February 4, 2013

Monday Pep Rally: Comfort Reads

Monday Pep Rally is a weekly feature where the Misfits post a question for you, the reader, to answer. You can answer on your own blog and link in the comments, or just answer here!



There are few things in this world I love more than a new book. There's a whole world between the cover, endless possibilities waiting to be discovered. But there are times when I'm sick or tired or generally feeling like life is terrible and why don't I just crawl into a hole and cry. (Like after finishing a draft of a book, when you've poured out your soul and then the crippling self-doubt hits.)

Those are the days I reach for my comfort reads. The old, familiar friends that wrap me up in beautiful words, like an old afghan crocheted by my grandma. Picking up those books is like a hot cup of Sleepy Time tea with honey, served in my favorite mug which just happened to clean itself.
 
Most of my comfort reads are from my childhood. I've read each of The Chronicles of Narnia at least eight times, my favorite installments (Prince Caspian and The Last Battle) more often. I have portions of A Wrinkle In Time and A Wind In the Door memorized. I had a long standing habit of reading A Little Princess every winter when the Ohio cold got to be too much. As an adult, I've added a few, mostly romances with the intellectual value of a fast food meal. None of them are books that particularly challenge me, but they bring me home. They allow me to temporarily escape the ordinary burdens of life and take up residence someplace beautiful and exciting and in its own way, healing.

I believe books are food for the soul and some books are comfort food. So tell me: What are your favorite comfort reads? What are the books you turn to when you need a leave from reality?

16 comments:

Steph Sessa said...

I tend not to reread books (weird I know). But I have read all the Harry Potters multiple times (and will probably continue that trend) and have read City of Bones a few times too.

Jamie Grey said...

Those are all favorites of mine too, Jenny! I re-read them almost every year. I also have a few romance books I love to re-read and get lost in the relationships. And of course Jane Austen. Can't get enough of her :)

Cee Best said...

The Confessions of Charlotte Doyle. And C.S. Lewis and Madeleine L'Engle are *always* a win.

I completely agree about books being comfort for the soul. I love all of the high-literature stuff, but, sometimes, I just want mac'n'cheese lit :D

Jenny Kaczorowski said...

My favorites are ones i don't have to reread entirely. There are specific moments I can flip to and feel all the things all over again.

Jenny Kaczorowski said...

I love them because I can read them quick. It's like catching up with old friends. No need for long introductions. You can just jump back in.

callmebecks said...

I reread Jane Austen a lot, and I also adore Howl's Moving Castle and Sorcery and Cecelia. Those are definitely all books that are the literary equivalent of a big, fuzzy blanket.

Jenny Kaczorowski said...

Exactly! Sometimes my soul has no interest in chicken soup ;)

Jenny Kaczorowski said...

I need to read Howl's Moving Castle! I loved the movie, but you know how that goes ;)

Scribbling Scarlet said...

I have to say I have not found that "comfort book" yet. I am still looking, although I am incredibly picky. I have read several books more than once, but that's usually because I fly through them so quickly the first round. When I went for my 2nd round through The Host I really took my time.

Jenny Kaczorowski said...

I do that too! Sometimes I need to see how things resolve before I can slowdown and enjoy.

Saybe Scott said...

I rarely re-read books, although mostly because people keep publishing exciting new ones and I can't find the time to return to old favorites. ;) But I've re-read Robin McKinley's Sunshine a couple of times and would definitely call it a comfort read. A number more I've re-read certain sections but not the whole thing - like I've re-read the end of Harry Potter 7 a couple times. I'm sure I must have had comfort reads as a kid, but can't think of what they would've been now.

Cathy said...

My go-to comfort reads are Harry Potter and The Count of Monte Cristo. I also reread Revolutionary Road a lot, but that's just to get lost in the writing, because the plot is most definitely not comforting. ;)

Jenny Kaczorowski said...

Endings make excellent comfort reads! You know the story so you don't need to read everything but you still get the emotional payoff.

Jenny Kaczorowski said...

That's an interesting point! There are books I read for plot, some for characters, some for the writing. All comfort or inspire in different ways but are worth returning to.

Maya Prasad said...

My comfort reads: Harry Potter, The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley, Song of the Lioness series by Tamora Pierce.

Darci Cole said...

Two series by David Eddings, The Belgariad and The Mallorean. Those were the books that got me loving fantasy, and ultimately got me writing it too. The world is fully realized, and the characters are so diverse, but so REAL. They're like my best friends.

Oh, and Harry Potter. There's never a bad time for Harry Potter. My husband and I fall asleep to the audiobooks. Like, year-round. Not joking. We're in the middle of book three right now... I think Harry just sneaked into Hogsmead and heard about Sirius being his Godfather and all that.

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