The Comfort of Old Friends

I got book vouchers for my birthday in November, and more for Christmas. Whilst the days have been filled with lazy holiday vibes I’ve been checking Twitter recommendations and I now have a well-stuffed Kindle.

The newest additions to my Kindle
Some lovely books lined up to start the year…

So why do I find myself dipping back into my battered paperback of Steven Gould’s Jumper, which I must have read 8 or more times, when I have new books beckoning and time is as pressing as ever?

I think it boils down to reliability. I love reading and I love discovering new books and new authors, but the other side of that is I hate being disappointed by picking up a book that ought to push all my buttons but doesn’t manage to live up either to its hype from others, or to my own expectations. I know what I’m going to get with an already-read story so there’s no chance of a let-down.

A picture of Steven Gould's sci-fi classic, Jumper
My much-loved and (for me) battered copy of Jumper, one of my all-time favourite reads.

A more positive interpretation is that book worlds genuinely become places I know, and their characters are friends. I wouldn’t ignore old friends just for the sake of gaining more, newer friends, so maybe it’s a good thing that I like to check in now and then and make sure old books are doing okay in between saying hello to new ones.


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