April 26th, 2012

It Happened One Day

Re-reading old favourite novels

Is it a good or a bad idea to re-read books you loved when you were younger?

A couple of years ago, I re-read a book I'd loved when I was in my late teens, and it was a dreadful disappointment - painfully dated, slow and dull. I honestly couldn't understand why I had ever thought it was such a good book.

Recently, after more than 30 years, I got hold of another book by the same author, one I had loved even more than the first. It was cheap and I had happy memories of it, so I bought it. But then I wondered - do I re-read it and risk having all my wonderful memories shattered when it turns out to be a disappointment, or do I just leave it on the shelf and remember it fondly?

After a lot of thought, I decided to risk it - and amazingly I love it as much now as I did back then. Yes, some of it is understandably dated, but there are still characters who touch my heart and sweep me up into their story.

So why did this one manage to stand the test of time while the other one, by the same author, didn't?