The Sunday Salon 8.22.2010 – Comfort Reads and a Surprise

The Sunday

I didn’t actually get that much reading done this week so if I did my normal Sunday Salon, it would look much like last week’s. Instead, I wanted to focus on one of my books specifically.


But first, I must share with you the Wonderful Thing I received in the mail yesterday. A few days ago, I got an email from Michelle of Le Mei Muse, telling me that she found something at Goodwill for $0.75 and bought it with me in mind and that she’d send it to me if I liked. Naturally, I immediately wanted whatever it was more than anything else in the world. So I waited a few days until this showed up:

I LOVE it! The little “Reading is Sexy” mug has become my internet presence and now I can take it out into the real world (plus, Rory wore this shirt on an episode of Gilmore Girls).

So thank you, thank you, thank you, Michelle. I love it. I want to wear it immediately. Also, you should all be following Michelle’s blog – she’s hilarious and artsy and just a joy to know.


Ok, on to the discussion.

For the past few weeks, I have been listening to the Harry Potter series. It’s my first time through the audio but certainly not my first time through the series. I find myself drawn to reread these books every few years. In fact, I am currently listening to Prisoner of Azkaban, and I would bet that I’ve probably read this book at least 5 times previously (it’s my favorite so I think I’ve read it more than any other).

Harry Potter makes me feel happy. I love being back in this world that I now know so well. I miss the characters when I’m away too long. Harry Potter is officially my newest “comfort read.” I read it when I want something I know, something I love. But Harry Potter is simply the newest in a long line of comfort reads.

The first comfort read I can remember is Charlotte’s Web. I used to read it when I was sad (of course, it made me cry, but I think I find that’s true with a lot of my comfort reads). I would flip to my favorite parts and lose myself in the story of Wilbur and Fern. At a very young age, I understood the need for a comfort read. I even managed to salvage the tattered copy from my childhood.

When I got a little older, that book because Little Women. A few years ago, when I was rereading it, my mom caught a glance of it in my bag and asked, “how many times have you read that book?” I couldn’t answer that question other than saying “a lot.” When I read Little Women, I felt like a part of the March family. And sometimes that’s what I needed – to escape into their story for awhile and leave real life behind.

When I was a little older still, my comfort read became The Starlight Crystal by Christoper Pike. I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve read this book either but it’s probably even more than Little Women. I have such fond memories of rereading this book that I’m afraid to read it again for fear that it won’t be very good (what I call The Last Unicorn effect). But even if it isn’t, it helped me through some of those early teen angst-filled years and that is the most important thing.

After that, I don’t think I had a comfort read for awhile. I was at a stage in my life when I turned to my friends or movies or music when I needed to escape and not to books. I was still reading, but I don’t remember going back to a specific book over and over again.

I’m sure there were more along the way, but those are my comfort reads that stand out. They are the books I have opened time and time again because of their familiarity.

What are/were your comfort reads?