Charlie Harris from the "Cat in the Stacks" series by Miranda JamesEvery year around this time, as the old year wanes and the new year looms, I allow myself to indulge in nostalgia. For me that takes the form of re-reading old favorites.I know that some people never re-read a book, but I've never understood that. I realize that there are books I would probably enjoy that I may never get to because I spend time re-reading.
I can't, however, turn down a chance to spend time with an old friend. And that's what my favorite books are -- old and dear friends. Sometimes, when comfort is called for, an old friend is best, rather than a new and untried one.So in times of stress, I turn to favorite books for a bit of escape.
The holidays are always stressful, even while they are joyous. Memories of occasions past, particularly those of loved ones who are no longer with us, are filled with happiness, but there is always that edge of sadness, too. Family and friends -- feline as well as human -- are at the forefront, but for the quiet times, a book is the answer.
I must confess that I often re-read childhood favorites at such times. When I pick up a much-loved book, I always remember the thrill of discovery, the sense of wonder I felt when I delved into a story, lost myself in it, and came out on the other side, excited and sated by the experience. My parents and my beloved aunt Dottie encouraged my love of reading, and my aunt had an amazing collection of children's books, particularly mysteries, that now belongs to me.
Just thinking of the characters -- or friends -- I discovered on her shelves still gives me a tiny thrill. I had never read a mystery before, and after the first one, I was hooked for life. My aunt had them all: Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, Judy Bolton, Cherry Ames, the Dana Girls, Trixie Belden, Ken Holt, and many others besides. One of my favorites -- and also one of aunt Dottie's -- was Veronica Thane. Veronica wasn't as well known as some of the others, but her adventures absolutely thrilled me.
I have many choices of friends to revisit over the holidays when there is quiet time. I hope you have the chance to spend time with good friends, too.