I am a book nut. NUT. This means that I will, nine times out of ten, refer to myself as primarily a reader. Something that non book nuts love to ask us book nuts is "Why do you keep a book after you read it?" meaning "You don't plan on ever reading it again, what's the point?".
The thing I don't get about this question is the fact that it is almost always asked with some weird air of superiority. It is not mere curiousity. For some reason, these non readers think that have tricked you into a logical corner. Of course no one reads a book more than once, so AHA! Right? They get to shut the hell up.
You're damn right I read it more than once.
First off, a book (by which I mean a good book, a bad book is an extended, de-articled magazine) is a complex set of characters developed over an extended time period of a writer's life. Almost no writer is exactly where they were when the get to where they are at the end. This invariable shows up, sort of a "38 views of a author's life via the proxy of the characerization". Appreciating this sort of mood shifts, this complexity, is not a once through kind of thing.
A lot of authors like to embed symbols and deeper meanings into the story arcs. Sure, I have read some books that I am sure do not have these things, but most books are rife with them, or at least their possibility. These are things that you cannot pick up right away. It takes time to notice them.
Also, there is nothing wrong with rereading a book, so bite me.
How many times have you seen that movie? How many times have you played that videogame? How many times have you watched that sporting event in which almost the exact damn thing happens? Huh? Huh? (second huh added for emphasis).
I ask this because I note that people that complain about people reading a book more than once would much rather do something else besides reading. They consider it a chore, not an enjoyment. To them, you make it through a book the first time just to say you did. Maybe it is because they feel obligated to keep up the human tradition of reading. I don't know.
But they are all about dumping their loads of crap on me because I do enjoy rereading.
No, the title pretty much says it all, so there...
Written by W Doug Bolden
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