Saturday, October 11, 2008

Comfort reads

When Lee first asked me to guest blog I was really excited, however then I realized that I might have to talk about something a bit more exciting than what I ate for breakfast or how many chocolate bars I gave my kids just so I could get some writing done (please don't ask or the Bad Mother police will be paying me a visit).

Anyway, as anyone how knows me can attest, I'm not a thinker so the more I tried to figure out what to blog about, the more tempting it was to go down the me/breakfast, kids/chocolate bar route. In fact, it was starting to hurt my head so much that I turned the computer off and picked up the Georgette Heyer book I'm currently re-reading (Charity Girl for those who are interested).

And that's when I started thinking about comfort reading. I have a long list of favorite authors, but when it comes to the books that I read again and again, the list is a lot smaller: Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, Jilly Cooper, Betty Neels and Essie Summers.

Now, if I was a thinker I would probably have a wonderful explanation of what it is about these authors that makes them so special, but unfortunately I'm not, and the best I can offer up is that there is just something about the worlds that they create that makes me want to keep visiting. So what I'd like to know is, what do other people think about comfort reads? Do you have them and what is it about the books or authors that makes you pick them up over and over again?


Christina Phillips said...

I've always had books that I'll read again and again - started off with Enid Blyton and the Narnia books (ok I admit I still re-read the Narnia books!!!) and I've read the first three Harry Potters so often I've lost count. But as to why? I'm not sure. Because they are like snuggling up in fluffy slippers and relaxing with a lifelong friend?

Lucy said...

I don't think I've ever intentionally re-read a book (I say intentionally because a couple of months ago I was reading a book and figured out the ending - realizing I was able to do that because I'd read it before grrrr!). My comfort reading is the light, fun books. Stories that warm the heart and can make you laugh AND cry (in a good way). And there are certain authors, I think, that tend to write their books that way. Linda Barrett writes the stories that warm your heart. I LOVE her books (although I don't think they're necessarily ones that make me laugh out loud). I love Eileen Rendahl's books - especially Do Me, Do My Roots. Sophie Kinsella makes me do the snort laugh, she's so funny.

But, when it came time to decide what to pack up when I evacuated for Ike, I took several books I knew I would someday read (and wanted to save) and only ONE that I had already read and that was my recently acquired, autographed copy of You Had Me at Halo. It's one of my top three all time favorite books and I seriously packed that so it wouldn't be lost if everything in my house was lost.

Pat Posner said...

I think Christina summed it up in her last sentence.
Some books are like lifelong friends and knowing you can meet those friends whenever you want to is great.

Sara Hantz said...

I'm not a comfort re-reader.... I don't re-read books very often (unless I buy them by mistake after the publisher has changed the cover... don't get me on that one). I am, however, a great comfort movie watcher... and will watch my favorites so often I know every line of dialogue (and lyric in many cases).

Anna Campbell said...

Ooh, Amanda, a blog after my own heart. I definitely have a list of comfort reads - in fact they have their own special bookcase in the bedroom! A couple that spring to mind are LORD OF SCOUNDRELS by Loretta Chase (an all-time classic!) and A COUNTESS BELOW STAIRS by Eva Ibbotson - such a treat if you haven't read it!

Helen said...

I have lots of books that I would read again anytime but I have a huge TBR pile so I feel a bit guilty if I re read a great book but have all of these wonderful books that I haven't read yet.
But I am sure there will come a day when I will be re reading wonderful authors like Anna Campbell Kathleen Woodiwiss Stephanie Laurens there are lots more but I will stop there.
Have Fun

Estella said...

I don't reread books intentionally.

Pat Cochran said...

I can't say that I re-read for
comfort, but I can say that I read
for comfort!

Thanks, Anna, for another book to
be added to my TBR list!

Pat Cochran

Shelley Munro said...

I'm not a big rereader of books but the Stephanie Plum series is one where I've reread some of the books. With this series I love the humor, I like the fact that Stephanie has two men on the go (I know this very thing annoys some people but not me) and the secondary characters really amuse me.

Amanda Ashby said...

Christina - oh, I like the fluffy slipper idea!!!!

Lucy - that is so cool you packed Halo - though I'm just happy you survived Ike!

Pat - I think you comfort read even more than I do!!!!!

Sara - it's strange isn't it because I couldn't watch the same movie as often as you do but could quite happily re-read books!

Anna - you are such a pro! I'm so impressed that you've got a special bookshelf for your favs!!! I'm definitely going to keep me eye out for those two books!!!

Helen - yes, I agree, I already know that I'll be re-reading Anna Campbell books in the future!!!!

Estella and Pat - you're definitely not alone - I know loads of people who think it's crazy to re-read a book!

Maureen said...

I haven't re-read a book in a long time but I have saved some favorites just in case I want to read them again. Some of the authors' books I have saved are from Linda Howard, Loretta Chase, Lisa Kleypas, Carla Kelly.

ilona said...

I have many friends I revisit whenever I need comfort and love. Anne McCaffrey, Mercedes Lackey, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Alan Dean Foster, E E 'Doc' Smith amongst others. They make me feel better when I escape into their worlds if life gets to unbearable.

Margaret Cloud said...

I like to read and the books I read have to be interesting and have agood plot. I like some with romance in them and I like to read a book that peeks your imagination and lets you think a little ahead and can figure out or think you have the plot figured out. I like surprised endings, I am not into horror books.

Amanda Ashby said...

Maureen - sometimes I get comfort from the fact that I have my fav books sitting on the shelf!!!!

Ilona - how can I have forgotten to mention Anne McCaffery? I often go and revisit Pern - and I love to re-read Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover books as well!!!

Margaret - hehehe - yes, I love to try and figure out what's happening next and I often find when I re-read a book I can pick extra clues that I missed the first time around!!