Matt Fact #23,789: My First Time Every Time

Monday, July 27, 2015 | 0 Comment(s)

I have never reread any book I have already completed, with the caveat that to qualify the book must take longer than a day to read.

This fact is more evident than ever these days as my wife is churning through my all time number one piece of literature: The Power of One.  Ok, it might be tied for number one, but that's another Matt Fact altogether.

I didn't ever make a conscious choice not to reread these tomes, it's just that I have a difficult time forgetting the crucial twists and turns that amazed me the first go around.  Therefore, when the moment comes that I need to reach for a new book, the opportunity for an entirely novel (pun city!) journey wins the day every time.  A new book.  It's right there in the request.

I should mention without delay that I don't believe I am at all "right" in this practice.  In truth, the combination of my wife's current enjoyment and the distance of twenty years since I last read the P of O, is seriously making me reconsider how long #23,789 will remain fact. I suspect before my untimely demise, there will be at lest two or three asterisks by this fact -- and only one of those will be because of all the steroids I took to get through each meaty novel.

On the broader level I know many, if not the majority, of my writer friends rip through their favorite books and then start em right up again, like they're chain-smoking the story.  I know there is value in digging deeper, in dissecting each phase to parse out its layers of meaning -- listing out the metaphors and their relevance to the narrative.  But, that just ain't me.  I read a story like a crashing wave, hoping to be thrust forward along its rumbling power until crashing down dramatically into the final pages, holding my breathe to discover if it was coral or sand underneath that deceptively shallow surf.  Sure I might watch the replay on video, but analyzing the ride frame by frame doesn't carry the same emotional turbulence as a first read through.

These guys just get me.
I don't have a philosophy about reading. If I did, however, it would go something like this:

You should learn how to read, first and foremost. Then you should find something, anything, that you enjoy reading. Yes, graphic novels are OK.  Yes, instruction manuals are OK. SO are "How To" books, "Choose Your Own Adventure" books, "Romance" novels, and shit like Twilight. Especially Choose Your Own Adventure books, come to think of it.  Read for fun.  After that, reading is like exercising, as long as you're doing it, you're winning. 

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