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?