Reading, for me, is entertainment and an escape from the real world. But it can also inform and stretch the boundaries of the life I live.
I don’t have a list of specific books I like to read on rainy days. It’s more *how* I read. For whatever reason, rainy days are an excuse to let go of all guilt and just wallow in reading. Any other day, I’ve got an audiobook plugged into my ears while I do chores and run errands. On rainy days, especially when the weather is cool, I will stay in my pyjamas and drink coffee and curl under a blanket with my dogs and read whatever bound book I have in progress to my heart’s content.
Thieves! Fire! Murder! Such a thing had not happened since first he came to the Mountain! His rage passes description – the sort of rage that is only seen when rich folk that have more than they can enjoy suddenly lose something that they have long had but have never before used or wanted. His fire belched forth, the hall smoked, he shook the mountain-roots.
Tolkien’s Smaug is the first literary dragon I met, and the one by which all others have been measured and found wanting. He was intelligent, powerful, and terrifying, but Tolkien also gave him a very human weakness in keeping with his character: the sort of arrogant pride that comes with being rich, powerful, and bad-tempered. Later, when he and Bilbo are verbally jousting:
“My armour is like tenfold shields, my teeth are swords, my claws spears, the shock of my tail a thunderbolt, my wings a hurricane, and my breath death!”
“I have always understood,” said Bilbo in a frightened squeak, “that dragons were softer underneath, especially in the region of the – er – chest; but doubtless one so fortified has thought of that.”
The dragon stopped short in his boasting. “Your information is antiquated,” he snapped. “I am armoured above and below with iron scales and hard gens. No blade can pierce me.”
“I might have guessed it,” said Bilbo. “Truly there can nowhere be found the equal of Lord Smaug the Impenetrable. What magnificence to possess a waistcoat of fine diamonds!”
“Yes, it is rare and wonderful indeed,” said Smaug absurdly pleased. He did not know that the hobbit had already caught a glimpse of his peculiar under-covering on his previous visit, and was itching for a closer view for reasons of his own. The dragon rolled over. “Look!” he said. “What do you say to that?”
“Dazzlingly marvelous! Perfect! Flawless! Staggering!” exclaimed Bilbo aloud, but what he thought inside was: “Old fool! Why there is a large patch in the hollow of his left breast as bare as a snail out of its shell!”