On re-reading

I have so many books on my to-read pile and on my list of what I want to read that I do not normally go back and re-read anything, however one of my book groups will be seeing the movie version of The Lovely Bones this week and then discussing the book afterwards. I read this book several years ago – possibly when it first came out – and I remember liking it, but since it has been a while a thought I’d re-read it so that I can better compare the two versions and intelligently participate in our discussion.

I was blown away.

Of course the story told in this novel is wonderful, but the writing! How could I have forgotten how beautiful it is? This time around, I became involved in the story, to the point of literally not putting it down all day until the last page, and just felt for most of the characters in a way that I don’t remember feeling the last time I read it.

So I began to wonder why I had such a change in perception. I suppose that because I am older now with young nieces and nephews I was more affected by this particular story and how I want to keep them as safe as possible; I have to think that certain books would have different meanings to people depending on what stage of life they are in when they read them. Also, I believe that I read this time around with more focus, paying attention to what was happening rather than quickly reading it to get on to the next book; I did read it fairly quickly this time, too, but I seemed to get so much more out of it because I was thinking about what I read as I was reading it.

It would be so interesting to re-visit some other books I’ve read in the past to see how I feel about them now, but alas, there are just not enough hours in the day.

Have you re-read any books that you enjoyed the second time around? Have there been any re-reads you disliked?

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