"Wherever men have lived there is a story to be told." Henry David Thoreau

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Would You Read it Again?

In a discussion recently among some friends, it was asked which of our favorite books had we read the most times. I racked my brain and had to admit that I couldn’t remember ever reading a book twice. There are certain books I’ve loved so much that I’ve kept them on my bookshelves for decades, thinking some day I would read them again. But I never have.

As a matter of fact, I had a shelf with books “to read” and I finally admitted that I had had those books for years ... and years ... maybe as high as twenty years. And I still had not read them. Every time I would go in search of something new to read, those particular books kept getting put back on the shelf. So, I recently did a drastic thing. I gathered them up and donated them to the library. That was Liberating! Now I don’t even have to consider them anymore.

I’ve even wondered how liberating it would be to gather up all the books I have read and do the same thing, because I know I won’t read them again. But that’s probably a bridge too far. I think I keep them because I want to occasionally look through them and say, “Oh, I remember that book. I loved it.” And for a minute or two, I’ll fall back into the story. But read it again? Nah. I know I’ll always choose the new adventure, the road I haven’t traveled, the ending I don’t yet know. For me, that’s the fun in reading.