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Monday, May 3, 2010

Security Blanket Books

I have started thinking of some of my favorite books as my 'security blanket books.' These are books that I run to as I would run into the arms of an old friend I hadn't seen for years. I can allow myself to be totally absorbed in these books, because I am as familiar with the details and the story as though I have actually been to places like Aravis in A College of Magics, which I am currently reading for the eighth or ninth time.

These are the best kinds of books to have around when traveling, upset, sick or tired. When you are in any of these states, it's hard to let a new book really absorb you. If you're traveling, you have too much else going on to really get totally lost in an unfamiliar book -you're already in unfamiliar physical territory, so it's nice to find some familiar mental space. The same goes for when you're upset, sick or tired -your headspace is out of whack, and reading a new book is often a disaster, at least for me.

That's why I love having old books around, books I've read so many times I know the best lines by heart. Lots of my security blanket books have been around since I was 14 or 15. They're old pals.

A College of Magics is definitely one of those. It's a great fantasy/alternate history/steampunk-ish book with a great plot and very subtle writing. Sometimes even now, after I've read the book a dozen times, I find myself going, "Oh, that's what that meant!" I know I am a different reader each time I approach a book, which is why I am able to read and re-read and re-re-read without ever getting bored, but ACoM really does have something special and shifty about it.

It's a great book if you ever have a chance to pick it up.

What are your security blanket books?

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