Wednesday, December 19, 2007
A bookselling friend of mine recently asked me for a recommendation for something new to read. As we were talking about various books we'd read recently, he mentioned that he'd just re-read Robert R. McCammon's Boy's Life. Man, that took me back. I love that book, and recommend it whenever I can. There was a time a few years back when I would re-read Boy's Life at least once a year.
Now I realize that this is unusual. Most of my friends re-read books rarely if at all. Heck, given the sheer number of books I manage to acquire, I could read a new book every day and never run out. But sometimes something about a book just speaks to me, and instead of picking up something new and exciting, I return to the comfort of old friends: Boy's Life, Dune, The Sparrow, City of Saints and Madmen.
I'm not sure what draws me back time and time again; plot? characters? style? Probably a combination of each. But maybe the more important question isn't why I re-read these books, but how I re-read them: avidly, openly, feeling every high point and despairing in every low. For whatever reason, I can re-experience these books and retain some of whatever magic in them made me love them in the first place.
This made my suggestion for my bookselling friend pretty easy: Have you ever read The Sparrow? No? Well let me tell you about it....