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Self-care 101: Comfort reading

When the going gets tough, the tough . . . read. At least that's my experience, and it appears true for many of my friends and relatives, not all of whom are writers. Though now that I think of it, most of them are creatives. (Then again, aren't we all?)

Specifically, when the going gets tough, I reach for comfort reads. These fall into two camps for me: romance novels by writers I adore, whether I've read the specific novel before or not, and re-reads of novels that I love.

If you're curious about the romance novels, my favorite writers include Eloisa James, Sarah Maclean, Lisa Kleypas, Julia Quinn, and Julie James. Comfort re-reads include books I loved as a teen, including The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien and Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, plus books I found as an adult, including all six of the finished novels by Jane Austen, but especially Pride & Prejudice, Northanger Abbey, Sense & Sensibility and Persuasion (the other two have challenging characters for me that make them entertaining, but not necessarily comforting). I read children's books that I discovered as an adult, which would have been among my favorites as a tween/teen, including the Harry Potter series and the Tiffany Aching books by Terry Pratchett.

I also read books related to creativity that help to inspire me, including On Writing by Stephen King, Still Writing by Dani Shapiro, Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, and others.

Feeding the spirit with books that comfort and inspire is wonderful for self-care. It distracts from whatever is unpleasant at present, taking you into another space and mood. And if one is reading, one cannot be refreshing social media incessantly or staring at a news channel. And isn't filling the well and feeling a bit better a more beneficial use of time than generating stress and despair?

Now if you'll excuse me, I have a novel to finish reading . . .

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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 3rd, 2017 08:35 pm (UTC)
Yes, comfort reading is good! I'm currently rereading All-of-a-Kind Family and rediscovering why I loved it so much as a child. :)
Apr. 4th, 2017 01:47 am (UTC)
I cannot recall if I read that when I was a kid, though it seems likely!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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