If I like a book, I will read it again. If I love it, I will probably read it many times over.
A good book is like comfort food or a conversation with an old friend. It is more than just reading. It is an experience of sorts, a journey that was so good the first time around that I want to experience it again.
And each time I do, I’m likely to see or to think something that I didn’t see or think before. This means, of course, that I don’t read as many books as I otherwise might. But I don’t particularly care about that.
Most of the time, the book that I’m reading depends on the mood that I’m in. And sometimes, I’m in the mood to read something familiar.
A couple of weeks ago, it was Anne Fadiman’s ‘Ex Libris’. It is one of my favourite books about books. I have already read it a few times and it never fails to make me happy. Here’s an excerpt from the preface:
“…what I consider the heart of reading: not whether we wish to purchase a new book but how we maintain our connections with our old books, the ones we have lived with for years, the ones whose textures and colours and smells have become as familiar to us as our children’s skin.”