Most of what makes a book “good” is that we are reading it at the right moment for us. -Alain de Botton
It is one of my greatest frustrations in life that there isn’t a word to describe that particular nostalgia of wanting to go back and read a book for the first time all over again. There are many books that I feel this way about, some more strongly than others. There have been times when I’ve seen one of these books on the shelf at the bookstore and had to fight the urge to buy another copy in an attempt to recapture the magic of that first reading.
This has been happening to me more and more lately and I’ve (naturally) been over-thinking it, trying to figure out why. The short answer is that I’m reading better books. I used to be a bit of a book slut and would read anything and everything. In the past year or so I’ve started to realize just how much there is out there and how much more is being written every day. It dawned on me how I’ve been wasting so much time reading crap. So, I’ve started being a little more picky about what I read and as a result, I love what I read more often.
The long answer isn’t as simple. There have been times when what I’ve been reading feels like it’s been lifted straight out of my life, or magically provides me with the answer to a question I didn’t even realize I was asking. But, there are other times when what I’ve been reading has nothing to do with my life and yet, the two are inexplicably intertwined. A Short History of Nearly Everything is about long baths on cold winter nights as much as it is about science. Battle Royale is about a battle to the death among school children, but it was also my weapon battling against waves of anxiety crashing through me. The Tiger’s Wife is a late meal in a quiet restaurant and the reflection of the full moon on the river. These books remind me of who and where I was when I read them, even if those things have nothing to do with the stories they tell.
This blog is a review of the books I’ve read, but it is also my personal story. The two might not always seem to have anything to do with each other, but they are always connected.