..to, well, whatever this is. Not regularly-scheduled, I think we all know that. And I’m moving forward on this list as though the days I didn’t post something from it actually count, because a) I will seriously still be doing this on April if I don’t, and b) in the process of mangling some of these questions into things I could actually answer, I managed to answer others of them.
So: Day 12 – An book you’ve read more than twice.
All of them.
–Seriously, all of them. Even the ones I didn’t like. Even the ones I hated.
Even -*gasp*- the ones they made me read in class.
I think there may be a small compulsion working here, because I’ve been doing it all my life –I have aunts who gave me books when they were done with them, and while I was always thrilled, I always wanted to know why they didn’t want them anymore, and was invariably flabbergasted (yes, every time) by the answer “I’m done with it”… but despite occasionally wondering if I’m not a bit obsessed, I don’t worry about it. You know why?
I learn something every time I re-read a book.
I mean, I’m doing it because I love the story, don’t get me wrong. This is, at its heart, all about entertainment. But nevertheless: even with the books I don’t like, but especially with the books that I love, I find some new thing in the pages on the 2nd and the 5th and the 15th time around.
I don’t mean oh my god, he’s actually from Calcutta? How did I miss that the last X times? (though that has happened, I admit). It’s generally more subtle than that: a sentence that’s perfectly constructed; a comparison with amazing symmetry in it; a theme resolved only in a handful of words. Word choices. Cadence. That perfectly-placed comedic break. Little stuff. The stuff your brain may pick up on the first time you read that just rolls into the whole of it, leaving you at the end with the impression that you just read something amazing, but no way to pinpoint everything that made it so.
I love this stuff. I’m not sure if I’m more a reader or a writer when I’m picking up on it –god knows I’ve learned more about writing hunting down these little moments than I ever did getting my degree– but I know I am a better reader and a much better writer for it.