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BTT 5/21 Reading Again For the First Time

May 21, 2009

I completely love this question from Booking Through Thursday.

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

I love that feeling- when a book is so good you don’t want it to end, even though you want to zoom through page after page because you don’t want to leave the book’s world.   Reading for the first time, discovering events or turns of phrase, has a particular magic.

I wish I could reread most of my favorite books as if they were completely new to me.   I get excited about recommending books that I’ve loved to friends, because then I can have the vicarious thrill of the reader discovering them.

Most of what come to mind are books with a speculative or fantasy element.  The magical aspect of the adventure is always so unique and creative, in the best fantasy novels.  I enjoy prowling that world for the first time even more than returning to it.  (Digression- I think there is a Harry Potter exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago– but the fact of the movie makes that strange. It’s the movie’s view, not the book’s or my imagination.)

My fellow readers often have strong opinions about rereading mystery novels.  After all, once you know whodunnit, the puzzle is solved.  Even rereading years later, it’s hard to shake memories of how it ended.  Rather than deterring me from rereading, that makes me enjoy some of my favorite mysteries in a new way.  It’s fun to piece together clues that become important in hindsight.  Rereading a mystery means appreciating the craft, how the system of clues gets unpacked.

As I think of it, that’s true for poetry too.  I wish I could read most of Billy Collins’ poetry again for the first time- he always seems to pack a twist into the end of poems, an image or a rhythm that catches me off guard and makes me laugh with delight.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. May 21, 2009 1:44 pm

    I believe the only mystery novel I’ve ever re-read was “And Then There Were None” by Agatha Christie. I remember being so surprised by the ending (hadn’t seen the movie first!), that I wanted to be sure I hadn’t missed something. But I think the Adam Dalgliesh mysteries by P.D. James could absolutely stand up to a re-read.

  2. thebluestockingguide permalink
    May 21, 2009 2:07 pm

    I chose Harry Potter amongst others. A Second First Time

  3. May 21, 2009 8:53 pm

    yup!! I agree…once the mystery reveals, it lost the sense of curiosity. tho I always enjoy the ride.

    I guess I wrote the same for everyone who had chosen Harry Potter, I only like few of them and hate the last book

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