I have stacks of books and shelves of books, many of them new, all bought with the best of intention to read them right away. Some of them will linger for months, while others will receive a daily glance in their direction with a promise of, "I'll start reading you tomorrow."
Lately, though, I've been collecting new books and reading old ones. At random times during the year, I have a yen to revisit favorite books and meet up with old fictional friends. These are characters that drew me into their worlds, welcomed me with their wit and charm, and bade me return as soon as possible.
I've been making my way through the historical romance section of my shelves, revisiting the likes of Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, Johanna Lindsey, and those who sweep me across the American West and the Scottish Highlands. There has been a need within me to travel back in time of late and spend many hours with these romances and adventures. Our modern world often pushes me into the past, and some of my favorite books give me the opportunity to visit time and again.
Of course, new books offer the same escape, and I will get to them. I will have the pleasure of meeting many more new characters and enjoy the worlds created by talented authors. I will know them . . . but I do not know them yet. There is comfort in meeting up with well-loved acquaintances, and it is no different from spending time with characters who have captured our hearts and ensnared our minds.
I have also found that books change a little every time I read them. The story is the same, yes, but how I view the story changes as I get older, experience more, and learn more. What resonated with me five or ten years ago might not today, or what I may not have given much notice to before now touches me heart and soul.
I have spent the past two weeks in such bliss, and now it it is time to welcome new stories, once again, into my life. I do believe the next will be Labrynth by Catherine Coulter, the newest in her FBI series. I've enjoyed this series since book one, and no doubt will be on the edge of excitement with this one.
Are you a reader who enjoys reading books over and over? Do you mix in reading favorites with new reads?
“...the reader who plucks a book from her shelf only once is as deprived as the listener who, after attending a single performance of a Beethoven symphony, never hears it again.” ― Anne Fadiman, Rereadings: Seventeen Writers Revisit Books They Love