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Autumn Blues and Re-reading Books

13 October, 2011

After a brief final fling with summer (which lasted all of a week at the end of September), autumn seems to have properly arrived in my part of the world. It’s cool, windy and drizzly outside, and the leaves are starting to fall. For some reason, when the weather turns like this, I always feel compelled to go back and re-read some of my favourite books. I’ve talked before about which books those tend to be – this year it’s ‘The Lord of the Rings’.

I’m never sure why this feeling hits me in autumn and winter. Nostalgia? Comfort? I suspect it’s a bit of both. When the weather turns nasty, the first thing I want to do is curl up somewhere warm with a book that I already know I’m going to enjoy, preferably with a good cup of coffee and a bar of chocolate too. Instead of the new, exciting books I’d been previously looking forward too, suddenly the familiar becomes more appealing, and it doesn’t get much more familiar then LOTR for me.

As ever though, I think there’s a lot to be gained from re-reading old favourites. There’s a reason they’re my favourites, after all, and I always discover new things in them that impress and delight me all over again (particularly in a book as long as LOTR). Additionally, at this time of year – when I’m looking at my yearly work schedule and starting to panic over how little I’ve achieved – reading my favourite books reminds me why I do this. LOTR is the book that made me a writer, as the eleven year old me tried to emulate its greatness (by stealing things and changing the names, basically, but it was a start). Reading great books reminds me what’s really important when I’m fretting about deadlines and word counts: it’s the story that keeps you up at night, and the characters you want to meet, and the worlds you wish you could live in.

So, what books do you choose to re-read as comfort or inspiration, and do you find the need to read them more at this time of year?

One Comment
  1. 15 November, 2011 4:40 am

    I have 2 comfort authors: Jane Austen and L.M. Montgomery. Usually in January / February, I get the same feeling you describe so well in your post. I

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