I love reading, but until recently I never read a book twice. In my childhood and teenage years I read mostly fantasy, so I didn’t feel the need to go back to those stories, no matter how captivating, interesting, or moving they were. Five years ago my True Love introduced me to the vast world of self-development in the form of an audio series Your Wish is Your Command. In that audio series the lecturer recommended several books to read in order to dig deeper into the topic that he was speaking about.
We had planned a trip to a camping area near the sea, and those books arrived just before we took off, so that we had plenty to read while lying on the beach and enjoying the summer. In that package there were nine books, so the first night went by while leafing through them, smelling the fragrance of new books, and trying to decide where to begin.
Norman Vincent Peale’s book The Power of Positive Thinking was my choice for the first book from that pile. I remember that book having a tremendous impact on me and I was blown away by its content. Few years ago I tried to re-read the book and I couldn’t figure out what it was that had had such an impact on me just a couple of years earlier. The same way tenterhooks are foreign to a modern person, I didn’t recognize that “I” who I had been when I read the book for the first time. I couldn’t recall the thought patterns and belief systems that had been so deeply impacted by Norman’s book. On the other hand it was nice to notice my progress, but I was also sad for losing one of my favorite books.
Currently I’m reading almost solely self-help books, seasoned with storybooks that I read out loud to the little one. I’m more often inspired to go back to those books than I was with the fantasy literature. Sometimes I’m looking for a certain paragraph or a sentence that I remembered reading earlier and would like to revisit. Most of the time I haven’t been able to find that passage again, so I have had to rely on my memory about it. And then there are times, when I’m re-reading a chapter and the content is completely “new” to me, like I wrote earlier about the chapter in Gabby’s book.
By reading a book again can give me new insights that I didn’t have or even couldn’t have on the first time around, but it can also show me I have outgrown the message that the author is sharing. At the moment I’m mostly moving forward, reading a book, and when done with it, continuing to the next one. As I shared earlier, my True Love is keeping me well equipped to do that. But I enjoy looking at our filling bookshelf, reading the names of the books, and maybe, just maybe, I will someday be inspired to re-read some of those books.
Until that happens, I will hold on to my fond memories of all those books.