Thursday, September 13, 2007
Booking Through Thursday: Comfort Food
Okay . . . picture this (really) worst-case scenario: It’s cold and raining, your boyfriend/girlfriend has just dumped you, you’ve just been fired, the pile of unpaid bills is sky-high, your beloved pet has recently died, and you think you’re coming down with a cold. All you want to do (other than hiding under the covers) is to curl up with a good book, something warm and comforting that will make you feel better.
What do you read?
(Any bets on how quickly somebody says the Bible or some other religious text? A good choice, to be sure, but to be honest, I was thinking more along the lines of fiction…. Unless I laid it on a little strong in the string of catastrophes? Maybe I should have just stuck to catching a cold on a rainy day….)
On the upside, a rainy day is my favorite kind of day. After I dry my eyes, wash my face, get into some very comfortable clothes, mentally set out a plan of how to deal with the mess I seem to have gotten myself into--prioritize, maybe make a call or two to defer some of the bills, see where I can cut corners and outline a tight budget, update my resume, hide all the pictures of my beloved pet so I don't break down again, destroy that favorite baseball cap my ex left behind, and take a little medicine, I may be ready to curl up with a book. Up until then, I most likely would vegetate in front of the television, flipping through the channels and trying to get the motivation to do anything at all. I'm the kind of person who likes to set things in some semblence of order if I expect to seek comfort after a major life catastrophe. I cannot relax otherwise.
I realize though that this is not the point of the question. Less disaster would be much more conducive to creating a desire to tuck my legs underneath me on the couch, pull the afghan up to keep warm, and seek comfort in the pages of a book. This in an effort to fight off a cold and put distance between whatever other trauma I've suffered in my life recently.
Comfort comes in varying ways. Much depends on where my mind is and what I am going through at any particular moment. My first inclination is to say that a comfort read for me is something light in subject matter, perhaps on the funny side, maybe easygoing, and not especially thought provoking. While that may be true when I have had an especially stressful day at work and my brain feels overworked, it isn't necessarily always the case. When I most need to take my mind off of things, I like to read a mystery or a suspense/thriller--something fast paced and so engrossing and intense that I forget about all else. It can be funny or serious, maybe some of both. Sometimes I just want a bad guy to despise and some evil to fight against. If I want to be cheered up, definitely something with a happy ending is in order.
It is difficult to name one particular book that I turn to for comfort since I rarely reread a book. I often think of Charlaine Harris, Jan Karon, Jane Austen, and James Patterson among the authors whose books I might find soothing.