Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Eternal Sunshine of Spotless Reader's Mind?

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From Booking Through Thursday:

What book would you love to be able to read again for the first time?

This seems like a very odd question to me, for some reason. Kind of like a virginity question--if you could get your virginity back, would you? Uh, no.

Why is reading a great book for the first time so special? I admit that I do have a strong attachment to the first books I read by certain authors; but since I so rarely re-read books (TBR Monster, om nom nom nom), I don't know... it just seems odd.

Nevertheless, I suppose there are some books I wouldn't mind reading over again as if it was the first time ("It feels like the first time, it feels like the very first time..." okay, I'll stop now). Jane Eyre, for example, so I could be re-surprised by the twist (actually, it took me about three re-reads to remember the twist; I always get so caught up in the story I forget it, and then I'm like, "Oh my god he has--wait, I remember that from last time" ^_^).

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Another book I wouldn't mind re-virginizing myself for is Night Train to Memphis by Elizabeth Peters. I mentioned before that I have a fondness for the first book I read by certain authors--well, this was my first Peters book; and even though it's not her best book, it's my favorite because it got me totally hooked on her novels. I've read this book way too many times. This is also one of those books where I can clearly remember the time and place I was at when I was reading it, so it would be interesting to see if I would have the same reaction to it now as I did when I was, hmmm... thirteen-ish?

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Some other books I wouldn't mind re-reading with fresh eyes would be The Ivy Tree by Mary Stewart (another book I've read way too many times) and The Secret Circle by L. J. Smith. But in my experience, a really good book gets better the more you read it--you notice new things about the characters and get more involved in the story. So I'm not sure that would erase a memory of reading a book, even if I could.

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