, skilled in providing profitable uses for hours in bed, doctors and nurses and their patients, book publishers and dealers in supplies have all had friendly share in the book. They are too many to name. But if you find pleasure and cheer in following out suggestions they have made, may the author add your thanks to the grateful acknowledgement of their aid which she records here?
The book is prescribed to be taken always in small doses and at intervals set at the reader's own discretion. The order in which its pages are read is likewise left wholly to you. But there is one requirement that must be strictly observed if beneficial results are to follow. The moment that the book begins to tire you, you must close its covers and lay it aside for a while.