Lately I’ve been craving my favourite comfort reads. For me, comfort reads are those books that bring a contented smile to my face, and most importantly, stand up to multiple re-reads. Usually they’re also low on angst, but I do enjoy some comfort reads that punch you right in the feels — because having read them before, I know how everything’s going to work out. And when things are a bit up in the air in reality, it’s nice to have some certainty with fiction!

My comfort reads almost always feature wily women, snappy dialogue, and an immersive setting; they’re the kinds of stories that transport you away and delights with their cleverness. But I don’t limit my comfort reads to fluff — I find that thrills and chills can pull me away from the trials and tribulations of life just as well. So long as none of my favourite characters die, of course…but that’s where the beauty of the re-read comes in! There’s no way I could consider a book a comfort read without having read it before, because the memory of a happy reading experience is key to determining whether a book can make the cut.

From traditional fantasy to historical mysteries, paranormal romance to thrillers, here are some of my all-time favourite comfort reads:

Trickster’s Choice by Tamora Pierce

Wannabe spy Aly is tasked with protecting two politically important mixed-race noblewomen in return for her freedom. Spies, magic, and a crow dude.

Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs by Molly Harper

Former children’s librarian gets turned into a vampire in small-town Kentucky. Need I say more?

City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong

Detective with a dark past moves to off-the-grid town in the stark Canadian wilderness. Grisly murders, amazing atmosphere, and a hot local sheriff.

Soulless by Gail Carriger

Lady without soul meets werewolf without manners. Several people are beaten with a parasol.

A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn

Veronica Speedwell studies butterflies, tropical climates, and the male form. Teams up with a hunky taxidermist to solve Victorian-era crime.

Act Like It by Lucy Parker

For two actors, it’s hate at first sight until “dating” becomes a PR necessity. British humour, swoons.

Having listed out all my favourites, I’m actually surprised to see how many of them I read before I started blogging. Clearly I need to do some more re-reading in 2018, because I believe in a steady rotation of new-to-me comfort reads!

Are you a comfort reader? What types of stories do you reach for when you’re feeling under the weather — or when it’s simply too cold to function? I have to know! Is it just me, or are there certain characteristics that a book must possess for it to be considered a comfort read? Or are you the sort of reader who prefers to discover new stories rather than re-read? I’d love to discuss with you!

Let me know how you choose comfort reads and what some of your favourite comfort reads are in the comments!


  1. I usually tend to associate comfort reads with contemporary romances or historical romances. I don’t find fantasy to be all that comforting, even though I really enjoy reading them. I think that’s because those tend to be more intense and brutal. I’m usually looking for something to cheer me up and leave me swoony, which is why contemporary and historical romance are the books for me. Act Like It and Pretty Face are totally comfort reads for me as well. Also anything my Lisa Kleypas and Tessa Dare! *swoon*

  2. Honestly, my favourite comfort reads are mostly books that I really enjoyed growing up: the Redwall series, Santa Paws (lol), and Ender’s Game/Shadow. I guess I just like the nostalgia element!

    I definitely agree that comfort reads should be old favourites that you’ve read many a time.

    • Greg Hill

    • 4 years ago

    Yes! Sometimes it’s nice just to jump back in to a favorite world or series. It’s amazing how much books can affect us- and how special bookish memories can be. 🙂

    City of the Lost- I can see that being a total comfort read. The off the grid Yukon setting, just the remoteness and the prickly relationship between the two leads that slowly evolves- good stuff.

    I think for me some comfort reads would be stuff like Long Way to A Small Angry Planet, the Blue by Lucy Clarke, maybe even Lord of the Rings. Big Little Lies possibly. I guess just books that have affected me in some way.

  3. I only have one series I really call a comfort read, which is the Thieves series by Lexi Blake (big surprise lol), but it actually has quite a bit of angst and emotion and hits me in the feels every time, but that’s why I love it. But like you said, books don’t have the same *tension* when you reread them and know what will happen, so you don’t have that feeling of uncertainty. But actually, there are some other series I might kind of call comfort reads even when I haven’t read the book yet since I know generally what the series is like. And therefore, even though there’s uncertainty, I already love the characters and can easily sink into a world I’m familiar with, and that’s comforting to me.

  4. My comfort reads these days are mystery-thrillers, especially in audio. City of the Lost is actually a great example! They’re fast-paced and entertaining, I don’t have to think much, and I just know there’s a good chance I’ll enjoy it even just an average thriller plot.

  5. I think for me a comfort read is an old favorite that I’ve read many times, and I already know what’s going to happen so I don’t stress about whether I’m going to like it or not.

  6. You have two of my favorite authors on this list: Gail Carriger and Lucy Parker. I think you nailed what I love about them so much – the “willy women, snappy dialog”. When I am feeling life too much, I like a lighter read, which makes me laugh, and those books definitely fit in that space.

    • Karen

    • 4 years ago

    Mostly romance and anything funny. Any book that helps you settle in and smile. It’s like revisiting old friends.
    I haven’t re-read my favorites in sooooo long and that’ something I really want to do this year. I had several that I read a few times per week! I am a little nervous though because what if I don’t like them now lol

    <a href="http://

  7. I love rereading books so i agree about your definition of comfort books. For me they just make me smole despite my mood and they give me that butterfly feeling even though I already know what happens.

    • MaddalenaSpaceandSorcery

    • 4 years ago

    You can never go wrong with Carriger, indeed! 🙂 Her novels are the perfect choice when our spirits need uplifting, especially because she manages that with intelligent humor.
    Recently I’ve found that Elizabeth’s Moon “Vatta’s War” series falls into that category: space opera with a feisty protagonist who overcomes many difficulties (including her misleading young age) while facing an organization of space pirates. Guaranteed to take you far, far away from everyday’s… dark clouds 😉

  8. My comfort reads are The Dark is Rising series and to be honest, anything out my collection of Star Trek books and they haven’t changed in years. I chose them because I always feel at peace when I read them, and uplifted too. When I first discovered the ST books existed, i went to town collecting as many possible. I’ve recently started unpacking boxes I haven’t opened in ages and found them in there much to my delight. Out of that collection, I do have a couple that I always gravitate too, but I can’t do without original Spock and Kirk 🙂

  9. The books I reread most often are beautiful romances with a good sense of humour. A good combination of love, some witty scenes, likeable characters and beautiful emotions are what makes me go back to a book. I reread books regularly, always have and always will.

  10. I don’t usually re-read. I am making some exceptions lately. I did re-read The Vampire Lestat last year and I just re-read It by Stephen King. I didn’t have reviews for those beloved books on my blog and I felt the need to re-read them with my reviewer eyes. (wow, that sounds so stupid) I wouldn’t classify either of those books as “comfort” reads since they are both full of angst and in the horror category. Great post!

  11. I’m going to be honest – I’ve been reading a lot of comfort books lately too. I’m not sure what it is, but I’m stuck! I’ve been rereading a lot of adult romance fantasy novels. Rereading my favorite romance novels is always a favorite thing to do when I’m in a reading slump. Hopefully you and I drag ourselves out of whatever funk we’re in. 💗💗

    Have a wonderful weekend, Danya! =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    • Lynn Williams

    • 4 years ago

    Your description of Soulless gave me a giggle. I think my comfort reads tended (I speak in the past because I rarely reread these days) to be books from my earlier reading period. Classics that were on the shelves back home. I enjoyed Pride and Prejudice, in fact I like all of Austens. I loved Jane Eyre but I think my favourite book, that I could always return to is Rebecca. I just love that book.

  12. I don’t re-read but I really enjoy chick lit sometimes, as just entertaining fun. I do re-read comics before starting a new volume so I understand falling back in line with a world you know.

  13. Comfort reads come all shapes and sizes but you’re right, they must always be a reread. Whilst there are authors I can rely upon to always hit the spot with their books I will always turn to their old stuff when I’m in need of a book boost. Lucy Parker’s books are perfect comfort reads, as is Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie. I would agree that many of Kelley Armstrong’s books work as comfort reads as she always has such strong female MCs. Harry Potter also works as a comfort reads because I know the books and characters so well it really is just so wonderful to dive back into. A couple of Sophie Kinsella’s books are comfort reads (I’m thinking Undomestic Goddess and Can You Keep a Secret). So really, most of my comfort reads are books I’ve reread a few times and adored. Books I am really familiar with and offer up no new surprises. Most are pre blogging reads apart from Lucy Parker and Kelley Armstrong. And Ilona Andrews! Maybe that’s because I don’t reread as much as I used to. I’ll have to check out your comfort reads I’ve not already read, good to have a few more to add to the pile.

  14. Sad fact about me, I have not reread a book in YEARS. I think the closest I came was rereading about 1/3rd of ACOMAF but that was about it. For me, a comfort read is heavy on the romance. I like to get lost in giddiness and intense love stories. I love me a good thriller/murder mystery but I wouldn’t say that I go to them when I need something familiar. Usually I’m in a very specific mood.

    I am super curious about Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs though!

  15. This is a great list! I love how you pick your comfort reads, too! I am the same in that it’s ONLY books I have read before- but I am different mostly because it’s only The Hunger Games haha. I can reread those and everything feels better, you know? Also, your descriptions for the books are fabulous!! 😀

  16. A comfort read for me is something that always make me smile. I usually tend to read my favorite parts the most especially when I’m in a reading slump. I mainly love to re-read NA and I’ve re-read The Off Campus series by Elle Kennedy more times then I’m willing to admit. It is always there when I’m in a slump and definitely reminds about why I love to read.

    Tina @ As Told By Tina

  17. Oh, I definitely agree about comfort reads 🙂 I actually posted a list recently, books for when you’re lonely, which is basically the same thing 🙂 for me, off the top of my head, those are I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith, Throwing My Life Away by Liz Czukas, Lantern by Chess Desalls… Basically, books about a younger protagonist (but without the typical YA banter), where, yes, nobody gets harmed 😀 and you can feel all warm and fluffy, the book feels safe – so not very suspenseful or anything 🙂
    Nice post!

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