Over Christmas one of the TV channels showed all 8 Harry Potter films and it got me thinking that I’m due a reread. I don’t go in for a yearly reread like some people do but I do one periodically. This in turn got me thinking about my comfort reads, those books you return to again and again. Maybe you read them just because your in the mood or maybe at times when you have stuff going on and need to escape but can’t concentrate on anything. They are so familiar though that you can just slip back into them like your favourite pair pyjamas and curl up into a different world.
Since this week Broke and Bookish have given a freebie week it seemed the perfect opportunity to make my list of comfort reads, despite the fact no matter what way you count it the list doesn’t add up to 10 (4 authors, 15 books).
Entry no 1 is where this post began…Harry Potter by JK Rowling. All 7 books and how many thousand pages. I’m part of that generation who genuinely grew up with these books. I was 9 when I read the first book about a year after it had been published and 18 when the last was published. I remember being handed the first one and getting my parents to bring me to que up to get later books at midnight releases. They are an intrinsic part of my childhood as they are for many my age. 10 years ago Young Adult fiction was non existent at least in Ireland but we had Harry Potter to weather those tough teenage reading years. I’ve reread these books more times than I can remember and have no doubt at 90 I’ll still be reading them with the same fevour as I did at 9.
Entry 2 is my obsession…Jane Austen. I’ve loved her books since I was 6 and watched the BBC adaption of Pride and Prejudice with my mother. Little did my mother know what she was starting when getting her 6 yr old to sit down and watch a period drama based on an early 19th century novel. As soon as I was old enough I began to make my way through the books and never looked back. My favourites have changed over the years from an early obsession with Lizzie Bennett (Pride and Prejudice) to a teenage desire to be like independent Emma Woodhouse (Emma) to a mature respect for patient Anne Elliot (Persuasion) and trod upon Fanny Price (Mansfield Park). Those girls were there for it all existing in a world where everything ends happily ever after. OK so I’m rather fond of my 19th century authors.
Entry number 3 is Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. I read this first aged 17. Around the same time I had to read Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte which I hated. I wanted to give Cathy a good shake. But in her sisters work I found a heroine I could relate to. Jane was smart, quiet and liked reading and with a love story which appealed to my melodramatic teenage yearings. It’s another book I’ve read and reread more times than I can count. I’m due a reread actually.
OK I really like my 19th century female authors. My final entry is North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell. I’ve only read this once so far as I only discovered it last year however I already know I’ll be reading it again and again. It hits all the same notes as Jane Austen’s books and Jane Eyre. It’s like Austen meets Dickens.
So there you have it my top comfort reads combining 4 authors and 15 books. What are your comfort reads? PS February 5th is World Harry Potter day.