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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Comfort Reads

For the last two weeks I've been laid a bit low - first a mini flu that, while not as bad as Influenza, sucked non the less. Then, just when I'd hit the goal of running for 20 minute straight (training for a 5k with my daughter) my back went out. Like way, way out. I had to go to a chiropractor two towns away to find my back again. Had to have x-rays. Had to wear a brace. All yucky stuff.

Now, I read a LOT. I read several books at once and I feel naked if I get on any public transportation without a book or two on my person. I read every night for at least an hour before bed. But when I'm sick (or hopped up on goofballs, as the case may be) I need comfort books to read.

These are books I've read before. (Side Question: Are you the kind of person that does read books again, or do you never go back to terrain you've already covered?) It might be The Chronicles of Narnia (I'm usually pretty ill and longing for childhood when that happens.) Or the Garth Nix Abhorsen trilogy.

More often than not it's golden age mysteries. Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, Ngaio Marsh.

This last time I re-read the Dorothy Sayers books with Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane. For mystery books written in the 1930's the feminist and social progressive quotient is pretty high. And I do have a t-shirt that says 'What Would Harriet Vane Do?" Because I often wonder about that.

It's funny that golden age mysteries are my comfort re-read - since, duh, I already know whodunit. But I find them immensely soothing and I don't have to worry about figuring it out the mystery. I can linger in the drawing rooms of landed gentry and in the back alleys with sly bolsheviks. What could be more conducive to recovery than a pack of bolsheviks, I ask you?

What's your literary equivalent to homemade mac n cheese?

18 comments:

  1. I love Rita Mae Brown horse-related mysteries, and John Irving books always make me happy.

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    1. Thanks for the good vibes. Would you believe I've never read John Irving? Do you have a rec?

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  2. My comfort read is Harry Potter. And if I'm too lazy to even read, I have them all on audio. Something about Jim Dale's voice makes it all okay. :)

    Feel better!

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    1. Honestly, so many people have said HP that I don't know how I missed it. Probably because I'm reading them to my kids a lot now!

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  3. I have lots of comfort reads. I can pick up Order of the Phoenix, flip to a random page, and read. That makes me feel better. I also LOVE to read old kiddie favorites, mostly Nancy Drew or The Baby-Sitters Club. I can read any of those (and do) when I'm feeling nostalgic, sick, uncreative, or, you know, if it's a day ending in Y. :) Reading Agatha Christie now and loving it!

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    1. Oh, what Christie are you reading? I've read them all several times. Truly comfort reading!

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  4. I read books only once. I don't have the time in my life to spend more than that on any one novel. I just have my memory of them to rely upon.

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    1. Michael, I find that so interesting because I'm so much the opposite! Is it the same for movies?

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  5. Sorry to hear about your back trouble. I run (more like jog), too, but I always allow distractions to keep me from being consistent. Today, I told myself I'd do better. But I say that every time I start again.

    Yes, I do re-read books. I've got a bunch of them stored away that I plan to re-read during the lazy days of summer. :)

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    1. I just recently gOt into rjnning and was genuinely upset to have to give it up for a while. Before I was a serious couch tater. Now I get up, put on my running clothes and go for a walk- just do I don't lose momentum. Kinda boring compared to running but I'll get back soon. Hope you keep at it too!

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  6. Mmm, mac 'n cheese. My comfort books are the Harry Potter books. I so easily fall into that world and I'm very much at home there.

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  7. I read for comfort (and I read a lot, hmm. . .) but I can never read the same book twice (one of the symptoms of my neophilia).

    Feel better!

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    1. Thanks AngelIna
      So here's my question for you one time only readers- is it the se for movies and tv episodes? And have you ever forgotten you've already read a book until you're half way in?

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  8. These are some of my favorite rereads. I have every Agatha Christie mystery on my shelves, plus my favorite Sayers (Yes, the ones with Harriet). I also go back to a lot of British kids' books that I grew up with (Mom grew up in England).

    Fun comfort reads, but lousy reason--hope your back is MUCH better soon, if not now.

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    1. Comfort needs no reason! That's what I say as I delve into Gaudy Night (again)

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  9. My mom is a big re-reader... the number of new books she reads is very small, and it always baffles me. I do re-read on occasion, but I have to REALLLLLY like the book for it to make it to my "Keep This Forever" shelf. My comfort reads are probably Anne of Green Gables, Emily of New Moon, Narnia, the Candy Kane books (old children's books that I read when I was a girl at my great-grandmother's house), and the Dark Tower.

    LOL It's just now cracking me up that my "comfort reads" are children's books... and Stephen King.

    Jo
    In Which We Start Anew

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