Again and again

You know what lately I’ve discovered I really enjoy? Re-reading books that I loved the first time.

Reading a totally new book while you commute is a gamble. The train is not the place to read something that you’re not totally into because there are way too many opportunities for distraction. And since I’m a fairly quick reader, I’m in a virtually constant search for new reading material. Which is what led me to the aforementioned discovery.

Right now I’m on this kick of young adult fiction. Which, while perhaps not altogether the most mentally stimulating reading on the whole, has the uncanny ability to make me feel exactly how I felt the first time I read it.

First it was a book called Flipped, which takes one of the most complex and abstract principles ever — the difference between men and women — and puts it in an early high school setting. It’s remarkably funny and poignant for a book about a couple of 14-year-olds.

After the success of that book, I revisited The Perks of Being a Wallflower, which I actually didn’t read until I took a YA literature class in college. Everyone always says it’s a book you can’t really appreciate unless you read it in high school, but I think what they mean to say is, “I only appreciated this in high school. Now I can’t for some reason that is more failing of my own than one of the book’s.” But maybe that’s just me.

I really love this book. It makes me sad, happy, terrified, and hopeful all at the same time. Which, I don’t know about you, but I think is a sign of a really terrific book.

Of course, I know there are a lot of people out there who simply canNOT read a book more than once. I’ve never been one of those folks — I have read Sharon Creech’s Chasing Redbird literally over 15 times. I don’t know why, but that book always spoke to me and had the ability to take me away entirely from whatever was bothering me between the ages of 13 and 15.

Anyone else find themselves reaching for the same covers over and over again, or do you think I’m speaking literature blasphemy?