Thursday, June 6, 2013

reading is the best medicine

I'm sorry to say I haven't been very well. Soon after meeting up with the gorgeous Heroine Addicts at the RNA Summer Party three weeks ago, I was taken ill and ended up spending nearly a week in hospital with pneumonia. (I hold the Heroine Addicts completely blameless for this fact, which is purely coincidence.)

Anyway, I'm home now and I'm recovering. Recovering mostly consists of drinking tea, eating healthy food, and sitting in the garden, reading.

I discovered fairly early on in my hospital stay that what you read when you're sick is very important. I'd been in the middle of one of Stephen King's Gunslinger series when I was taken ill, and so I brought that book with me into hospital. But I quickly realised that as enjoyable as these books are, they're completely unsuited for reading whilst ill. In fact, one night, when running a high fever, I hallucinated about vampires roaming the hallways of the Royal Berkshire Hospital.

The next day I rang my husband and asked him to bring me some more suitable reading. Thereafter, I read only The Princess Bride, Harry Potter, and Georgette Heyer, and I was much, much happier. The books probably helped as much as the IV antibiotics.

Since I've been home, I've been quickly and voraciously making my way through Alexander McCall Smith's No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency books. They're perfect feelgood, light, warm, easy reading and an enormous comfort. I'm reading them at a rate of 1.5 per day. (Though as I'm less delicate, I've returned to the Stephen King as well.) I've also got some more Heyer...and a long list for Husband to take to the library.

What are your favourite comfort reads when you're sick?


  1. Julie, so sorry to hear that you've been ill. I wish you a very speedy recovery and I hope that things start looking up for you soon!

    I've always found it extraordinary that some people proudly proclaim that they've never picked up a book in their life or that they find reading boring. Whether I'm stressed, happy or unhappy, books have always been my constant companions. For comfort reading, you can't beat Georgette Heyer, Victoria Holt, Mary Stewart and Agatha Christie.

    And for something more contemporary, Christina Jones, Katie Fforde, Sophie Kinsella, Jill Mansell, Trisha Ashley and yourself always do the trick for me!

  2. Oh no! How horrid. Hope the sun is shining in Reading and you are enjoying the comfort reading on your lovely terrace.
    Take care and see you soon. Nina x

  3. Pneumonia stinks! I've had the walking kind and boy was it rough!

    When I don't feel well, and I'm able to read and feeling up to it, I like to read light comedies and romantic stories. Anything that will uplift my mood.

    I wish you a speedy recovery and good health!

  4. Oh poor you! So glad you're feeling better now! And yes, Georgette Heyer every time - she always puts a smile on my face, no matter how ill I feel. And any Mills & Boon, the lighthearted kind, will do the trick too. Take care of yourself! xx

  5. I'm getting over pneumonia right now too, though mine wasn't bad enough for hospitalisation, I know what you're going through. I've spent my reading time going back and forth between two of my favourite authors, Susanna and Patricia A McKillip. Good thing I'm almost better because after I finish Marianna, I've only got The Winter Sea left. Re-reading well loved books is really the best medicine. Hope you are better soon, Julie. Take care.