by Shirley Hailstock
During this time, books sales seem to be going up. People have time on their hands and thankfully, they've decided to spend it with the magic of books.
I write contemporary novels, but back in the day, I was and am still a history buff. I could answer the entire column of history questions on the old Jeopardy program. I'm also good with numbers and dates, (math minor in college). This came in handy with the timeline question on exams. I even remember the date of the Friendship 7. (That was space capsule that took John Glenn up in 1962.)
So, you would think that all this looking backward would endear me to comfort reads – going back and revisiting ole haunts, plots, characters and stories.
Nope, not me.
Comfort Reads is a concept I don't subscribe to. There are so many books and so little time as the saying goes. I'd rather read a new book than re-read a past one. This doesn't mean I don't understand the need for familiarity, for knowing what the outcome will be in a novel. I read romances and I expect happily-ever-after when I close the cover. So I know the hero and heroine will overcome all obstacles in their way and find love.
This also doesn't mean I don't have a TBR (to be read) pile and no keeper shelf. Like all readers, I have both. And both could fill their own room.
The keeper shelf gives me comfort without re-reading. As I look over the titles and remember the characters I befriended and who allowed me to share their world and their adventures, I feel the same warmth as my friends who pull down a story to re-read. I can participate in discussions on the Bridgertons, the Madaris's, the billionaires and their babies. I remember ranch stories, cowboys, and academic classics.
My TBR pile hides gems that I only need to open a cover to find. I suppose the point of all this is we love to read and books hold wonders for us from visiting other worlds to finding a kindred spirit. And on that note, on my keeper shelf is Morning Glory by LaVryle Spencer. I loved this book so much I wouldn't read the last page, because I never want it to end.
I keep all of these and more. What's on your keeper shelf? What special book do you re-read year in and year out? What books do you pull down to comfort you? There's nothing better than a Heartwarming novel.
There are Christmas stories I read again and again--Mary Balogh, anyone?--just as I watch the same Christmas movies year after year. I think it's actually "comfort voices" I like more than actual comfort reads. I just bought a Pamela Morsi book because it was on sale and from my pre-Kindle days and lo and behold, I've never read it. But that voice...oh, that voice. A great post, Shirley. Stay safe!ReplyDelete
I watch the same Christmas movies year after year. If I love an author's voice, I look for a new (or new to me) book. There are so many books on my TBR pile that finding one with a voice I love is not a problem.Delete
I can absolutely relate to,your need for a ‘keeper’ shelf of books, Shirley. My keeper books are ones that brought me that same warm feeling as your LaVyrle Spencer book. A few belonged to my mother and although I doubt I’ll ever re-read them, I think of her when I see them on my shelves. Books bring more comfort than ever these days, don’t they? Especially heartwarming ones! :)ReplyDelete
That's what they do, Janice - warm our hearts. I watch a movie over and over again because my mother liked it. I thought it was the last one she saw before she died, but I looked up the release year and that wasn't the movie. But I think of her every time I see it.Delete
One of my keeper shelves has a six box set of Harlequin's Fortunes of Texas series. My mom was a voracious romance reader, give her a hunky guy in a cowboy hat and she was happy. She passed along lots of them to me. This set was the last one she gave me and I haven't been able to bring myself to go through them yet although she's been gone four years.ReplyDelete
I know it can be hard, but you'll probably remember good times with your mom and the things she liked.Delete
I used to reread more than I do now, but like Liz, I have favorite Christmas books. I have two shelves of Agatha Christie books I haven't touched in years, but I can't bear to give away, and lots of others I can, but need to sort through first.ReplyDelete
I collected Agatha Christie books.Delete
I have poetry and essays that I re-read. But I don't re-read a lot of fiction. Except Jane Austen!ReplyDelete
I write contemporary, but I belong to the Jane Austen society.Delete
I have keeper shelves, too, and I don't need to reread them, either, in order to find comfort in them--and inspiration. I think it's all part of building a life around reading and writing in so many areas. Sometimes I just touch the spines of books on my shelves, like greeting old friends. Yet, I regularly haul other books to the library for their shelves or for their sale. I take comfort in giving some books away, too.ReplyDelete
That's something I like too, giving books to the library. Sometimes, I even hide a small note in the pages telling a new reader how much I liked the book. I might sign it with my first initial or not at all. It's just touching someone else with the warmth I felt in going on the journey with those characters.Delete