Thursday, September 8, 2011

Read a Book or Re-Read a Good Book

When I served in the Air Force a good friend of mine owned a lot of books. Some of these he would read over and over. It took me a long time to understand why. I even questioned him about it on occasion. Well Nick, I understand and I do it myself now.

I read books like some people watch movies. If I like them I will read them again. I like to revisit the stories and the characters. After a while they become old friends. The Hobbit is one of these books. I read it at least once a year. Ender’s Game is another, but this book has a tendency to grow legs and disappear from my collection . I purchase a new copy every other year or so and I am happy to do so. I would rather see a child curled up on the couch reading than playing video games (and I like video games as much as the next child).

Now that I think about it there are a lot of books I like to re-read. I think it is almost to the point where I find it more difficult to read something new (unless it is written by an author I like).

I was reading one of my favorite sci-fi action adventure novels a few days ago. Deb walks in and looks at the book “How many times are you going to read that book?” I shrug “until I get tired of it.” She rolls her eyes and walks away. She knows I won’t get tired of it.

This book is not particularly well written, but the story is about a battle of epic proportions. The characters are larger than life. The villains are larger than life. The book is a complete escape from reality. This is why I read it. It is also why I will read it again.

I read to “escape from it all”. If I want reality I will turn on the news or read a paper.

I re-read books. Some perverse part of my brain is hoping that this character won’t step on the landmine this time or maybe that character will not get eaten by the dragon when he goes into that cave again. That very same part of my brain is eagerly waiting for that same character to dance on the landmine or hand the dragon some ketchup first.

If you have never read a book twice then do yourself a favor. Go find a book you really enjoyed. Read it again. You may find that you have forgotten a lot of things that made the story fun when you read it the first time. I bet you like it just as much the second time as you did the first.

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