There was a time when I read nothing new. I had a few favourite books that I would systematically reread each year, and I was quite content with that. I was wrapped in a warm bubble of comfort reads, blissfully ignorant of anything new being published while I stuck with my familiar favourites.
But people kept on asking me if I’d read X or what I thought of Y and, I won’t lie, I started suffering from a serious case of FOMO. It was time for me to let Frodo go and embark on a new adventure, one that might sadly not live up to my expectations, but that might just surprise me.
And as I started reading some of these recommended books, albeit years later than their release dates in most cases, I realised that life’s too short to be rereading the same books over and over again. Over 2 million new books were published in 2020 alone (including mine!), and although only a few those appeal to me, and an even smaller number of them are so good that they mess with my sleeping patterns, I just can’t see myself falling back into that habit of rereading books I’ve read before.
But last month, I reread Dune (because I wanted a refresher before I saw the movie at the cinema). I remember liking it as a teenager – and I have paperback copies of the first four books on my bookshelf to prove it – but this time around? I feel kind of meh about it. The world has evolved since this novel rocked the sci-fi scene in 1965. I’m sure it was groundbreaking then, and there is an element of the timeless classic to it, but as a modern reader, I found it problematic and, even worse, boring.
The same happened a few years ago when I reread The Belgariad series by David Eddings, one of my all-time favourites. These books were the reason I started writing in the first place, but now I see so many issues with them and I don’t think they’ve aged well at all. I didn’t even go on to reread The Mallorean. Some books, it seems, are only meant to be remembered fondly.
It’s not all bad, though. The Lord of the Rings still holds up for me, and although I despised To Kill a Mockingbird when they made me read it in school, I loved it as an adult. And of course, you can never go wrong with Jane Austen!
So, here’s my question to you, dear reader: do you reread books? If you do, which ones have disappointed you later in life, and which ones have stood the test of time? What do you think makes a timeless classic? Please let me know in the comments below!
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