A friend of mine asked me a few days ago if I often read books twice. Truth be told, I don’t. I have a Good Reads reading list I take great pride in adding to (currently I’m on 210 books!) and part of that is reading as many new books as possible.
The only series I’ve read more than once is the Harry Potter collection. Going back to those books is like wrapping yourself in your favourite blanket on the sofa on a winter’s day. It’s comforting and you can always rely on it.
But those of you who know me well will know that (despite my HP obsession) one of my favourite books is The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.
Beyond the first read, I’d only seen the film. And this story is one of those that leaves you feeling a little different when you’ve read/watched it. It shakes a part of you awake that looks for a deeper understanding of life and people – which sounds odd, but you’ll have to read it yourself to see what I mean.
Thus far, I’ve enjoyed reading it twice. And one of craziest things I’ve discovered is that
like songs, books can mean different things to you at different points in your life.
When reading, I fold down pages that contain words that move me. I like to look back and find them easily at a later date and remember why I love books so damn much.
I did the same with The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and what I’ve found odd is that this time, I want to fold down new pages. And the pages I originally marked don’t move me in the same way.
At this point, I should probably point out that,
on first read of this book, I was in a bad place.
I was in the throws of my ED, I was struggling to break into a career I wanted, I was paid shit despite having a good degree and working hard for an MA, I didn’t like my job, and I felt like I wasn’t enough.
Reading such a sad book at that time really gave me something to connect to. You’d think that reading something like The Perks of Being a Wallflower would make me sadder, but it didn’t. It showed me someone understood, and that others had felt the same way.
One quote stood out to me that I’ll never forget, and it’s still my favourite to this day.
I think, honestly, that everyone feels like this all the time. And because no one talks about it, we each think that there’s something wrong with us.
Ultimately, we struggle to understand that it’s OK, and 100% human, to feel this way.
But I digress.
My point is that now that I’m at a happier point in my life, the book means something different to me and it’s shedding light on new areas I’m trying to figure out.
I can see how much I’ve changed since first read back in 2013. And it’s a GOOD feeling.
So, in short,
reading a book you love again years later is a good growth indicator, so I recommend that you do it too.
Perhaps this blog has just been a ramble to myself. But sometimes, I find, you need to get these things out of you and hope someone who comes across it feels the same as you do.
Because in a world where we’re more connected than ever, it constantly feels like no one really wants to talk, or understand, or connect. And I still do.