Comfort Food (BTT)

From this week’s Booking Through Thursday:

Okay . . . picture this (really) worst-case scenario: It’s cold and raining, your boyfriend/girlfriend has just dumped you, you’ve just been fired, the pile of unpaid bills is sky-high, your beloved pet has recently died, and you think you’re coming down with a cold. All you want to do (other than hiding under the covers) is to curl up with a good book, something warm and comforting that will make you feel better.

What do you read?

(Any bets on how quickly somebody says the Bible or some other religious text? A good choice, to be sure, but to be honest, I was thinking more along the lines of fiction…. Unless I laid it on a little strong in the string of catastrophes? Maybe I should have just stuck to catching a cold on a rainy day….)

Given the whole string of catastrophes, I’d be far too inconsolable to read. But take a few out and I’d be headed straight for some sort of mindless adventure or thriller. To be honest I wouldn’t pick a favorite, specific book, because I wouldn’t want to ‘taint’ it with those kinds of associations. Instead I’d go for some sort of brain-candy book that I hadn’t read yet. An Indiana Jones-type treasure hunt, most likely.


Edited to add: The new book review for today is Hip-Hop Hares and Other Moments of Epic Silliness.

Posted in News & Musings, Writing
18 comments on “Comfort Food (BTT)
  1. Stephanie says:

    I’m with you!! If I’m not too depressed to pick up a book, then it has to be something that I don’t have to “think” too hard about! Braincandy it is!! Stephen King does great in a pinch!

  2. Angela Young says:

    There is also the ‘I’ll sob for the characters, then I won’t feel so sorry for myself’ theory. It doesn’t always work, but it can. It worked for me with one of the books I chose, Maggie O’Farrell’s AFTER YOU’D GONE.

  3. heather says:

    Stephanie: It’s really interesting to see how the groups are splitting out: folks who want a distraction of some kind like Stephen King; folks who want something that’ll make them laugh or give them a happy ending such as romance; and folks who want to read something that they can identify with in their sadness or that will make them realize that other people have it worse than they do. Those seem to me to be the major groups, anyway.

    Angela: I definitely see the value in that; it just doesn’t often work for me. I think it did when I was younger, but now I mostly prefer distraction!

  4. ScottM says:

    I like the sob for others idea– it matched my first instinct. For that, I’d return to Lackey’s “Magic’s Pawn”. (Probably the whole Vanyel trilogy, but the first one’s great for feeling teenage angst and bitterness leavened with a solid ending.)

    If I wanted something more positive, Leguin’s “A Wizard of Earthsea” or Asprin’s “Myth Adventures” series would work. I don’t know how the silliness of Myth would read if you were sad when you began. It might be too far away for a good connection.

  5. Julie Rose says:

    You know, your Indiana Jones reference reminded me that, sometime last month, I was just having a garden variety Crappy Day(tm) and the only thing that my brain would accept was a BBC Doctor Who book!

  6. heather says:

    Scott: I need to read more Lackey. I’ve only read a few of her books. They’re definitely good for escapism, though.

    Julie: Oh, hey, see, that would be perfect!

  7. I don’t agree that bad memories can taint a book. In fact that book can exalt us away from that bad memory creating a better frame of mind.

    Brain candy too is relative. Poetry does that for me.

  8. heather says:

    gautami: To each his own; for me it can taint the experience. 🙂

  9. Trish says:

    I don’t necessarily go for a specific book, although I did list one that will make me feel better. I usually go for movies if I’m feeling that down (sometimes even on a rainy day I’d rather kick back with my old film pals). 🙂 thanks for coming by!

  10. But me in the “brainless” camp. I’d go for the Runelords or Temeraire or something along those lines. Maybe even Lloyd Alexander for a quick fun read, like The Book of Three.

  11. heather says:

    Trish: Yeah, if things are too bad reading is not quite right for me. Luckily they’re usually not that bad. But if they were, I might go for a nice dinner out, a movie, or some gaming instead.

    robustyoungsoul: There you go. Someone after my own heart!

  12. Bridget says:

    I’m like you, I wouldn’t want to “mess” with a favorite book – however, I might find myself a new favorite! I would probably go for a quickie mystery, or something like that …

  13. Judy says:

    As you know already, I’m one of the “brainless” bunch as well (of course, coming from a blonde that might be redundant. What do you think?) If I’m down in the dumps I don’t want something I have to think alot about and I definitely don’t want something upbeat and funny… bah, humbug!!

  14. Cynthia says:

    I don’t think I reach for a book, I sit quietly and stare at some scenery 🙂

  15. heather says:

    Bridget: Exactly my feelings. 🙂

    Judy: lol! I can relate!

    Cynthia: Yeah, sometimes I reach that point too. Or I play with the cats; they’re extremely comforting!

  16. Krones says:

    I would read the God Delusion and fellate the end of a gun barrel when I finished. I kid. I kid. How-to book on self lobotomies? 😀

    Ugh, seriously. Hmmm. I can’t make up what brain candy I’d consume, probably taffy or chocolate. mhmm.

  17. i definitely agree that there are too many catastrophes in this scenario for me to want to read! 🙂

  18. heather says:

    Krones: Mint chocolate chip ice cream for me! Although anything caramel is right up there too. 😀

    alisonwonderland: That’s why I just selectively subtracted some. *grin*

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