Some Cozy Book Context
When it’s wintertime, as it is right now in the northern hemisphere, most people spend a lot of time indoors. Sometimes it’s necessary: during the writing of the first draft of this piece, a “once-in-a-generation” winter storm is cause widespread power outages and delaying flights all over the country.
As a self-identified homebody, I love to curl up on the couch with a book at any time of year. This is especially true during the winter, with or without a big storm. In fact, the Danish created an entire word for cozy wintertime activities: hygge. For me, this type of atmosphere is strongly associated with diving deep into a book.
I usually have no trouble choosing something to read. Even though I have a 10+ year backlog of recommendations to work through, and many different kinds of books interest me, I know a book will speak to me when the time is right. I thought I’d share some of my favorites, because I know that many people struggle finding good books for them.
These books are old. Hear me out. They’re what I would call classics, published more than 30 years ago. (Looking for newer books? Check out this post’s twin of modern cozy books.)
These books have stood the test of time. These are books I couldn’t put down, have picked up again multiple times, and would happily pick up again. Winter is a time of nostalgia and comfort, which are similar emotions evoked by rereading some favorite books. Molly Templeton agrees with me that winter is the season of rereading, a great time to choose a few favorites to enjoy again.
The books on this list are perfect to get lost in for hours while curled up under a blanket. I love reading nonfiction, but I wouldn’t call it cozy—it’s hard to get lost in reality. Whether you like fantasy, sci-fi, thrillers, or plain old adventure, there is something for you in here.
To be honest, the first books that came to mind were the Harry Potter series. Those will entertain me for days. But I’m sure you either already love them or have no interest, so I won’t cheat you by including them in this list. Same goes for The Hobbit & Lord of the Rings.
These books all also happen to have been turned into movies. Sure, go ahead and watch the film adaptation, but I’m the kind of person who wants to read the book first, then see how other people interpreted it into a movie. Reveals are usually so much better developed in books.
The Classic Cozy Books
Without further ado, here are my top 5 classic cozy books in order of publication:
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne (1872)
It blows my mind how old this book is. But if you haven’t read the tale of Captain Nemo and the Nautilus, you’re missing out. This is a timeless undersea adventure.
Princess Bride by William Goldman (1973)
This is my favorite book. Well, in reality I hate favorites because context always matters, but this is the book I say is my favorite when I don’t feel like explaining that I don’t like favorites. The movie is great too, but all the best lines in the movie came from the book. And there are so many more.
The Shining by Stephen King (1977)
I’m not a big horror person, so having this make the list is saying something. This is my favorite Stephen King story: dark, thrilling, and with many deeper themes.
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card (1985)
I never saw the twist at the end of this coming; it was an amazing surprise that has forever improved my lasting impressions of the book. It’s a thrilling story, although I have to mention that author has some questionable opinions that have made him controversial.
Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton (1990)
I may be a little biased because my dad worked on the movie, but this is an amazing sci-fi thriller. Especially if you love the movie, reading this book is another great way to appreciate the story. I’m pretty sure I’ve always read this book in one sitting, and never intentionally.
I hope you enjoyed my list of the best classic books to snuggle up to under a blanket by a cold window with some tea or hot cocoa. Wishing you all a safe and warm winter, and let me know if you got some good ideas from this list, or if you already love any of these as well!
Books too old for you, or just looking for more? This post has a twin! Check out my top 5 modern cozy books for winter.
See the whole list of 10 books on Bookshop.
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