Which Books Bring You Comfort?
I have been really struggling with what to write this week, with the current world news , nothing quite seemed right to share. Then I saw a reminder that it was world book day (something that usually passes me by now my children are adults) and I knew that was what I wanted to share. Books have always been my safe space, since I was able to read independently. They are the place I escaped to when I was lonely of frightened, a safety blanket I could take out into the world with me that acted as a buffer. They were the place I learnt about the world and people, and I still maintain that stories are often how we make sense of the world. In The Starless Sea, Erin Morgenstern writes that ‘We are all made up of stardust and stories’.
I still rarely leave the house without a book, whether it’s print one or and audiobook in my ears, they are my constant companion. They are still where I gain new knowledge and explore new ideas to expand my understanding of the world. In my office I am surrounded by books related to my work, some still to be opened and other covered in scrawled notes and most somewhere in between. I love discovering a new book, full of new interpretations of old ideas, or presenting me with something completely different than what I have read before. But I also have a special place for those old friends that I drift back to time and time again, where I can sink into them, like my favourite jumper. Sometimes it can feel like a struggle to keep the balance of discovering new books and returning to the old familiar favourites.
Right now, while the world feels so uncertain, I find I have abandoned the half-read pile on my bedside table and am again seeking comfort in those books I have read and listened to more times than I can name. Over the last couple of weeks, I keep going back to Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels, which have been part of my life for nearly 30 years. I enjoy the stability and predictability of them at a time when so much is unstable, and if I can escape into that for half an hour at the end of the day and go to sleep with the wisdom of Granny Weatherwax or Sam Vimes in my ears, that feels like a good thing.
I’d love to know what your favourite books to revisit are.