Comfort Books

Lots of people have comfort foods; I don’t think that I’m one of them. At one point, it was frozen chicken quesadilla rolls, but I think I’ve grown out of that. I used to have an incredible fondness for chicken drumsticks, but I also don’t think I’d call them a comfort food. Chocolate makes me happy, but I don’t reach for it when I’m stressed or sad. To be honest, what I’m more likely to do is reach for a book. (Or, if I’m really angry/upset, play “In the End” by Linkin Park, which is my number one life-sucks-get-over-it song of all time).

Anyway, comfort books. I don’t know if I’m the only one who has them. There’s one book I own, Seven Types of Ambiguity which I have read so many times that I can just pick it up and open it onto any page and just start reading from there. I’ve also read my copy of Ender’s Game so many times that the spine is nearly worn through. And I’ve read the four (*sigh*) books of GRRM’s series A Song of Ice and Fire so many times through that I can read them in any order whatsoever (the third book is my favorite, though).

I don’t know why some books are inherently more comforting than others. The first books I mentioned, Seven Types of Ambiguity, I bought while ignoring texts from a rather needy, obsessive guy I pseudo-dated in my sophomore year. Maybe the taking it home and reading it after the phone had been turned off sort of triggered something in my mind, something that made that association. It is an overall awesome book, though, and I’d highly recommend it to pretty much everyone.

The GRRM books I read because I think they’re a fabulous example of worldbuilding and every time I read them – even though I’ve owned them for years upon years – I find something new that I missed. In contrast (and this isn’t to say that it’s a bad thing), I don’t see any of Steven Erikson’s books as comforting. They are far too incredible and complex for that. His series is also excellent and also highly recommended by me (and writes faster than GRRM – approx one 800-900 page book per year and is writing the last book of his ten book series which should be released later this year), but there’s something fundamentally different between his books and GRRM’s. I love both. I reread both.

Oh, yeah. And then there’s The Name of the Wind.  That’s another one which I can pick up and open in nearly any place and enjoy. One of the best fantasy books out there, IMO, even if the second one isn’t out yet. Here’s to hoping it comes out in 2010!

I realize that this post is kind of disjointed. But it’s like comfort foods. You can’t explain why it is that eating doritos and peanut butter (made up example, I swear) makes you feel better, it just does. And I can’t explain why some awesome books are comfort books for me, and others (which are equally awesome) aren’t.

Does anyone else have comfort books, or is it just me?

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Comfort Books

  1. Joe

    The Harry Potter series are my comfort books, particularly the last three.

  2. jordanio10

    The Road by Cormac McCarthy is my definite comfort book, highly recommend it if you haven’t read it yet

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