In the course of a conversation yesterday with a dear friend, the concept of comfort food came up. She felt the need to indulge in some, and mentioned that she’d been retreating to comfort books recently, as well.
And I knew exactly what she meant.
Books that you know inside and out. Books you know will give you a sense of “coming home.” Books whose characters you count among your favorite friends.
I’d like to imagine that I only turn to comfort books when I’m particularly stressed. I’d like to say that I go out of my way regularly to read challenging books, inspiring books, informative books. But the truth is that, almost every time I go to choose the next book to read, it’s one of those old friends…or at least one that I’m reasonably certain is likely to become one of those old friends. Of course, that could be a result of a lifetime of feeling the need to escape from reality. Hmmmm…maybe that’s a train of thought to pick up another time.
I’m perfectly happy reading a “friend book” three, five, ten, or more times over the years. That’s not to say I NEVER pick up a best seller, biography, or historical account. But it takes a concerted effort to make myself do it. Even though I’m almost always glad I did.
So…what have been my comfort books recently?
I’m just about certain I’ve read every single Agatha Christie, and most multiple times. Last week a friend gave me several Christies to put into our Little Free Library, including a few titles I hadn’t read in many years. So this week I’ve been enjoying “Third Girl.”
The Miss Read books, two different series revolving around country villages in England, give me a warm and fuzzy feeling that’s better even than soft pajamas and a fleece blanket. Last week I pulled “Winter in Thush Green” from the “Miss Read” section of my bookshelf and immersed myself in quaint comfort.
I haven’t visited my friends in Harmony for almost a year, so this series is about due for a re-read. Humor surrounding small town life, combined with deep thoughts about theology and the human condition, all wrapped up with adorable characters. You can’t get much more comforting than that.
I’m wondering – does anyone else out there have comfort books they turn to? I’d love to hear about them!