Reader in a Quandary

Which kind of reader are you:

  • The avid reader of new books who never re-read a book in his life?
  • Or the avid re-reader of old favourites who hasn’t picked up a new book in the last ten years?

I passed through both phases in life and ended up in no-man’s land – where many masterpieces I loved as a teenager are still clamouring to be re-read while the pile of books I haven’t read yet refuse to get smaller. Do I have the time to re-read anything? No, but I do it anyway. And then I regret wasting precious time.

When I was young I used to feel aggrieved about the fact that after I die people will still write good books but I won’t get to read them. For crying out loud. There are all these good books already written that I won’t have time to read before I die.


(What am I doing here blogging when I could be reading?!)

You might also like:The Lonely Reader's Lament

13 thoughts on “Reader in a Quandary

  1. Haha, I know what you mean. I used to be a re-reader as a teen. I’ve actual read my favorite book probably 8 times, give or take. And enjoyed it just as much every time, if not more. But then I started doing goodreads, and THEN I started blogging… and here we are, saying goodbye to rereads 😀 but it’s alright, there are just so many good books coming out! I feel like I must read all of it…

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      1. I know what you mean! I just sort of lurk on groups now. It’s too much work to participate 🙂 that’s something I did more before I blogged. But it’s alright, our blogosphere is sort of like a group anyway, I guess 🙂

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  2. Ha ha. Your post made me smile 🙂 I always wonder from where should I steal time to read all the books that I keep adding to my list of books to be read…you are right, there’s just not enough time to read all the good books one wishes to. I don’t re-read…for shortage of time 🙂

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  3. I am definitely in the first category even though I want to re-read old favourites to understand it better as I have grown older or to know that whether they still appeal to me in the same way. As we all have a never ending pile of TBR my wish to re-read just remains a wish.

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    1. You’re very right about having a different perspective on the same book as you grow older… I’m currently re-reading The Persian Letters by Montesquieu and I have a rather different opinion of it now than I did thirty years ago! I once even blogged about different perspectives about the same book when my older daughter read an old favourite of mine: Two Versions of The Old Man and the Sea

      You could also try and do what I suggested to another reader: re-read a book for every five (or whatever) new books. 🙂 I don’t keep to a strict schedule but that’s the sort of thing I tend to do – fit in an old book every now and then, usually even reading it in parallel with a new one.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I totally agree with you POV in the blog : “When my daughter read The Old Man and the Sea, it was a different book from the one I read. And when I re-read it today, it wasn’t the same book that I read some thirty years ago.”

        I will try to do what you suggested….sprinkle some oldies with the new ones and see if I can re-read a few of them.


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        1. Have fun re-reading. 🙂

          I was really pleased with the Borges quote about literature being inexhaustible – I originally wrote the post a couple of years ago in English and it was only my thoughts on the fact that Sophisticated Young Lady didn’t like the book (although it didn’t surprise me). It’s only when I decided to translate it into Spanish recently, that I stumbled on the quote by Borges… since then I found some more stuff that he said about reading, and he’s well worth listening to!

          Liked by 1 person

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