Comfort reading - Livre d'Or








Miscellaneous. Eclectic. Random. Perhaps markedly literate, or at least suffering from the compulsion to read any text that presents itself, including cereal boxes. * Blogroll * Strange words * More links * Bookies * Microblog * Recent comments * Humans only * Second degree * By topic * Cool posts * Writing * New post

Tags

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



livredor
Comfort reading
Monday, 09 January 2006 at 10:46 am
Tags:

Previous Entry Next Entry


I have some really interesting people on my friends list. You should all go and check out this comment thread where people are introducing themselves, because there are some really fascinating potted bios!

Also, tattycat asked me: What do you find yourself reaching for when you need comfort reading?

If I need comforting, reading probably isn't the first activity that comes to mind. When I'm upset I need people contact and reading is very solitary for me. That said, if I want to read something that isn't too much effort and will cheer me up, I mostly return to childhood favourites.

So I suppose answering this question means indirectly answering the question of what I loved when I was a kid. Kipling, mainly Puck of Pook's Hill / Rewards and Fairies. Michelle Magorian: Goodnight Mister Tom, which is a really lovely book, beautifully written as well as being touching. Paul Gallico's children's books, which tend to be quite weird and rather sentimental, but sometimes suit my mood especially if I'm not feeling well. The man who was magic and the two cat books, Thomasina particularly and Jennie to a lesser extent. I have been known to reread Elinor M Brent Dyer's Chalet School books, particularly the ones in the middle of the series, and I have something of a soft spot for The new mistress at the Chalet School because I so much wanted to be Kathy when I was a kid.

Anyone else?


Moooood: nostalgicnostalgic
Tuuuuune: Steeleye Span: Rave On (a cappella)
Discussion: 12 contributions | Contribute something
Tags:

Previous Entry Next Entry




Contribute something
View all comments chronologically



karen2205: default
From:karen2205
Date:January 9th, 2006 12:14 pm (UTC)
49 minutes after journal entry, 01:14 pm (karen2205's time)
(Link)
Hmm - comfort reading for me = Chalet School books, but more usually, David Edding's Belgariad & Mallorean series. Oh and a couple of Tamora Pierce's children's books. The Clan of the Cave Bear is comfort reading for when I want to cry - there are two passages in the book that invariably make me cry.
(Reply to this comment) (Thread)
rho: default
From:rho
Date:January 9th, 2006 12:36 pm (UTC)
1 hours after journal entry, 01:36 pm (rho's time)
(Link)
I don't often read for comfort either, but for me it's because when I'm upset, I find it difficult to concentrate on reading, and need to do something fairly mindless to calm down. That said. That said, I do find Neil Gaimn's graphic novel Death: The High Cost of Living can sometimes work for me.
(Reply to this comment) (Thread)
coalescent: default
From:coalescent
Date:January 9th, 2006 01:32 pm (UTC)
2 hours after journal entry, 02:32 pm (coalescent's time)
(Link)
I don't read for comfort, but reading is a comforting activity. I also almost never re-read. So I don't have particular 'comfort reads', at least as a general rule; although there is one book I've had in the back of my head to return to for a few months, now, and that's Kim Stanley Robinson's Pacific Edge. A more perfectly bittersweet novel you will not find.
(Reply to this comment) (Thread)
beckyzoole: default
From:beckyzoole
Date:January 9th, 2006 05:46 pm (UTC)
6 hours after journal entry, 12:46 pm (beckyzoole's time)
(Link)
When I need comfort, I am generally too upset to concentrate. But one must still read, after all! So I generally turn to Jane Austen. She's familiar, not emotionally triggering, and describes a world in which there is a comforting sense of order. After my Dad died, I reread Sense and Sensibility, Emma, Pride and Prejudice, and Persuasion several times each.
(Reply to this comment) (Thread)
dr_jen: default
From:dr_jen
Date:January 9th, 2006 06:51 pm (UTC)
7 hours after journal entry
(Link)
I go for the Katharine Kerr books set in Deverry. I find the way that the different timelines twine together quite hypnotic and calming.
(Reply to this comment) (Thread)
From:tattycat
Date:January 9th, 2006 08:35 pm (UTC)
9 hours after journal entry
(Link)
That works for me :) To be fair, here's my list:

Oathbound, Oathbreakers, and Oathblood by Mercedes Lackey.

Mirabile by Janet Kagan.

The Dark is Rising series by Susan Cooper.

For me, comfort reading is more for when my mind is restless and can't settle. Reading something familiar, yet charming and distracting, is a good way to help calm me down a bit.
(Reply to this comment) (Thread)
doseybat: default
From:doseybat
Date:January 9th, 2006 11:30 pm (UTC)
12 hours after journal entry, January 10th, 2006 02:30 am (doseybat's time)
(Link)
The Sandman series does wonders for feeling comforted..
(Reply to this comment) (Thread)
hypatia: default
From:hypatia
Date:January 10th, 2006 01:00 pm (UTC)
1 days after journal entry
(Link)
This idea of rice pudding books fascinates me - so much so that I've nicked it and mini-memed it in my own journal!

Childrens books I'd imagine to be generally popular and favourite re-reads but for some reason humour rarely works for me in this situation. I've expanded the categories a bit because I can't help myself :)
(Reply to this comment) (Thread)
rysmiel: currying favour
From:rysmiel
Date:January 11th, 2006 07:56 pm (UTC)
2 days after journal entry, 03:56 pm (rysmiel's time)
(Link)
Comfort reading for me doesn't seem to fall onto the same patterns; I think the closest I have to a comfort book at the emotional level at which other people here are talking about them is Robert Charles Wilson's The Harvest. But I much more often, when I want to retreat and be heartened and protected by a book, want to reread something that confirms my faith in the possibility of some particular striking thing being doable with the language, and the books that do that for me tend in general not actually to be very nice emotionally, nice emotionally is kind of orthogonal to that purpose; a quick list would include The Worm Ouroboros, Use of Weapons, The Child Garden, King of Morning, Queen of Day, The Armageddon Rag and The Dragon Waiting. I can see the Secret Counrtry books heading in that direction for me, too.
(Reply to this comment) (Thread)
rysmiel: currying favour
From:rysmiel
Date:January 11th, 2006 07:59 pm (UTC)
2 days after journal entry, 03:59 pm (rysmiel's time)
(Link)
If I'm going to list those I really should add Random Acts of Senseless Violence as well, I've probably reread it as much as most of the others on that list. [ So looking forward to what you think of it. ]
(Reply to this comment) (Up thread) (Parent) (Thread)
angeyja: default
From:angeyja
Date:January 15th, 2006 11:09 pm (UTC)
6 days after journal entry
(Link)
If I need comforting, reading probably isn't the first activity that comes to mind. When I'm upset I need people contact and reading is very solitary for me. That said, if I want to read something that isn't too much effort and will cheer me up, I mostly return to childhood favourites.

If I am upset, or very tired/stressed is more apt, I cannot do people contact easily. Books wouldn't be the beginning of that. It would more likely be bringing good things into my space which can include certain people, or ideas, things like walking in the woods, making art if I can, and then long baths, good food, and books finish every day. I am more careful with what I read when I could use comforting because I tend to read deeply and absorb.

So while comfort books aren't what I read as a child, there are thematic elements that I return to. More often , it would be something lighter, or and author/character voice that connects with and reinforces. Some of these can be a little odd. Dick Francis frex. And minding what rysmiel wrote above, language, but in my case this is language that reinforces because of creating beauty/shift. Oddly, we do agree on two of those books on r's list but for different reasons, I think, and they were both books that Rysmiel recced. I do think that Ford is one of the short handful of authors that I both admire and find comforting. Pamela Dean's voice is very comforting to me; but, her books, while books I return to are not that. Posts like this also tend to lead to many other questions in my mind about what is happening in the readers'.


So I suppose answering this question means indirectly answering the question of what I loved when I was a kid.

I've seen this post a fair amount since coming to LJ. I enjoy seeing it reoccur because it always gets me thinking further. That general issue of what makes stories inportant to people is one where I'd like to see something long detailed and including lots of dialogue.

So seeing this, my first thought was to wonder what about the childhood books? Was it about having a good one, or stories that meant somthing then? Mine had mostly to do with the latter, so when I spoke above about the actual books being differnt; but some thematic continuity, I meant that in some books I am looking for similar things but because my experience of life is different now they aren't the same books.


I think I may define comfort a little differently than straight warapping up in a soft space and hugging.
(Reply to this comment) (Thread)
angeyja: default
From:angeyja
Date:January 15th, 2006 11:18 pm (UTC)
6 days after journal entry
(Link)
Apologies that last bit is about a direction I started to head off and then went somewhere esle, and didn't realize it was still at the end of the page. Some books enfold me that way and the hug is the basic faith in the world. But, when I see this post in different journals it seem to use comfort in a broader sense. And I think, and again this is probably about where I am in life, what can be most comforting has that connection with grounding, and then also something about actualization.

Which needn't be literature perse. I still tend to want to read Xmen comics frex, and I still return to fairy tales and myth for the added layers. And I am afraid I still find some pretty bad stuff comforting.
(Reply to this comment) (Up thread) (Parent) (Thread)



Contribute something
View all comments chronologically