There have been times in my life where I reread a book (or author) I hated–or thought I hated–but the second time around ended up loving. Has this ever happened to you? Have you ever changed your mind about a book or author the second time around? Have you ever given a book or author a second chance?
If you haven’t, I’d like you to consider giving a book or an author a second chance. You can blog about your intentions to do so–or if you’re a quick reader, maybe you can even squeeze something in!
Can’t think of a single book or author? Don’t worry, you can stretch this one to include movies or music if you prefer.
It is just very interesting to me how time can change tastes and perceptions. How subjective the reading experience is and always will be.
Interesting question – the one book that immediately comes to mind as far as changing opinions as I get older is Gone With the Wind. I adored this book as a teenager. I read it so many times that I had to get multiple copies of the paperback because I kept breaking the bindings on them until I finally got my cherished hardback version for Christmas when I was in college. I knew almost all the lines to the movie and used to recite them with a close friend of mine. My dream was to one day dress up in one of Scarlett’s dresses for Halloween – which I did get to do the first year after I got married.
Yet, five years ago, this was a selection for my online Classics Club book club. As much as I thrived on the discussions – still our most lively debates to date – and really enjoyed reading it with fellow adults, I found that after seven years of marriage and two kids, my views on some of the events in the book have changed. Melanie, once the highlight of the book and the character I most wanted to emulate, became someone with whom I had absolutely no patience. The same goes for Ashley. I still admire Rhett but his philandering really upset me this last time.
As for Scarlett, I am more like Scarlett than is probably good for me. She may be whiny and spoiled but the girl gets stuff done. She doesn’t pander to the crowd nor take the easy way out. She does what she thinks is best at the time. Frankly, the girl kicks ass and takes no prisoners. I find that I admire those characteristics more and more. And I vehemently defended her to my fellow book club members who didn’t quite see things her way.
This reaction was a complete reversal for me in regards to this cherished book that was such a big part of my teenage years. It surprised me and even upset me at the time. It just goes to show how our backgrounds and our experiences help us form opinions and make connections with characters that are completely unique and individualistic. It is a vivid reminder that we should cherish these different opinions and not rush to judge others for them or use their opinions to form our own.
Have I completely forsaken GWTW after this experience? No. I love that book too much to want to stay away from it forever. There will come a day where I will want to pick it back up and sink into the land Margaret Mitchell created. It will be an interesting experiment to see what my reactions are at that point in time.
So – how about you? Any books that you read again that caused you to have a completely different opinion/experience the second time around?
Maree – the ladies in my book club struggled through the first 200 pages of GWTW. Like most classics, Mitchell takes the time to introduce the characters and establish the setting, but it is the most boring. Once you get through that, the action picks up and before you know it, the book is over.
Kristen – I would be curious if it does affect you differently. I was so young the first time I read it that I didn't understand some of the innuendos implied by certain lines. Fifteen years tends to change a person. I still adore the book, but I'm curious to see if another fifteen years with garner a completely different reaction the next time I read it.
You've got me wanting to read it again now that I'm a little older to see if it affects me differently
I only got halfway through Gone With the Wind. I had to read The Blind Assassin twice, though, to really appreciate it.
Happy Weekly Geeks 🙂