Julia's Bookshelf

I am a reader. I love books. I want to share this love.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Comfort Books

In November I'm hosting a book exchange. I wanted to clean out my bookshelves as I needed room for more and thought why not have many friends do so and then we can all get together and trade books. All leftover books will go to charity. This way everyone makes space and everyone gets new books. Brilliant, I think. So I have to go through the books and pull out the ones that are ready to move on. There are plenty of books that will stay, of course, dictionaries, travel guides, artbooks, histories, etc. There are other books that must stay as well. Books that get read and re-read. Some of these books are: To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee) Persuasion (Jane Austin) Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austin) Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte) The Harry Potter Series (JK Rowling) English Creek (Ivan Doig) The Mother Tongue (Bill Bryson) The Wolves of Willoughby Chase (Joan Aiken) The Little House Series (Laura Ingalls Wilder) Harpo Speaks (Harpo Marx with Raymond Barber) Calvin and Hobbes (various) (Bill Watterson) These are comfy books. Like your almost worn out PJs. Your old college sweatshirt. A big bowl of pasta. Mmmmm, comfy. There are lots of books on the shelf that I haven't read yet. And sometimes there are moments when I have a lull in reading (like when my magazines have piled up and I'm working through them) and I stand in front of the shelves going "hmmmm....what to read, what to read....nope....nope...why did I buy that?.....nope....hmmmmm" and then I see To Kill a Mockingbird or English Creek and all is well. The dusty, worn book comes down for a few days of snuggling. The travel books are great for daydreaming and remembering. Even if we have been to Tuscany or Paris or Rome already, they are kind of souvenirs on their own. I like to see where a travel book falls open, or where the pages are falling out. There are times when I am feeling at odds with myself, my career, or I feel restless and moody and nothing will satisfy. This is when I turn to the Little House series. Depending on how I feel, I choose a book in the series that reflects the mood. I have read these books so many times, and they never let me down. It is like stepping back to a simpler time in my life, when I didn't have to worry about incomes and mortgage and retirement funds. These books are the comfiest of the comfy. (More about Little House in another post.) What books do you read again and again? What comforts you?


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