The first time I read this book, it didn’t really strike me as that interesting or powerful. The second time I read it, it was deeply creepy thinking about how this world could happen. Funny to think what happened in my life in between those two readings.
Serendipitously, on Sunday Florinda posted about re-reading, and I commented:
I almost never re-read either, except for the occasional book that I read when I was very young and thought I’d enjoy differently as an adult. To Kill a Mockingbird and Jane Eyre are two examples. I also think I need to re-read Pride and Prejudice because it was my first Austen, and read way before I read the rest of her work.
All of this got me thinking, and I started making a list: books I should re-read from time to time. So far my list includes only the three books I mentioned to Florinda:
- Jane Eyre: I was 13 when I read this for the first time, and I did it just to prove to myself that I could read such a chunkster. I didn’t appreciate its literary merit until I re-read Jane Eyre as an adult. Then I read Iris’ recent posts while reading Jane Eyre, and they were so thought-provoking! Now I know I need to read it again someday.
- To Kill a Mockingbird: A few years ago, a blogger mentioned they re-read this book every year, because it’s just that powerful. That prompted me to re-read this classic, which I had last read as a teenager. It was great, of course, and its message moved me. This book is so rich, you can learn something new every time you read it.
- Pride and Prejudice: I first read P&P in my 20s. I liked it a lot, but didn’t fully appreciate Jane Austen until I read the rest of her books several years later. I think I could read P&P once a year, just to get my “Jane fix” and appreciate her brilliance.
These books made my list for three reasons: literary merit, themes and messages that stand the test of time, and the opportunity to discern new truths by reading at different stages of life. The third reason particularly intrigues me, and takes me back to Robyn’s comment. Which books should I re-read now, because I failed to appreciate them when I was younger? Which books should I read now for the first time, and then read again in my 50s or 60s?
Help me out here! Tell me about books you enjoy re-reading, and why.