For my summer reading, I decided to continue with my normal stacks of book piles but with one twist: no more dedicated pile to graphic novels. Why? Well 1- I tend to read them quickly so if they are in a stack by themselves I have to buy a lot of books (I’m now putting graphic novels with fiction) 2-I was having a hard time finding a lot of good ones that I wanted to read 3- I wanted to start re-reading some of my favorite books.
When I was a kid, I always re-read books that I loved. Variety of reasons for that which include: kids books are short, I had a limited supply of books and resources to get more (no spending money and we weren’t too close to the library although my Mom still tried to take us every few weeks, not including the glorious summer of the bookmobile..digression…).
The older I became, the less I re-read books. As I had access to better libraries and the occasional 5 spot from a babysitting job, I wanted to seek out something I had not read before even though I was still known to do what my mother would: she’d read the first page of a book, remember the plot and then just sort of skim here and there over her favorite parts before reading the end again.
I wanted to go back to re-visit some of the books that had an effect on me, enough so that I have kept them on my bookshelves instead of giving them away or trading them in. The first one I decided to re-read was “Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert because I’m going to be reading her second memoir “Committed” very soon.
I first read EPL in late 2006 at a time in my life when I was waiting to hear if I had gotten into the only MFA program to which I had applied, I had only recently started writing again and had my first piece accepted for publication in 7 years, I was working in a job I no longer enjoyed and I was struggling to try and get myself into shape.
The first time I read the book I was drawn to the author being at an emotional crossroads regarding her life as a wife and her realization that she doesn’t want to be a mother. I could relate to this and I was drawn into the India section of the book in particular because I wondered what it would be like to escape into meditation. The Italy section scared me because I couldn’t imagine abandoning myself into food, except I did that whenever I came off of a diet …
Reading the book again almost 4 years later I am still struggling with my weight but I’m much happier. I got into the MFA and I finished it. I’ve sense had two chapbooks and a full length collection published as well as some fiction and non-fiction. So what struck me about the book reading it this time?
This time I found myself more in love with Italy and/or really any parts where the senses are activated by the sights, sounds and tastes of a place. I was drawn more to the travel aspects of the book. Perhaps because I am so happy now and at home most of the time, the wanderlust is in me again and I want that freedom to escape into a place I have never been. I have also been trying to experiment with eating only when I am hungry and normally with just what I want (within reason). I haven’t found much movement on the scale or in my shape but I think there is something growing in me that wants to fight harder to be a fit person the next time I travel.
Do you find the time to re-read books that you love? Love to hear your stories about that. Right now I am re-reading a very old copy of “The Hitch-hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” and loving it all over again.