With winter here in the UK seemingly endless and many of us unfortunately cooped up thanks to the snow, comfort is on the agenda. Everything from favourite foods to cosy jumpers and blankets is coming out to keep people warm and snug, so why not go back to an old favourite or find a new one among the classics?
After many months of being good (ish), I recently went on a book shopping spree at my local charity shop as well as in Waterstone’s, the Works and my favourite independent bookshop, indulging in a number of new purchases for my already overstocked shelves. Among these was a copy of E.M. Forster’s novel Howard’s End, which I purchased after having watched the superb BBC adaptation over Christmas. I have read the novel before, however when I watched the show I realised that I have almost entirely forgotten the plot.
I also grabbed a copy of Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein, a novel I’ve never read before that I’ve always wanted to, alongside a load of Jane Austen short stories. This nostalgia grabbing is nothing new; like the TV adaptation of Howard’s End shown over Christmas, it’s clear that we all crave a little familiarity when the cold weather sets in.
Maybe it’s the fact that we know what we’re getting with something we’ve already read before, or maybe we crave something we can really get our teeth into when we’re cold and craving comfort. Whatever the reason, I find that I often want a classic to dip into when I’m cold and find my plans cancelled by the weather.
Often I enjoy re-reading my favourites, such as Pride and Prejudice and Things Fall Apart, but I also crave new classics when I’m cold and cranky. Maybe its because I read more when I’m stuck inside or maybe I just want something that I’m pretty sure I’ll enjoy. It may even bring back good memories from University, when I studied English Literature and was constantly dipping into and analysing classic novels. Whatever the reason, grabbing a classic novel is a great way to cheer yourself up in the chill.
So as you contemplate spending the weekend hiding away from the snow and keeping yourself warm and toasty, consider grabbing a copy of a classic and letting literature take you away.