I’m vamping. I just started Hanif Kureishi’s The Buddha of Suburbia, and, while I’m enjoying it, am not sure I’ll continue and/or have much to say about the first 35 pages. So… a brief interlude:
I wish I wanted to reread books I’ve loved. As a kid, I’d page through sections of Jane Eyre and Little Women that I had nearly memorized and found rereading them as pleasurable, if not more pleasurable than when I had first read them. My bookcase is filled with books I’ve read, but it’s more to have them near or look through than to pick up again. After David Foster Wallace died, I took out Infinite Jest, read the first page, and remembered images and moments and my enjoyment of the book and didn’t want to touch that time. There are books I’m afraid to reread, having adored them and now fearing not liking them or finding them simple or immature. Why is there so much comfort in rereading books as a kid (we read Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel so many times to my brother that we finally got him the LP, so he could listen to it on his own) but now it holds no interest for me? Ask me what a book I read is about and I’ll probably recall a bit of plot and character, but all I need to do is read the first page and generally the book comes back in a rush, the way a fragrance brings on a full-blown memory. I invariably will close the book and search for something new.