To Re-read or Not to Re-read

I’ve somehow stumbled into the lovely comfort of summer where I’m slowly but surely get my work done but in between the taxing hours I find myself doing the many hobbies I love.  One of the most prominent being: reading.  Among the long ago written posts was one asking me about my favorite author – who is, as I named before, Cassandra Clare – so I decided, because I didn’t want to distract myself from school summer reading with a new book, to re-read her first book in the Mortal Instruments Series: The City of Bones.

Along with reading the book came many discoveries about myself and the piece of fiction that lay before me.  The one that changed my whole view on reading was the complication of revisiting characters.  When I read this book around two or three years ago, it was a different experience; the main character is an 15 year old awkward-like, tomboyish yet pretty, redheaded green-eyed stubborn New Yorker named Clary.  She is probably the anti-me at this point in time – but when I was first reading the book, I related to her quite well.  I was struggling a bit to find my personality and identity before I came into writing and figuring out my style and friends – not to mention becoming comfortable with my body and who I am as a person.  So let’s just say that I have grown very much in the past few years and revisiting this character is a bit hard because I can’t really relate to her anymore.  I find the dialogue to be pretty up to par with any emotional attachment I could form, but the way she thinks about herself is definitely not how I view myself now.  Where she lacks in confidence – I thrive completely and where she may speak loud and outward – I would probably say something quick and biting, not bold and brash.

I find that re-reading the book is nice because you can view characters for a second time and really analyze them – not to mention falling in love with their flaws and personalities – but never in my wildest dreams did I think that my emotional attachment to characters would change – or maybe have me reconsider re-reading the book.  Now, four books later, the character has matured and grown and done exactly what I have already, so visting her in the past is hard because it’s a time in my life that I dont [want to] relate to anymore.  I feel like if I continue to read the book I would ruin the whole story for me because I’m too distracted trying to find and emotional attachment between me and the main character – and in doing so not enjoying the book, thus bringing me to the final conclusion of me not being a very happy camper.

All the thoughts of emotions and characters have really made me realize how “big” books are.  They aren’t simple tools for entertainment but rather they teach lessons, they help you grow, and give you a sense of creativity and imagination through every point in your life.  What I’ve only just realized is that there are certain books for those times and reading them any other time just feels – wrong.  I love the characters and I love the story but I feel as though my relations have grown along with the story and that trying to set myself three years back is unhealthy and a sure fire way to ruin a series.

So as I set the book back on the shelf, I happily remember the fiery character that I was and have grown to be; the personality that has allowed me to come to these realizations, put the old book to rest, and start new chapters.


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