There are certain books--only a few--that soothe me as a I read them. They're old familiar friends, and as the words and scenes start to flow around me, it's like slipping into a warm bath. I know the lines and cadences, I know the plot twists and the characters, and I'm not likely to find anything new, but I'm not really looking for it. It's a calming experience, almost like a trance. These books I read to enjoy but also to relax, unwind, and shed the cares of the world.
I finished one of these again just a bit ago. I own a copy now, but I found it first in our town library when I was growing up. I used to visit the library pretty much every weekend, walking out with a precarious pile of books every Saturday. I don't do as much reading anymore I guess, but I still enjoy it. In fact, I still enjoy some of the same books after all these years, those old familiar works that I track down to read again, which sweep me back to my childhood escape. I re-read books back then too, picking out the same books again and again from the library sometimes. Some old favorites haven't weathered time well; I recall them fondly, but don't much care to revisit them. But others form the core of my nighttime reading, the books I pull out when I need to relax, before I try to sleep.