What do you read when you have a cold?

when you feel rotten?

when you are hurting?

Do you turn to the comfortable arms,

of an old friend,

or do you try to escape,

with the new and the light.

Do you seek,

the literary equivalent of,

mac and cheese,

comfortable uncomplicated,

or the restorative power of,

chicken soup,

familiar and old-fashioned,


is spicy and decongestive,

your thing.

I’m interested, tell me.

Since the beginning of the year,

I have read nothing published before 1971,

it wasn’t intentional,

it worked out that way,


it is a good thing.

I find comfort in stories,

both set in,

and written in,

the past.

I particularly enjoy,

the 19 Th and,

early 20 Th century,


I’m not sure,


perhaps it has to do,


the notion of,


of idealism.

So, many changes,

taking place,

new ideas being expounded,

the betterment of mankind,

the forging of individual freedom,






We, today,

reap the benefits of,

and sometimes,

abuse the privileges,

of freedom of expression,

of the right to be who and what we are.

These rights were,


through cracks on the head,


and even,

loss of life.

The pioneers of,


of Asbestos,

of Selma.

There are more recent examples of course,



Tien an men square,


Brave people keep fighting for their rights.

I’m attached to the 19 th and early twentieth century,

probably for the same reason,

I long for card catalogues and courting,

I’m a silly romantic.

But, when I feel rotten or I have a cold,

I want to read about Anne,

or Jo, Meg, Amy and Beth.

Of girlhood in a simpler time,


of girlhood seeking to overcome,


and becoming emancipated,

freethinking women.

I want to read about Emma Goldman,

and the suffragettes.

They all in varying degrees restore,

my faith in the power and resilience,

of the human spirit.

When I’m sick, I get nostalgic,

especially for times,

I haven’t lived through.

Perhaps it is a middle aged thing,

combined with fever.

Don’t hold it against me.

Later girls,


5 Replies to “Fever makes me nostalgic”

  1. It’s funny I have actually read quite a few older books this year which is out of character for me. When sick I go for… well… whatever is close enough that I can reach for it without getting up! Really though I may read more fiction and less non-fiction while sick, and I tend to re-read childhood favorites. Always makes me feel better.

  2. I did read those childhood favorites and enjoyed them at the time. But since my childhood was not that fun, when I’m feeling down and low that direction doesn’t appeal. Nope. Romances and heroic adventures – soppy, sappy and total fantasy preferably in the historical vein with lots of attention to dress and manners, courtliness and witty repartee. That’s my comfort reading. When I was younger, lesbian fiction never seemed to have much by way of happy endings. So I got into the habit of Georgette Heyer and Jane Austen, and anything with codes of honour, chivalry and simmering passion. I just pretend some of the characters are cross-dressing….

  3. I love contemporary lesbian romance especially Karin Kallmaker’s older stuff, makes me happy. Problem is, I lent a whole bunch to someone and she never brought them back. Btw, a friend of mine sent me The Spanish Pearl by Catherine Friend sounds like your cup of tea, historical lesbian romance. If you would like it send me an email- it would give me great pleasure to send it to you:-) Jane Austen is a genius!!

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