Thursday, August 18, 2011

COMFORT BOOKS

There are some books that read better when re-visited. Like old wine, like good friends, like really close family, they get better with time.

Every time you decide to re-read them, you feel a thrill of familiar anticipation...like the tingle I felt every summer vacation when I would board the train or bus to go my cousin's home in Calcutta. I knew what joys and excitements lay ahead, but the familiarity did not diminish the excitement or the joyousness.

And when you open the first few pages, there is no uncertain negotiation of the opening chapters, no awkward introduction of new characters and settings, no stressful grappling-to-know details. It's all blissfully familiar and comforting. Even if you have forgotten a few names and more-than-a-few events, the rediscovery is a relaxing journey along a familiar, comforting route.

NOT THE ROLLERCOASTER EXCITEMENT AND THRILL OF DISCOVERY OF A NEW BOOK. SOMETIMES THE SOUL YEARNS FOR THE GENTLE, AMBLING, START-FROM-ANYWHERE-AND-QUIT-AT-ANY-POINT REDISCOVERY OF AN OLD FAVOURITE BOOK.

BOOKS THAT DON'T KEEP YOU AWAKE THROUGH NIGHTS, BUT LULL YOU TO SLUMBER IN STEAD.

I have a pretty long list of old, faithful, familiar books that have comforted me through thick and thin. And top of the heap is AGATHA CHRISTIE, of the cosy murder-mystery fame/infamy. And then, there are chic-lit stalwarts like SOPHIE KINSELLA and MARIAN KEYES.

But if you say BOOKS, then it will have to be BRIDGET JONES' DIARY.

Closely followed by ALICE IN WONDERLAND.

WHAT IS YOUR COMFORT BOOK?

6 comments:

seana said...

I'm not much of a rereader, actually. I don't know why, since I don't have anything like a photographic memory. I'd be more likely to go for an unread work of an author I've loved. Dickens, maybe or some mystery series. Or, even a kid's book I've heard good things about but haven't gotten to.

Nice to see a new blog post from you, by the way.

Lazyani said...

My favourite comfort books are the entire feluda series. Wonderful feelings keep flowing through my mind whenever I revisit these stories.

Certain smells and tactile memories too join those moments to wonderful levels of comfort

sukku said...

I would my favourite book that I like to re-visit would be "The Monk Who Sold his Ferrari" by Robin Sharma.

lopa said...

I used to read Saratchandra back in India.Here, believe it or not I find comfort in Harry Potter.

Santanu Sinha Chaudhuri said...

Yes I agree, there are a few books you can turn to on a rainy day or when you get the first tingling feeling of an approaching influenza. I have a few of them, the short stories by Parashuram, Bibhuti Bhushan's Chander Pahad, The Hound of the Baskervilles, The old man and the sea, and of course, Tin Tin, ....

Thanks for telling me how good friends these books are.

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