So the other day, Bart’s cousin Laura left a comment asking about book titles and mentioned that she never reads a book twice. This comment has been rolling around in my head all week.
I love rereading books – I like catching things I didn’t catch the first time around, I like cementing the story and characters more firmly in my head (is there anything more embarassing than when someone asks you about a book that you’ve read but you can’t remember more than a few insignificant details about it? This makes me crazy), and I like returning to a familiar book that I loved. I feel most comfortable recommending a book I’ve read multiple times – I know it. I am confident about what is in it.
But . . . .there is is so much good stuff to read out there. And every book I reread means there is a book out there I will not get to. Books are, technically finite, but the number is SO far beyond the time I have to read, that there might as well be an infinite number of books. I mentioned a while back that my mom sent me two huge boxes of my old books. I’m dying to pull some of them out and reread them. And yet. . . my library stack is bursting with new and fascinating titles. To read something old or new (borrowed or blue? Why am I so lame?)
How do you balance this? Why cannot I not read FASTER and with better retention (I read quite quickly and my retention is fairly good, yes, but it could be SO much better)? Alas. Life is full of decisions.
Speaking of comments about books, I absolutely loved the comment that Grover left. That guy is brilliant:
I figure people who are asking you for book advice aren’t really sincere about reading; they’re just enjoying the taste of the idea that maybe they would read books. It’s jealousy really, the same as when someone says, “Will you teach me to play guitar too?”
The real answer to their question is “Go read something, anything. If you want to read, just read.”
But of course I’d never say that to someone who asks for a book recommendation. But I will admit I might think it.