Wednesday, August 1, 2007

almost done reading

Unlike so many of you, I have not quite finished Book 7 of Harry Potter. In fact, I find that I'm stretching things out because I'm so in love with this book that I don't want it to be over. I'm already agonizing over what I'll read next and feel lucky that I have a few books in the reading bull pen ready to go. (Did you enjoy the baseball metaphor?) I haven't typically re-read the Potter series, but this one, I know I'll go back to.

Anyway, this all made me wonder - what are the books we have that we love so much that we do indeed read them over and over? I've talked about books in this blog a few times already, but this is a slightly different spin.

Here are some of mine that I've read multiple times:

A Wrinkle in Time
To Kill a Mockingbird
Up the Down Staircase (written in the 60's but still very accurate -sadly - about schools and teaching)
The Great Gatsby

Of those, the last is one I truly never tire of. To me it says everything there is to say about love, lust, greed, and all that is good as well as seductively toxic about the American dream. If you were assigned it in school but never read it, go back to it. I guess I first read it when I was ready - 17 years old and full of myself - never yet having loved someone I'd do anything for. Gatsby's love for Daisy and what he did to get her back just grabbed at me. And her casual dismissal of him... well, that grabbed me, too. As well as seeing that if you're rich enough, you can cover up your sins with a little cash. At 17, the idea of characters who simply got away with murder was astounding.

These days, I'm less surprised by all that - but no less in love with the book.

Til next time...


Anonymous said...

I love returning to my shelf of favorite novels. Especially the ones I read and re-read in my undergrad classes. I look over the layers of marginalia and see how my ideas have been changing over time.

Having grown up in tradition where books are objects of reverence -- actually writing notes in them has always felt a little rebellious. But I still do it. ;)

Lately, I've been obsessed with a new novel - The World to Come by Dara Horn. I've read it five times or so since it was published last spring. Just thinking about it gives me goosebumps.


Kim said...

To Kill a Mockingbird - the best book EVER!!!

I haven't finished HP yet either. R&A both finished it in less than 48 hours. Robb read it last week. Now it's my turn.

Joy said...

Just read Beth's comment. Yes, I too, am a margin writer and I also love the added insights that layer each year. Amazing how a year or two - or ten - can give you a completely different reading of a text. And yes, it does feel sort of rebellious to write in the book - but I always feels like it gives me ownership somehow...

Anonymous said...

lamest comment you will get: Bridges of Madison County..there I said it. I love that book! Rest of his books were not good.

Of course..the book I read most...Siddur and Torah. Written by a great author!

Joan Nathan's Jewish Cooking in America..a great readable cookbook.

But what you are looking for I think: Anthem, Aynd Rand

But my adult ADD has taken over and People magazine article length is about it for me now.

I now listen to books on CD on my way to work, more than read.