The Chardon Creativity Center will be closed today, Monday, February 19th.

My Favorite Comfort Book

This post was written by Gabe from the Bainbridge Branch.

As we quickly approached one month at home, it occurred to me that I was not catching up on my reading as much as I should be doing. I certainly left the library on March 13th with a stack of books to add to what had already accumulated in my home but as that first week passed, I found myself in a bit of a pickle. To preface, as a person who struggles with anxiety even when times are normal, I function at my best when I am busy. I find it very difficult to just sit and relax with a book or watch a tv show for an extended period without doing something else, especially with my hands. That is why audiobooks have usually been a saving grace of mine. But as we approached one month, as my daily check-in with the news reported more cases and more drastic changes, I found it more difficult to even focus on listening. Therefore, instead of writing about the new books I’ve read or listened to, I would instead like to write about the materials I reach for in times of crisis.

Title details for Danny the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl - Wait listFor this first post, I would like to tell you about my favorite book. Even before working in Youth Services, I have loved Danny, the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl. Published in 1975, I originally checked out Danny, the Champion of the World from my elementary school library as a child. Since that first reading, I have reached for it countless times. As I’ve gotten older and especially since becoming a Youth Services Assistant, I’ve realized that this book can often be overlooked in favor of Dahl’s more fantastical reads (which certainly have their place) but I assure you, this book makes its own magic. I was even lucky enough to find a copy with the original illustrations by Jill Bennett at a book sale at my college library. It tells the story of Danny, a boy who lives with his father in an old wooden caravan in the English countryside. His father, a mechanic who owns his own small shop, is a fantastic character full of “spark” and warmth – he tells great stories and can always dream up something fun to do. He also loves to sneak off and poach a snobby, rich neighbor’s pheasants in the middle of the night, which becomes the main plot of the story. Even though it doesn’t have a large cast of characters, each character is so full of life. The story is simple and fantastically hilarious at the same time – it never lulls, even in its gentlest moments. No matter how many times I’ve read it, I always love it and it always brings me comfort. Fun fact: in can easily be read in a few hours while snuggled up in bed, especially on a chilly, rainy day.

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