13 September 2007

Booking Through Thursday: Comfort Food

Okay ... picture this (really) worst-case scenario: It’s cold and raining, your boyfriend/girlfriend has just dumped you, you’ve just been fired, the pile of unpaid bills is sky-high, your beloved pet has recently died, and you think you’re coming down with a cold. All you want to do (other than hiding under the covers) is to curl up with a good book, something warm and comforting that will make you feel better.

What do you read?

(Any bets on how quickly somebody says the Bible or some other religious text? A good choice, to be sure, but to be honest, I was thinking more along the lines of fiction. Unless I laid it on a little strong in the string of catastrophes? Maybe I should have just stuck to catching a cold on a rainy day….)

Well, it definitely wouldn’t be the Bible, our house not being equipped with one! But I’ve got plenty of other choices. First, there’s romantic comfort reading: happy ending guaranteed. Or cozy mysteries; a bit of a puzzle to distract me and the knowledge that things will work out for pretty much everyone except the corpses. Or a historical or fantasy novel, something that can transport me to a totally different time/world/whatever. Or something funny, like Janet Evanovich or Gerald Durrell or Douglas Adams or Ben Elton, that has a good chance of making me laugh - or at least smile. Or a trip back to my young(er) days with Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder or The Dark is Rising sequence by Susan Cooper. The last is actually 5 books in 1 volume, so it would keep me going for a while!

Actually, it occurs to me that the bulk of what I read could be classified as comfort reads. My fondness for reading only turned into the current full-blown obsession when I needed something to fill the void that for a normal person would be occupied by a social life. No matter how stultifyingly dull real life is, I always have my books to come home to. If I’m unhappy, escape is usually within arm’s length; and there’s an almost endless array of other places and other times and other lives that I can visit for a while. And books make wonderful companions: ever-present and always reliable.

6 comments:

Chris said...

Yep, books are good friends.

heather (errantdreams) said...

Books do, indeed, make fantastic friends. :) Wonderful entry.

Stephanie said...

What a great post!! That's the one thing about books. They are always there when you need them!

gautami tripathy said...

One good entry with great books. I like Jostein Gaarder anytime!

Rhinoa said...

I think for most people who read a lot it's a strange comfort. I love Douglas Adams and Ben Elton.

BookGal said...

It's interesting how many people have mentioned Janet Evanovich ... humor is a common theme.

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Header image shows detail of A Young Girl Reading by Jean-Honoré Fragonard, c. 1776