Once in a while when I am in a very anal mood, I go about organizing my Goodreads booklists, moving books around, renaming shelves, adding new ones and deleting the shelves that no longer interested me. Despite how counter-productive such a task usually is, I find some odd sense of comfort and pleasure in doing it.
During one such exploit yesterday, I came across a shelf that I had named 'revisit', meant for those books that I want to reread again. These are usually books that usually required a reread to fully appreciate all facets of storytelling and subtle nuances of the plot - books like Haruki Murakami's Kafka on the Shore, which on completing, gave me an immediate feeling of disorientation but after a couple of days of processing, made me see the pure brilliance of the narration. But there were also a few other books that I enjoyed tremendously, even rated them 4+ stars.
Funnily, barring the Murakami book, I didn't feel like rereading any of the others. I would still insist that those books are/were fabulous, but wouldn't care to read the book again at all. Somehow I am content with relishing the past success I had with the book and leaving it at that. Though, if I saw that book in front of me, I am likely to reread a few passages here and there but not really sink into it.
Sometimes I feel that a book's pull and appeal is somewhat lost on rereading. The fact that I already know who the characters are, what their personalities are like and what happens at each instant of the storyline ruins the excitement of the unknown. Unless the book is a highly clever puzzle that always throws up new things each time you open its pages. The fact that the book made my top 10 of the year definitely had no effect on whether I would want to read it again. Usually the more I liked the book or the more I disliked it, the more the chance that I would never reread it.
What are your rereading tendencies like, if you do reread?
The Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth, with JoV, Sam and Ana. Despite being still scarred by my disastrous participation in Shantaram last year, I am enthusiastically walking into another one, having obviously not learned any lesson. In case you are interested in joining, feel free to leave a comment below. There is a schedule
Book 1 : 1.1 to 7.46 (July to August)
Book 2 : 8.1 to 13.38 (August to September)
Book 3 : 14.1 to 19.16 (September to October)
But I will just go with my flow because schedules = pressure for me. Also the readalong starts next week on the 23rd. Now let me just hope that this book is genuine Indian and not just Westernized Indian.