booking through thursday: memory reset

If you could magically reset things so that you had the chance to read a favorite book/series again for the first time, which would you choose and why? Since tastes change, do you think it would have the same affect on you, reading it now, as it did when you read it the first time? Would you love it just as much? Would you risk it?

When Netflix first was becoming popular and I signed up for it, of course there were tons of old kids TV shows on there that I remembered LOVING when I was younger. I thought it would be fun taking a trip town memory lane and re-watch some of them. Yeah… not so much. Just terrible! But with books, the experience may be different… especially if your memory is completely erased.

For me, some of the books I consider “favorites” I read so long ago, it might well be like reading again for the first time if I decide to go back. Here are a few I can think of that I’ve only read once more recently but consider favorites:

  • The Handmaid’s Tale … Margaret Atwood
  • I Know This Much is True … Wally Lamb
  • In Cold Blood … Truman Capote
  • My Life in France … Julia Child
  • The Road … Cormac McCarthy

I remember the feelings I had reading them, but not every detail of the plot, not every character. So I think it would be okay to go back. I suspect I’d still love all of these; it hasn’t been too too long. Although there are a couple on my Goodreads “favorites” shelf that I’m wondering why I put them on there—not entirely sure they still deserve that status: Water for Elephants by Sara Green and The Time-Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. Not that they were bad—I definitely remember enjoying them a lot, but I’m not sure they have stayed with me much. I don’t feel like I would necessarily like to re-read them someday, unlike the rest in the list above.

I think the books that I might have the most different feelings about if I went back to them afresh are things I read as a kid, like the V.C. Andrews: Flowers in the Attic series, stuff by Roald Dahl and Michael Crichton (again, good—some favorites as a kid, but now? I don’t know. Not as into fantasy and sci-fi as I used to be), and a few I loved in high school:

  • All Quiet on the Western Front … Erich Maria Remarque
  • Death Be Not Proud … John Gunther
  • The Jungle … Upton Sinclair
  • To Kill a Mockingbird … Harper Lee
  • The Lord of the Flies … William Golding

These five listed particularly blew me away at that time in my life, and I felt so strongly about them that I’d worry I’d lose that feeling going back. Maybe it’s been too long since I read them…

How about you—would you go back to read a favorite book for the first time again?

3 thoughts on “booking through thursday: memory reset

  1. I have recently (over the past year) been going through this then-and-now reread experience. My attitude toward/thoughts about books that I had only read for the first time a few years ago didn’t change.

    HOWEVER…the books that I read 15-20 years ago, then reread just recently, had a huge impact on me. I have had so much experience with life and learning since then, and in most cases that dramatically changed the way I saw those books. I have had so many “Ah-ha!” moments. It’s been really fun and cool.

    • I had this thing I wanted to do where I’d re-read one old book every year, but I haven’t been so awesome about keeping up with that :-/ So many NEW things to read! (or at least, new to me!)

      But what you said has encouraged me to revisit some of these ones I listed above, those last 5 especially. I mean, and why not—I still have copies on my bookshelf!

      Thanks! 🙂

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