I could probably write this entire post in one word.
If the definition of comfort food is a fairly traditional treat that has sentimental or nostalgic appeal (thanks Wikipedia!) then children’s books are my literary Mr. Potato Head.
The Giving Tree.
A Light in the Attic.
Sideways Stories from Wayside School.
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry.
The Babysitters Club.
The Face on the Milk Carton.
The covers of these books bring me back to my childhood faster than the best batch of mashed potatoes (or “mashed poes” as I called them back in the day) ever could.
When I was young, while other girls were probably sneaking in Dear Diary sessions or phone calls to boys and BFFs, I was pulling a book out from under my pillow and leaning over the end of my bed to try and read by the light of the hallway. It was known in my house as “sneak reading” and I was always guilty.
Writing is a job, and there are days when it feels like real work. And that’s to be expected. But if a day comes when I question why I wanted to write in the first place or I forget the pure fun of being transported into a story, I go back to these staples.They give me the warm and fuzzies. Not because the writing is so great (even though it might be) or because the lessons are so profound (though sometimes they are) but because these days it’s hard to find a book that makes me want to stay up and read in secret when I know I should be sleeping. I want to remember the 8-year-old girl who declared that she was going to be an author-dancer-singer-actor when she grew up, and tell her that 25% of her dream came true! Not so bad, if you ask me.
What traditional literary treat has sentimental and nostalgic appeal for you? And it doesn’t have to be a kids book, of course. I feel similarly about The Things They Carried, and that’s about war. You know. Giving trees, combat zones. Potato, potahto.