One of the reasons I love to read is the escape it can provide from real life. When the world gets to be a bit much, a great book can sweep you away into another reality and provide a distraction. I have a few books set aside as comfort reads:
Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell
This is the ultimate comfort read because nothing really happens in the book. It really just outlines life in this small fictional English town and how life passes for its residents. I have only read through Cranford once, but would crack it open from time to time and read bits and pieces from it. There’s something about the quiet narrative that I found so comforting. There’s also the wonderful BBC adaptation starring Judy Dench, which you should absolutely watch.
Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
I only just read this book, but I can tell already that it’s going to be the book that takes me away when life gets overwhelming. It’s almost like an extended fairy tale – the world is so different from anything we’d experience in real life and it fully gets its hooks into you.
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
If you haven’t read this childhood classic, seriously go get it right now. It’s a must for anyone who loves reading, language, and word play – to this day I have never read anything quite like it. The Phantom Tollbooth was my go-to book as a kid, and I think I’ve read it over one hundred times. It is the ultimate comfort read because it’s short enough to read in an afternoon, is a world of pure imagination, has the best illustrations, and is ridiculously fun.
So, I’m opening the discussion to all you lovely readers: do you guys have go-to comfort reads? What makes a book comforting for you? What’s your favorite genre to read as a distraction from the real world?