We often spend January in a puddle of memories and nostalgia, looking back on the festive season. You may find yourself pondering over the last month, and comparing them to the previous years. Whilst this can make you feel a sense of warmth and gratitude, as with many things in January, it can also leave you feeling a little blue. The feeling of nostalgia is always bittersweet. Sometimes it reminds you of what’s no longer around, and sometimes it reassures you that at some point it was present, and it was real. When this is the case, we should lean into and enjoy it.
Another way to evoke this sense of memory and nostalgia, is to simply step into another world. This allows for that bittersweet feeling, but one that you’re distant from. Maybe giving you a chance to ‘escape’ from your own. We caught up with @reading_robyn_ who gave us an insight into her reminiscent reads.
Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu
Before the Coffee Gets Cold tells of a fictional cafe in Tokyo. Although it’s known for serving carefully brewed coffee for more than one hundred years, there’s another unique experience that draws customers to the cafe: travelling back in time. They have a short time to travel back in time to fix a glitch in their lives, or go back to see a loved one. But there’s a catch – they must return before the coffee gets cold.
Through four moving stories, Toshikazu will leave you wondering: Would you go back in time if you could? What would you change? And who would you be looking to see?
Things Remembered and Things Forgotten by Kyoko Nakajima
Things Remembered and Things Forgotten is a fictional collection of short stories, intertwined by the focus of memory. The beautiful stories cover themes of love, history, family, and ghosts. Each story lies beneath the layers of wartime devastation that continued to haunt Japanese culture, hidden behind their modern culture. Nkajima portrays the underlying and often unacknowledged lingering effects of wartime, blurring the lines between past and present.
Perhaps one take on this book is the understanding of how deep memories can lay within us, often suppressed and subconsciously thought of. Or how we can recall our memories in different ways, obscure to the reality. Whilst memory can be a beautiful thing, we cannot always trust its truthfulness, and we should sometimes consider why we have manifested it in such a way.
Nineteen Steps – Kathleen McGurl and Millie Bobby Brown
Nineteen Steps is a fictional story inspired by the author’s grandmother’s life during the war. The romantic story depicts longing, loss, and heartbreak, but how against all odds, love can be triumphant. This impactful story prompts you to believe in the strength and power of love.
You’re transported to a painful time, outside of the realm of an existence that we even want to believe could be true. But it reminds you how important it is to share your story, to pass it down to your family, and to keep memories alive. No matter how painful.
Evoke Memories and Nostalgia in the Perfect Reading Nook
Whether ‘reminiscent reads’ means re-reading your old favourites, or flicking through one that mirrors your own life, allow yourself to get lost. But first, create the perfect reading corner to do so.