The Joys of Settling Down with a Good Book - Mo Fanning Author
A comforting read in the winter months

The Joys of Settling Down with a Good Book

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I’ve been sneaking the heating on since October. It’s a covert operation, mostly when the house is empty, to avoid the inevitable ‘what about the bills?’ lecture. But the past few days have been what my late mum would call ‘proper winter’.  Book weather.

As winter wraps us in its chilly embrace, different cultures have unique ways of finding warmth. The Danish call this cosy sort of thing hygge (and a whole industry was spun from one word just a few years back). The Dutch have used gezellig since forever. In Germany, it’s all about Gemütlichkeit. Closer to home, in Wales, that feeling is better known as cwtch – combining combines the meanings of “a safe place” and “a hug,” evoking a sense of home and safety.

Cosy is in our genes

A quick dive into the Internet revealed that our love for cosy spaces is more than just a cultural phenomenon; it’s evolutionary. Psychotherapist Kamalyn Kaur suggests our ancestors sought warmth and comfort for survival, and these instincts persist in our modern gravitation towards snug, safe corners.

Architecturally, we’re drawn to spaces that provide refuge and a vantage point – think of a window seat with a sprawling view – set above a radiator, warming your rear end. It’s in these personal havens that the magic of a good book truly comes alive, offering an escape into worlds unknown.

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A book and a nook

In this ever-changing world, our homes have transformed into sanctuaries. The resurgence in reading (accelerated by the quiet solitude of the recent past of Covid lockdowns), reminds us that books are timeless treasures: affordable, transportable, and a gateway to other worlds.

Escaping the rats racing

A good book is more than a means of relaxation; it’s a soul-soothing journey. Each story offers not just an escape, but companionship, understanding, and a profound sense of connection to the broader world. A rare kind of escape from phones that ping, devices that beep and buzz, people making demands on your time. You read at your speed in your time in your space.

Striking a balance

A word of caution, much like the small print in a loan advert: don’t let the comfort of familiar spaces detach you completely from the outside world. While immersing in a book is therapeutic, it’s vital to balance our solitary retreats with engagement and connection.

But for now let’s just open a book

My writing and reading flourish in the cold, dark months. With the world often presenting a grim picture, seeking solace in a good book seems not just comforting, but necessary for our souls.

Next week, I’ll be running down the ten books I’ve cherished the most this year – some new, some old.

What books have warmed your winter days? Share your cosy reads in the comments below.

Ghosted by Mo Fanning

By Mo Fanning

Mo Fanning is a British author of dark romantic comedies including the Book of the Year nominated bestseller 'The Armchair Bride', 'Rebuilding Alexandra Small' and 2022's hit holiday romcom 'Ghosted'.

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