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I’m grateful for… books

standard November 21, 2011 5 responses

I’ve always been a reader. It’s just a part of who I am. There are cases of books piled high in the garage, piles of books falling over each other in the house, and in our room, I’m creating imaginary bookshelves because I’ve run out of real shelf space.

I’ve always loved books for the escape they offered. The chance to sit in a comfy chair, crack open a cover, and travel anywhere in time or in space. Sometimes real life is just too overwhelming and it’s soothing to be able to run away.

Then again, sometimes life is so overwhelming that even books aren’t comforting. Who needs another person’s problems — even a fictional person — when you’ve got way too much on your own plate.

When life is like that I usually dive into comic anthologies. Stone Soup, Fox Trot, Baby Blues, Rose is Rose, For Better or Worse, Zits. I own a lot. I’m heartbroken that they’re publishing fewer and fewer. When my head is spinning in a million directions and I can barely form a coherent thought, jumping into a book where story bits are introduced and resolved in three or four frames? It’s just about what I can handle.

Sadly, I’ve been in that state so often this year that all my anthologies are starting to fall apart and I know them all so well that they’ve ceased to work their magic. Luckily, I’ve discovered something that works just as well.

It’s so corny, I’m almost ashamed to admit how addicted I’ve become. Heck, I’m almost ashamed to say that this is actually what I’m grateful for this week.

My new literary crack? Cozies.

I know. You don’t even know what that is. Its the newish genre that contains easy armchair mysteries. The protagonist is usually a girl who owns her own business — cupcake store, flower store, donut shop, catering business — somewhere in the first chapter she happens upon a murder, and then, with the help of her BFF or the hot guy next door, much to the chagrin of the local police force, she solves the murder after almost getting killed herself about 20 pages from the end.

I. Am. Obsessed.

I think the utter predictability of the plot line, the lack of surprise about when she’s going to run into trouble, the absolute certainty that at the perfect moment the hero is going to rush in and save the day, it’s all so incredibly soothing after a year of non-stop bad surprises being lobbed at our heads.

I am utterly grateful to the hardworking authors of these books who are pressured to put out at least a book a year. I’m grateful to Amazon for feeding my obsession through my Kindle app. And I’m grateful to my husband for pretending to not notice how often the name of the current book I’m reading changes.

Sometimes, you just need to escape. Sometimes it’s wonderful when you can escape to somewhere incredibly predictable and comforting.

In two weeks this family is diving into more chaos and uncertainty. In the face of it all I felt an overwhelming need to focus on the things that fill me with joy and gratitude, so it was with glee that I discovered that a friend is sponsoring A Week of Thanksgiving. Join me all week as I feature something (probably obscure) that fills me with gratitude.


(Yes, those are affiliate links above. Yes, if you click on them and then later buy something from Amazon I’ll get a penny or two. Thank you. It’ll help fund my obsession.)

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