Monday, March 6, 2017

Rereading a Book You No Longer Love

Lately, I've been doing a lot of talk about rereading. In fact, I have challenged myself to reread 12 books this year. At least, that was the plan.

So, in January, I hit a bit of a slump. Not terribly, but nothing was keeping my attention. I'd pick a book up and put it back down after a half-dozen pages. So, I decided to reread the first book in what I claim to be my favorite fantasy series.

It worked perfectly. I was enjoying it and having a blast and then, about 50 pages into it, I just totally lost interest. I think it was partially because, even though it's been about three years since I read it, I remember things very well. But, also…

Nowadays, I'm looking for books that are more. More than just another straight white cis male going out and saving this fantasy world. I want books that are diverse, books that are inclusive - I don't call diversity one black woman that dies at the end of the series. So, I love the book. I probably - I hope - I always will.

But I just don't want to reread a book that's not something I would currently pick to read new now.

As much as I loved them years ago when I first read them, this is why I haven't reread the Sherlock Holmes stories in years. I'm afraid I won't enjoy them at all and they will feel sexist and racist. (Which I bet they were - though no more than most other books written around that time.)

The fact is, I'd like to keep pleasant memories of books that if I were to read them nowadays, I'd probably rip into.

This has left me very concerned about my intent to reread a lot this year - as I have no idea how some of these books that I loved once will strike me now. (And I do want good memories of them.)

Have you ever experienced this - where the book is well written and you still could love it, but you just want more out of it when you reread? Or if your reading tastes change so drastically that you can't really love the book anymore?