Re-Reading Books When You’re Older

The following comes from a recent essay in the British magazine Literary Review.

It says that as we get older, books that meant one thing to us when we were young may mean something very different when we get older.

When we re-read (read again) a book later in our lives, we see different things and perhaps find different meanings:

While some books we love present (give us) worlds frozen in time (unchanging, no matter when we read them), others grow (change) with  you . . .

There are ways of seeing the world not yet revealed (shown) and sympathies yet to be apprehended (not understood).

Those sucker-punch (something that has a strong impact or effect on you) sentences are already there.

Patiently, they await my arrival (wait until I get there, until I read them in the future).

I’ve re-read certain books that I first read in college or in high school (J.D. Sallinger’s Cather in the Rye, for one). These books mean something different to me now, because I have more “life experience” – I am more mature, and, I hope, a little wiser (smarter; knowledgeable).

Do you ever re-read a book? What did you learn or appreciate from the book upon reading it again, later in your life?


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