Let's Talk is a weekly feature here at i swim for oceans. I think it's important that we all have our say, and there's something to be said for raising our voices. Simply put, here on the little old blog, I like to host some of my very own discussion posts because, well, I like to converse with you all.
And so, Let's Talk will feature questions or prompts, which I will answer, too. Love it or hate it, weigh in or don't, it's my hope that Let's Talk will at least get you thinking...and maybe even get you discussing with the rest of us!
Do you ever re-read books that didn't work for you the first time around but have them work the next time? Has it ever worked the opposite for you?
I'm a re-reader. Any books that I actually keep on my shelves are ones that I'm committed to re-read to this day, but I can't say it's always been that way for me. I love books. I love collecting books, and I love to have thousands upon thousands of pages of the written word throughout my house - good or bad. Through book blogging though, it's safe to say that I've amassed quite the collection, and re-reading has really served to narrow those books down for me a little bit.
Take, for instance, Mockingjay. The first time around, I gave it a five-star review. As much as it pains me to admit it, I think that I got swept up in the hype and loved the rush of reading the final installment. When the hype died down and the craze had settled just a little bit, I decided it was time to read it again. And, lo and behold, I found myself immensely disappointed in it.
The magic that we had between Katniss and Peeta had truly been watered down into mere shades of what it was before. The tension between Katniss and Gale was, well, non-existent. And, frankly, we watched Katniss go from a proud, enigmatic heroine to one coloured deeply by revenge and retribution. It darkened my impression of her.
On the flip side though, I first read Madeleine L'Engle's Time series when I was in middle school, and I hated it. I remember reading the first few chapters of the fourth book, Many Waters, and thinking it was just horrible. I didn't want to read more about the boys, and I really didn't want to read about a fantastical world where mammoths were real, Seraphim and Nephilim walked the Earth, and unseen El was going to rain hell on the planet.
When I read it a year or so later though, I was utterly entranced by this remake of the Biblical tale, and it remains one of my all-time favourites to this day. I cannot believe so many people haven't read it, and that my judgment was so wrong the first time around. This is one book that I'm so glad I re-read
I think it works both ways. I really have to be in the right mind to give a book another shot, and I won't always give books a second go. If I loathed it the first time around, or if the writing is really bad, chances are it won't get a re-read. Some books though...some books deserve that shot.