Comfort Books

There is a particular type of book – I suppose it must be very individual for each person, but generally this type of book is either a favorite novel, well thumbed and read many times, a book from childhood with a silly story but beautiful writing, or sometimes even just a Peanuts comic-book from the sixties. These books are comfort, at least to me.
When I’m feeling horrible, or just down and sad for no reason, all I need is to pick up a book like this, tuck myself into bed, and read for a couple hours.
The yellow pages seem the most beautiful thing in the world and the crinkle as I turn them is like music to my ears. The smell – ah, the smell! I sometimes literally pause in my reading and bury my nose in the spine, sniffing up the memories of childhood, when I first read the book, or the countless bus-rides and walks to school when I read it, or even just the memory of being exactly where I’m sniffing, curled up in my bed, just a few months or years beforehand.
Some people have comfort foods – ice-cream, chocolate, warm milk. I have comfort books.


3 thoughts on “Comfort Books

  1. My wife got me a set of the complete works of Mark Twain. She found them in an estate sale.

    They are in fair condition but have an old musty smell from years of sitting in some widow’s house in Mississippi.

    Who needs television?

  2. I have two books JUST like this. The pages really are yellow. I’d like you to see them so you’ll know I’m not making it up. One is an old copy that my uncle gave me of To Kill A Mockingbird and the other is an old yellowed copy of Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier that I got from my mom. Just holding them makes me feel safe and the yellow pages just make them feel warm. And they still have a “smell” that’s very comforting to me.

    I know just what your talking about.

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