Top Ten Tuesday: Cozy Reads

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Person wearing red mittens and a a red and white striped shirt holding a red mug filled with hot cocoa and a white star cookie sprinkled with red sprinkles that is sitting in the cocoa. Here’s a confession for you all: I don’t quite understand the difference between comfort reads, which we all discussed last May, and the cozy reads we’re supposed to talk about today.

These are terms for what is essentially the same experience in my opinion. Both comfort and cozy reads describe books that feel like the literary version of a warm hug or a kind word from someone who loves you. I’d say that they both describe books where characters might get into embarrassing situations sometimes but where the reader knows that nothing terrible will happen to them and that everything will turn out well for them by the final scene.

If you interpreted these terms in other ways, please let me know.

Since I discussed specific books in my comfort reads prompt, I’ll focus on types of literature and storytelling in this post.

To me, a cozy read might be:

1. A Reread

For example, I’ve reread C.S. Lewis‘ The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe every winter for the past few years. I experience seasonal depression due to the lower levels of light in Ontario over the winter, so it makes me happy to read about a world where winter ended so abruptly and beautifully.


2. Something Humorous

There’s nothing like reading something uproariously funny when you least expect it. I have been known to wander into genres I don’t normally visit like romance novels simply based on how humorous other people have said they are.


3. A Cozy Mystery

I enjoy the lighthearted writing style and often pun-filled titles that occur in this genre.


4. Something Exciting and Genre-Bending

Look, I’ve been an avid reader since I was a small child. It takes a lot for an author to surprise me, but that only makes it only more delightful when they steer their story in a direction I’d never expect from that genre.


5. A Poem

I loved poetry as a kid and teenager but wandered away from the genre in college. A well-written poem can be such a wonderful gift when you need a quick read.


6. Something Hopeful 

Yes, I read and review plenty of stories with dark themes, but I’m always on the lookout for hopeful speculative fiction, too. That is a big part of the reason why I spent so much time chatting about Becky Chambers’ last couple of books here earlier this year, and i still think the Monk and Robot series is one of the coziest things I’ve ever read.

54 Responses to Top Ten Tuesday: Cozy Reads

  1. I rarely think about how poetry can be cozy, but you’re right. Depending on the poem, of course, but the rhythm that goes with many poems helps them to feel very cozy indeed.

    For me, “cozy read” implies a more low-stakes plot than “comfort read” does. Also, my comfort reads are almost always re-reads; the comfort comes from knowing what is going to happen in detail; it comes from repetition. Cozy books may become comfort reads, but aren’t always.

    My TTT:

  2. I totally agree, Lydia. Comfort reads and Cozy read are the same to me. I like your take on this topic as opposed to just listing ten books. Very open to everyone’s interpretation. Perfect.

  3. I feel like comfort is something that brings you peace of mind, and cozy is something that makes you feel warm, which does not necessarily exclude the books that comfort you… I agree rereads can be cozy, but may favorite re-read book of all time it Jack London’s Call of the Wild…Which comforts me, but as a brutal tale of survival does not make me feel cozy.

    I agree poetry can be quite cozy!

  4. I love your list! I have never been a re-reader but over the last few years, I have found a few books that I would enjoy re-reading. I also get seasonal depression and I can see re-reading as helping with that. I will have to remember that especially as we experience our first Ohio winter!

  5. Poetry – yes! That slipped my mind when I was making up my list, but I agree. Poetry would fall in my definition of a cozy too. I see a lot of overlap between a comfort read and a cozy read. I think the only thing that differentiates them for me is that I find comfort in a wider variety of books that I wouldn’t necessarily define as cozy. That’s my perspective, anyway.

  6. To me, a “comfort read” is a book or author I turn to when I need comforting or to be picked back up emotionally after a hard book or during a difficult time in my life. Whereas a “cozy read” is a book I would like to enjoy to feel cozy, the same way I would drink hot chocolate or snuggle one of my kids to feel cozy. So some books and authors are both, for me, but they’re not quite the same.

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