Wednesday, November 28

Comfort Reads

I've felt a bit out of it just lately. It started about a month ago when I had this really nasty cold. I got over it, mostly, pretty quickly; but what followed was a bad cough and some sinus issues which left me feeling tired. Coughing is exhausting, plus it's hard to get a good night's sleep. And the sinus thing had me feeling dizzy which wasn't pleasant. I got my butt over to the doctor and got some prescription grade decongestant which helped a lot. No infection or anything so that was good news. I'm on the mend finally, but for a while I had trouble concentrating. This meant I was falling behind on my reading "GASP!"

When this happens, if you are a reader, the only thing to do is to turn to your comfort reads. Whether they are old favorites or new books by dependable authors, they are books that you turn to time and again because they give you exactly what you need. You know the plot will hold your attention. The fact that you have probably read it before just means that you know what to look forward to: that scene that had you laughing out loud, the character that lived in your head long after you closed the cover on the book, that moment when the hero triumphs and you just want to shout "Yes!" because you've lived through it with him/her and now you feel vicariously triumphant.

Not everyone understands the allure of a re-read. To some, once they've read that story it's done. They already know what's going to happen and so they have no interest in returning to the story. That's a good point and I can understand where they are coming from. But for me, a re-read is a comfort read. There are times when I don't want to try something new; I don't want to use my brain that much. I want something that I know will satisfy me, a bowl of favorite soup on a bad weather day. I want characters that I'll enjoy spending time with because they feel like old friends. My collection of comfort reads includes several authors and various genres, because what I want will depend on my mood. Like that bowl of soup, I might want something cozy and comfortable. Or maybe I'll be in the mood for spicy.

Of course there is a danger inherent in this practice. It's very easy to become complacent in your reading, to stick with what's safe rather than risk disappointment. That would a shame because you never know when a great new book may cross your path. So I indulge for a while, feeding my face with humor and mystery and closing myself away with characters that I know will be there for me. But not for long. Because the only thing better than an old comfortable read is discovering a new comfortable read. And you can't have too many good books, or good friends.


wapakgram said...

Glad you are feeling better. I love re-reads. Even if I have new books, sometimes you just have to have that laugh or excitement from an old friend.

Love, LOVE the furniture. Just right for reading.

And.....shhhhh....I know how to whistle REALLY REALLY loudly through my fingers. You should have told me...I can teach you. From such a small person, it would be awesome!!

McB said...

ooooh. Okay next CB get together, you and I are going off somewhere for a lesson.

Mary said...

I think the comfort read experience is enhanced with the comfy chair, especially if it comes with a cozy afghan and it's in comfortable proximity to a fireplace filled with crackling logs and the faint scent of pine... sigh. This is not helping me get motivated to go to work, damnit!

voihxx! the exclamation used by CBs when they walk into a whistling contest. Is the next meet going to be in Whistler, B.C.?

fmmjyl - the sound of frustration expressed when Blogger doesn't like your first verification offering.

McB said...

No fireplace, alas, but I'm going to work on the 'scent of pine' thing this weekend.

Angstriddengoddess said...

I think you gave me your cold :(

xpqntgah - sorry, didn't meant to come over and sneeze on your blog like that. My very bad :(

Theresa said...

Glad you're feeling better, McB! Colds and sinus crud is no fun. (Poor Mary.) And comfort reads. Yep. Especially when I'm stressed and busy. I've been missing many of mine lately, which are in boxes in Ohio. :(

I really like your last line. So true. No such thing as too many good books or too many good friends.