There are books we like, books we hate, and others we love. There are some that have fantastic writing, beautifully crafted characters, and such unexpected twists that we would give anything to read it again for the first time. Right?
I understand the sentiment of wanting to erase a book from your memory and experience it anew. The more I think about it though, the less I want to do it for a couple of reasons. So, let’s talk a bit about them.
The first and perhaps more particular to me, is that I am a huge mood reader. There are books that I can be excited about months before release, yet I am unable to read them because I’m simply not in the mood. Some other books, I’ll be actively reading and enjoying but, for some reason, will just stop and never return to them (Sorry to all of those books. I’m sure you were great). Other times there are books that I know I would enjoy if I were in the mood for them but can’t get into because the timing is not working. So really, every book I love is partially due to me reading it at the correct time and in the right state of mind. I would hate to forget all about a book I love just to never pick it up or hate it because the mood isn’t right.
The second (and most important in my opinion) is that my love for a book grows exponentially as time goes on. I rarely know if a book I just finished will become a favorite immediately after finishing it. There are some books that I love while reading and completely forget about a few months after or like less as time goes on. Others stick to my brain like velcro and I keep coming back to them over and over again for months and years to come. The more I think about them, the more I love them. The longer I spend with them and the more memories I have attached to those books, the more special they become. To read a book again for the first time would mean getting rid of all the time I already spend with it, and I don’t think the trade is worth it.
Finally, I would honestly just rather reread the book. Rereading, I think, is even better than potentially reading a book again for the first time. Of course, you know what happens already, so you may not be as surprised as you were the first time, but there’s always going to be new things to discover. You’ll see all the foreshadowing you missed, find new symbolism in certain scenes, and see the intention behind every word. Also, by the time you reread a book you’ve likely already forgotten about a good chunk of it so, it’s almost as if you’re reading it again for the first time anyway. Not to mention that we change as we grow and books do too. Picking up a book years after you first read it is almost like reading something completely different.
Overall, I think reading a book again for the first time is a totally understandable thing to desire. It makes sense to want to experience the rush and excitement all over again but, for me, those experiences come back with time.
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