An interesting challenge to think about this weekend. The Guildford Literary Festival – hurry, hurry, tickets available here – have asked me to talk, amongst other things, about comfort reading. It’s a pity they didn’t tap me for a lecture on Comfort Eating. I’m quite the expert on that subject. But anyway, without giving too much away, I’ve realised that comfort reading is a thing I rarely indulge in but when I do my tastes are quite infantile. I love a rib-aching laugh, or something that transports me back to my childhood. Or both. I’ve recently discovered Andy Stanton whose Mr Gum books I bought for my grandchildren but have decided to keep for myself. They’re the kind of thing I’d read in the dentist’s waiting room if I was scheduled for root canal.
Romances don’t usually do it for me. They’re generally peopled by improbably gorgeous-looking characters and as we all know, the physically perfect hardly ever make good lovers. They’re too busy checking themselves in the mirror. And they all lived happily ever after? I don’t think so.
Detective novels tend to come in series but they soon wear thin for me, plus they have the built-in disadvantage that you can never reread them. Once you know who dunnit… you know who dunnit.
More on this after I’ve unveiled my sucky-book list at Guildford. The only other thing I’ll say for now is that I’m left regretful that I don’t do more comfort reading. Too short of time. The world is full of enticing books and quite a lot of them are piled up beside my bed awaiting their turn. One of these
days nights they’re going to come crashing down on me.
Cause of death: unread books.