my review here). I loved it, I remember loving it, and I reread my review, confirming that I loved it. I was super-excited that it was the first book listed to read for my upcoming YA Lit class for grad school.
I truly do not reread books very often. I just don't. I force myself to reread a classic every year because I know that as I change, my understanding of these older texts will change as well. But for newer books, I typically don't reread as I have hundreds of books waiting for me to read for the first time and my attention goes there. Even so, when I DO read a book again, I sometimes find myself nodding my head more in remembrance of the first time I read it - not really in the moment of reading and experience the text in the present. But this did not happen while rereading Perks. In fact, the exercise has unnerved me a little bit.
I expected to remember many more details about the book than I did. I mean, it has only been 2 1/2 years, right? That's not THAT long. Although I didn't really consider that I've probably read 200 books or so since then too... so maybe I should cut myself a little break. But I didn't remember the big things. I didn't remember the biggest thing of all... and as I was reading it, I was fully in the moment yet cognizant of the fact that I felt sadder this time around. Charlie seemed to be much more separate from the life he was observing than I remembered. And while I remembered what had happened to the aunt, I didn't remember what had happened to Charlie by way of the aunt. And this has me thinking. Do I remember more of Charlie's social awkwardness because I related to that personally and blocked out the horrible things that happened to him (much like Charlie did himself) because they are not only terrible but that I couldn't relate with them directly? How many other books have I edited in my memory like this? What does it mean that I can read these stories, feel all the emotions that are evoked by such stories, but then block them out when remembering the book as a whole later on? And how is this going to affect the way I work - will I be able to properly recommend books if I can't remember these sorts of details? Am I a terrible reader? Am I making any sense at all right now?
I realize that I'm probably thinking a bit too much on this, perhaps placing too much importance on this situation, but I'd really love to know what you think about these questions. Have you ever had to consider these things yourself?
At least I still very much believe that this is an amazing book.