Comfort Reading: A Blanket Made of Books

I've been commissioning illustrations from Vicky Scott, a fine, fine illustrator, about book and reading terms that are familiar to us all. First, we did “Abibliophobia:” 

 Abibliophobia: the fear of running out of books - an illustration of a woman pushing books into a tent in her library with a panicked look on her face


And now, “Comfort Reading:”

Comfort Reading  books so soothing you could make a blanket out of them illustrated with the same woman from the first illustration with a blanket made of books on her lap


When I posted the latest illustration on Facebook, Heather S. asked the question perfectly: “What are your 'comfort blanket' books?” What books would you make a blanket out of if you could, and why? 


Random Musings

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  1. 1
    Heather S says:

    I don’t have very many comfort reads. A little “Pride and Prejudice” is always reliable, though. I guess my other ones (m/m romances) would be Tere Michaels’ “Faith and Fidelity” and “Duty and Devotion” are my favorite continuing series – I LOVE Matt and Evan. Steve Kluger’s “Almost Like Being In Love” is a great example of the “reunited” trope. Julie Anne Peters’ “Keeping You A Secret” (f/f romance) is perfect for fall reading – I think I need to dig out my copy.

  2. 2
    MissB2U says:

    Lord of Scoundrels, the Alpha and Omega series by Patricia Briggs, and believe it or not, some of the BDB books by J.R. Ward.

  3. 3
    Lisa J says:

    Julie Garwood’s Saving Grace, Prince Charming, Honor’s Splendour, Ransom, The Wedding, The Secret, or really any of her historicals are comfort reads for me.  I love escaping into the times and places she has created.  The characters feel like old friends and I enjoy spending time with them.

    Depending on my mood, I have comfort reads in contemporary, paranormal, sci-fi, historical, suspense, etc.  The world I seek for comfort really depends on what is going on in my world.

  4. 4
    Genghis Mom says:

    What Happens in London, Bridget Jones, Gods in Alabama, Agnes and the Hitman.

    Like a cozy quilt.

  5. 5
    Genghis Mom says:

    Oh and Garden Spells!! *le sigh* that book gives me a butterfly tummy every time I read it.

  6. 6
    Genghis Mom says:

    And Mariana! Ok. I won’t say any more. Such a cozy book! Even the cover is cozy! Alright. I’m done.

  7. 7
    Vicki says:

    Heyer’s Devil’s Cub and The Masqueraders, Le Guin’s Earthsea books, Anne Bishop’s Shalador’s Lady, Joe Hill’s Heart-Shaped Box (yeah, I know, horror as comfort read). My lastest ones are E.M. Tippet’s Someone Else’s Fairytale and Nobody’s Damsel, same characters but the first is a romance and the second’s mystery. I don’t know why but they are my current book crack. Sweet and fun and just keep reading them.

  8. 8
    Jen says:

    When I want comfort, I generally want to read a known quantity, something I know I will definitely enjoy (because I hate being disappointed in a book when I’m already in a bad mood). For me the safest bet of all is a Jill Shalvis. I’m working my way through her backlist, and boy will I be sad when I have read everything. But I always know I can count on her for a story that’s a little humorous, a relatively sweet characters, and not too heartwrenching.

  9. 9

    Love both graphics! :)

    There are others, I’m sure, but two series come to mind as my all-time favorite comfort reads. The first isn’t even a romance—-it’s Harry Potter. Laugh all you wish, but as a true HP fan I never grow tired of those books! I can reread them a million times, watch the movies a hundred more times, and still find something new, something that makes me think. I don’t care that the series was intended for children; yes, I was 8 or so when the 1st book came out, but I can easily see myself still reading them when I’m 80! So, when I want to literally dive into a book and live a few hours in its pages, I pick up HP. :)

    Now, romance wise, the three books I have reread the most over the years are Nora Robert’s Born In Fire, Born in Ice, and Born in Shame. I freakin’ love that series, and my copy is falling apart and ready to be replaced. AGAIN. I love the story, love the romance and the writing, and I especially love the setting (Ireland). I’ve probably read these books 20 times..each. And while I’ve loved many other books over the years, when I try to remember specific scenes or quotes, I usually can’t do it without rereading the book. Not so with these three; the entire story is practically printed in my mind, and I can think of a certain scene out of the blue and suddenly see it playing out in my head. Yep, that’s how much I love this series! :) The fact that it was also one of the first romances I read as a young teen probably helps to explain my reason why…


  10. 10
    Daisy says:

    Barbara Metzger, especially “A Loyal Companion.”

  11. 11
    Vasha says:

    The last time I was sick I curled up with The Innkeeper’s Song by Peter S. Beagle.

  12. 12

    My go to comfort read is Three Fates by Nora Roberts.  I’ve read it at least 6 times and the last time i read it was right after Hurricane Sandy.  I also like to re-read some of the In Death books, especially Loyalty in Death, when I am upset.

    @TheBookQueen, I am right there with you when it comes to the HP series.  I’m a few years older than you as I was 11 when book 1 came out.  I don’t consider those books to be for kids.  They are much too dark beginning with book 3 to be appropriate for kids.  They are very comforting because they take me back to when I first read them (except #2 because I was reading that one on 9/11 and I don’t like going back to that day).  HP was the first thing that I really fangirled over—I had to get the books the day they came out; I even made my dad take me to get the 5th book the day of my high school graduation because I had to have it.

  13. 13
    library addict says:

    Nora Roberts and Jayne Ann Krentz in all of the guises are comfort read authors to me. People can look at me oddly when I say I consider the In Death series to be a comfort read, but for me it is. And it’s one I reread often. There are also many of her trilogies, category, and single titles books I like to reread. I also love to reread early JAK single titles (such as Trust Me and Absoultely, Positively) as well as her Jayne Castle futuristics and many of her one-word Amanda Quick titles.

    I’ve only read the series once earlier this year, but I can easily see many of the books in Nalini Singh’s Psy/Changeling series being ones I will reread often.

    Cindy Gerard’s first Black Ops In book, Show No Mercy, is the book I reread most often by her.

    And Shannon Stacey’s Kowalski series and Devlin group.

    Meg Benjamin’s Long Time Gone

    Christine Feehan’s Safe Harbor, Shadow Game, Conspiracy Game, and Deadly Game.

    I could list a few more, but those are my main go to comfort reads.

  14. 14
    VandyJ says:

    Julie Garwood’s historicals are comfort reads for me. I also read David Eddings’ fantasy books over and over.  Nora Roberts has several trilogies that I love to revisit. 

    Mercedes Lackey has a series, the Five Hunderd Kingdoms, that I truly enjoy revisiting, especially The Fairy Godmother.  A bit of romance, a bit of magic and fairy tales, what’s more perfect?

  15. 15
    Cathy says:

    When I need a comfort book, I often go back to my old friends D.E. Stevenson, Rosamonde Pilcher, Maeve Binchy or my new friends Sarah Addison Allen, Katie Fforde, Jill Mansell.  I love rereading these books – they make me happy!

  16. 16
    Cathy says:

    Oh my, I forgot about Mercedes Lackey’s Valdamar series and Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders series.

  17. 17
    Caty says:

    The romances I find joy in time and again are Jennifer Crusie’s Bet Me (doughnut references aplenty! Elvis vs Elvis, plus Elvis the cat! an Italian restaurant I want to marry!), Tessa Dare’s A Week to Be Wicked (mathematically correct embroidery! Francine the fossil!), and Joanna Bourne’s The Spymaster’s Lady(revisiting my childhood crush on the Scarlet Pimpernel).

    And I’m in the middle of reading the series right now, but I think Juliana Gray’s books about the inhabitants of a castle in Tuscany in 1890 might find their way onto the list/blanket. Especially A Lady Never Lies.

    And the hallowed classics, of course: Lord of Scoundrels and The Devil in Winter.

    And ALL THE OTHER THINGS: Jasper Fforde’s books (the Thursday Next ones especially), Terry Pratchett (notably Night Watch, Jingo, I Shall Wear Midnight and…well, every other book he’s written), and Connie Willis’ To Say Nothing of the Dog. (Because of that book and Pushing Daisies I have an unrealistic expectation that every man named Ned is amazing in every way).

    And my favorite young adult book with pride of place on my shelf/blanket: Gerald Morris’ The Savage Damsel and the Dwarf. I will always love the scene with a knight in pink armor fishing and debating how to conjugate the verb “to cleave.”

    Ok. Deep breath. I’m stopping now, I promise.

  18. 18

    ditto Agnes and the Hitman is a great comfort read.

    I also love any of the Wallflower series.

  19. 19
    Patti O says:

    My comfort reads are the Miss Read books, Charlotte Macleod mysteries, and the Anne George mysteries.

  20. 20
    Fluffy says:

    My absolute favourite comfort book hasn’t changed since I was very, very young—Once on a Time by A.A. Milne.  It isn’t exactly a romance, though it certainly has romance in it, and it isn’t exactly a kids’ book, though I certainly read it when I was kid.  It came out of a bookshelf in my grandparents’ house one year, and my copy is a 1962 hardcover that has lost its dust jacket, and has a picture on the front of one of the characters, who is partly a lion and partly a rabbit at the time.  It’s that kind of book.

  21. 21
    roserita says:

      I haven’t (thankfully) needed a real cuddle-up-under-a-blankie-with-a-cat-and-a-pot-of-tea comfort read for a while, and when I do it all depends on what I need at the time, and that’s something that I can’t predict or plan.  When I was doing chemo, Betty Neels and Elizabeth Cadell were my go-to authors.  Fortunately I haven’t needed anything quite that comforting for a while.  There are a couple of J.D. Robb’s—Salvation in death and Treachery in death—that call to me whenever I pass the bookshelf.  Ditto with Patricia Briggs and Ilona Andrews in fantasy, or in classics, Jean Webster’s Daddy Long Legs.  At Christmas it’s Carla Kelly’s Christmas stories, but the calendar is telling me that we just started fall, which for some reason makes me want to read old mysteries.  I’m thinking maybe I will re-read all my Gwenyth and Constance Little mysteries:  a blend of 1930s screwball and 1940s hard-boiled, with funny and unsentimental heroines.  There’s romance, but it’s equally funny and unsentimental.

  22. 22
    Jennifer says:

    Anything written by Georgette Heyere or Jennifer Crusie

  23. 23
    Terrie says:

    I’ve been in need of some comfort reads lately, so I love seeing all these great selections to track down.  My current comfort reads: A goodly amount of Georgette Heyer (Frederica, Black Sheep, Venetia, The Quiet Gentleman . . .); Jayne Ann Krentz—particularly the Eclipse Bay series, Smoke in Mirrors, and of course Amanda Quick and Jayne Castle as well; Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Call Me Irresistible, Dream a Little Dream, Natural Born Charmer, Breathing Room and so many more; Jennifer Cruise, Bet Me.  When I want a comfort read I want romance, some humor, determination and grit but nothing dark, and absolutely a happy ever after ending.

  24. 24
    Ann Rose says:

    My comfort read series is a blend of fantasy and romance, with a bit of a “fated mates” thing going on. Ann Marston wrote two Celtic trilogies, The Rune Blade trilogy and then The Sword in Exile trilogy. The women in the books are kick-ass, and most of them serve as the guard to the king or prince of the realm. There’s also earth magic (good) and blood magic (bad), plus men running about in kilts and plaids.

    For pure romance comfort reading I have a soft spot for two of Lindsay McKenna’s trilogies for Silhouette: Women of Valor and Cowboys of the Southwest. Again, strong and take-charge women in interesting professions (military, ranching, homeopathy and flower essences), plus alpha men who support their choices.

  25. 25
    DonnaMarie says:

    @Cathy, you beat me to it! Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders, my best friends since grade school.  And I’m still working through the memorial read, so rainy days are always welcome. 

    Also, Alice Hoffman’s “Practical Magic”, Kathleen Woodiwiss’ “Shana”, Laurie McBain’s “Chance the Winds of Fortune”, dozens of Linda Howard Silhouette romances, Meljean Brook’s Guardian series and the pure crack that is any Shannon McKenna book when I just don’t want to engage with the outside world for a while.

  26. 26
    Loni says:

    Nalini Singh’s books are my usual comfort reads, they’re what I reach for when I wake from nightmares, as well as Thea Harrison’s books, but mostly the novellas.

  27. 27

    My book blanket would be made of the Vorkosigan Saga, the Temeraire series, the Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries (especially the ones with Harriet, because I do crave romantic elements), Judith Merkle Riley’s Margaret of Ashbury trilogy, Jacqueline Carey’s original Kushiel trilogy, Rumer Godden’s In This House of Brede, Austen, Alcott, LM Montgomery, and Laura Ingalls Wilder. I love being able to settle in to a community where the characters and their world are so real I feel like I could step into the book and belong there—which probably explains why most of my book blanket is made of long books and/or long-running series.

  28. 28
    Tam says:

    K.M. Peyton’s ‘Flambards Divided’, Diana Wynne Jones’ ‘Fire and Hemlock’, Pamela Dean’s ‘Tam Lin’, Pamela Belle’s ‘Wintercombe’, the Poldark series, the Cazalet series, Mary Wesley’s ‘Not That Sort of Girl’, Austen’s ‘Persuasion’, and Rosemary Sutcliff’s ‘The Lantern Bearers.’  (The last is only read when I am particularly miserable, and need reminding that even if one’s whole home, family, country and empire fall into darkness, life is still worth living on the other side.)

  29. 29
    Karin says:

    @Susanna Fraser, I think I need to read the Temeraire series because we have similar tastes. For comfort reads, I go to Dorothy Sayers, old Patricia Wentworth mysteries,
    old JAK, Linda Howard, Edith Layton and Mary Balogh books, also ‘A Far Cry From Kensington” by Muriel Spark, and “Devil’s Cub”, “Devil’s Bride”, “Devil in Winter”(sensing a pattern here). And there are some Harlequin Presents books that are like crack to me, but only if written by Lynn Graham or Lucy Monroe. Go figure.

  30. 30

    @Karin, the first book, His Majesty’s Dragon, is one of my favorite books of all time. The series overall can be a bit uneven, IMHO, but it has the richly imagined characters and world I crave, in spades.

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