I had an interesting response to my "My reading taste in a picture" post last week.
David Nolan quoted from my post and commented:
" "I like to be reassured and comforted and find the familiar in my reading."
- Some overly intellectual types might sneer at that - I think it's brilliant. "
This made me think quite hard about my reading and my blogging. I have never had any shame in the fact that I read chick lit and children's books, and reread children's books as much as I read the latest literary fiction and the occasional classic fiction. However, it wasn't something that I necessarily spelt out on my blog. Maybe from shyness, maybe also because I felt that these things didn't merit writing about so much or wouldn't interest people (although, I read a number of blogs which do fantastic reviews of the latest chick lit) - I think I have mentioned chick lit just the once here. Then my blog got a little bit overtaken by writing reviews of the books that I had recieved for review, and recently I've been trying to redress the balance somewhat by focussing it more on *me*. Narcissistic possibly, but I'd rather that the blog was a reflection of the things that are most important to me. Also once I started posting lists of the books read each month there is no escaping from the fact that part of the reason I manage to read so much is that quite a large proportion of my reading is re-reading of children's books.
Anyway, as I've mentioned previously, the last few weeks have been fairly stressful and I have been taking comfort in quite a bit of rereading of children's books. Over the last year I have also been collecting more of the children's books which I enjoyed as a child; it's nice to have them available on my shelves should I feel for the need for something reassuring and easy and which I know I will definitely enjoy. I think the key is that they provide escapism into a safe environment.
So to redress the balance and substantiate the statement that David highlighted I thought I'd share pictures of a few of the series that I have recently been building up, from different genres of children's books (important I feel to have a variety), and have on my shelves for such moments.
One of the worst decisions I made as a teenager was to SELL my Enid Blytons. I didn't get very much money for them and I didn't even have a particularly good collection, mainly second hand ones acquired at jumble sales etc. But I have started to buy the odd favourite when I see them, and am particularly looking out for the Famous Five books.
I've already mentioned The babysitters club on the blog - it's a current pleasure to read my way through such undemanding books.
A colleague recently mentioned that she liked horsey books which reminded me of Ruby Ferguson's Jill books. I had several, but have gone on to acquire most of the series (all bar the first one!).
Earlier in the year I started collecting Lorna Hill's ballet books and these are also wonderful comfort reads.
There are many other books that I like to revisit for comfort reading - this list is by no means exclusive. I wonder if other readers have favourite series that they like to turn to for reassurance.