Books Choose When They Want To Be Read By Us
I kid you not, sometimes I open a book and I can’t even process the sentences written. The very thought of reading the book repels me. But then later, a year or two down the line, when I pick that very book again, I am captivated from the very first page and must absolutely continue reading it.
While we may be the ones who ‘pick’ books in the sense that we buy them and get them home or download it on our kindle or whatever e-reader, they are the ones that decide when they want to be read by us.
Why does that possibly happen?
If you’ve ever re-read a book you liked years apart, you may have been surprised to notice certain thins you didn’t before or feel slightly differently about it. That’s exactly it, you see.
Reading is such an intimate thing. Just like a first date. Or a 4 am conversation with your friend (or that brilliant stranger over the internet). Or reading your neighbor’s diary. Unless you’re emotionally and mentally up for it, you’re going to want to back out or see it as pointless or find the whole thing a drag.
If I had read read Eat Pray Love at 14 I would have not taken anything away other than that I need to have a lot of Gelato. Or if I had read Princess Diaries right now, as a 23 year old, I would have never gone past the first book and would have hate-read even that! It’s not really just an age thing. It’s where you are at your emotional, spiritual and intellectual journey.
Two personal accounts
It’s happened with me for many books but if you want some examples, here are my two favourite reads that followed this curious affair.
1. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
I bought The Bell Jar in my second year of college, back in 2017, fascinated by everything I had heard about Plath and excited at the premise that this was semi autobiographical. And then when I read the first page I remember feeling ‘what even is this’ and it not meeting my expectations.
But then in 2019 August when I started my new job, I gave The Bell Jar another try and my god! I clung to that book and carried it with me everywhere and was pretty intrigued right from the first few sentences.
2. A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
How I chanced upon this book rare gem, I don’t know, but I am forever grateful. When I read the blurb of A Tale For The Time Being in 2016, I ordered the book right away. There was no second guessing whether or not I would like it.
But then the book spent about two years in storage under my bed until finally in 2018 I fetched it out and fell in love with it. As expected – but I still had to wait two years for that to happen.
What does this mean?
It means that you don’t have to regret buying books!!! Aha. You found me out. I wrote this whole post for this.
While that is not false, this is not why I am writing this. REALLY.
I have never been that person who was intimidated by the unread books on my shelf. In fact, when the year started, I put away all the books I had read, and filled my shelves up with the 100 odd books I didn’t yet. I also have about 700 books on my goodreads TBR. It excites me instead! There’s so much to look forward to and there’s always something for every mood and life phase I am in.