Book Amnesia: From the Mouth of Babe
My teenage daughter offers a goldmine of ideas with her casual comments. The trick is to filter the precious metal from the sand and gravel, panning to find the very best material. Like me, she loves to read and has amassed a huge collection of books that she proudly displays in her room on a bookshelf like sports trophies. She’s even gone so far as to color code the books on each shelf, so she knows if anything is borrowed or out of place! Recently my bookworm of a child gave me this nugget to consider:
I wish I had amnesia so that I could read all my favorite books again for the very first time.
I laughed at the notion but then stopped to really think about the point she was trying to make. And it’s a good one! You never get a second chance to experience a wonderful book for the first time. The ultimate thrill of a new story is revealed only once, with unfamiliar characters, settings and dilemmas introduced but a single time. Certain elements may be forgotten as the years pass, minor details here and there, but a book will never affect you the same way after you’ve read it from cover to cover. The best parts of the story stick with you—the way it makes you feel an emotion deeply, how it makes you see things in a different light, or question something you previously took for granted.
My daughter and I both love how a great book makes us feel, changes us for the better. If only we could bottle up that first-reading delight and keep it with us forever. With book amnesia, I’d definitely want to reread all the Harry Potter books and the All Creatures Great and Small series.
What about you? If you developed a bad case of book amnesia, what favorite books would you dive into again for the first time?