Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Are We Ready For Books, Or Are Books Ready For Us?

I ask you today, are we ready for a book or it’s a book ready for us? It may seem like a stupid thing to ask but think about it. The same book, the same words, the same reader and yet, sometimes, a different outcome depending on the moment the book was read. The way I see it, both the readers and the book hold the power. There is a balance between them. A book has the power to bewitch us but for that to happen, it needs to fall into our laps at the right moment in time.

All this came to me while reading Pride and Prejudice. How come I couldn’t even read 50 pages when I was 14 and now, at 24, I finished it in three days and highly enjoyed it? I am the same person but my tastes – my… let’s just call it “reading world” – have expanded. My mind is now capable of enjoying different things, even genres I never thought I would venture into. It’s all about perspective.

And it makes me wonder… what about all those books I have not enjoyed during my reading life? Tell openly, how many times have you hated a book others loved? For instance, I picked up Throne of Glass because everybody and their mother were raving about it. I read it and honestly? I didn’t enjoy it that much. And every time this happens a question follows: “Why everybody adores this book and I can’t? Is there something wrong? “Now though, I believe the question to ask should be another: “Is it possible that the book wasn’t that bad, that maybe I picked it up at the wrong time?” Maybe my 16 year-old me would have raved and raved about Sarah. J. Maas’ series while my 23-year-old me was not so impressed. And it is okay.

However, this also might be a double-edged sword. What if we reread books we have previously loved and now they start to bug us? That can happen as well and it is terrifying. One of my friends had to stop rereading one of our favourite teen series because he was noticing too many flaws and he didn’t want his initial love for it to be tainted now that he is older. We can’t either change the past or predict the future and although scary, it can also be thrilling.

So, what say you? When we enjoy a book, it is because it was the right time to do so? And when we don’t or can’t finish it, it is because the moment was off?

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