There aren’t enough days in the years to read all the books that I wish I could. To enjoy them and then read them again, and again, and again to absorb them. So many books, so little time.
I recently was rereading A LANTERN IN HER HAND by Bess Streeter Aldrich. An older book, I read it when I was a teenager and it didn’t really stick with me. Reading it now, though, as a mother of three- it stuck.
This is the way with books, I think. As we grow and learn and live, they change with us. Whether they are more or less applicable depends, but the pieces of your soul which they stick to can shift. It’s a beautiful, wondrous thing.
But I wonder, if because there are so many books and so little time, if we all take the time we do have to do this with the books that matter. To reread them, learn from them, understand them better. If we are only reading the new, new, new… if we only read books that are meant for younger readers when we are older or older readers when we are younger, are we benefitting from all the reading?
Yes, I would say. Don’t worry.
We always benefit from reading, but I think if we took more time we could benefit even more. Books help us through things, remind us of others, and help us escape. Every book has a different purpose.
If I hadn’t reread A LANTERN IN HER HAND, I would have missed the heartache of Abbie Deal. When I was younger I was more distracted by the idea of her not chasing her dreams and the fact that the book was very wordy and descriptive (less dialogue). Now, though, I understand and appreciate her sacrifice more than can be explained.
Rereading the HARRY POTTER books, for instance, or THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA, with my oldest son- I am picking up on things that I have missed. (This is moreso with THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA, because I’ve reread HARRY POTTER far too many times.) But each time, the books change for the good and the bad.
I think this proves the (subjective) quality of books. If they stand the test of time, change and yet mean something extraordinary to the reader, they are well worth the time to reread.
What do you think? Do you have any books you have reread that changed with time, or ones you hope/plan to reread?