For the last year and a half, I have been writing reviews of new books for an arts and entertainment website. This is great for several reasons. One of the main reasons being, of course, that I get free books. As any bibliophile knows, this is a dream come true. Since I was old enough to read, I have been saving money to spend on books. I have so many books that the shelves are double stacked and bursting, and I have boxes of them in storage. I recently learned to let go and exchange books I’m never going to read again… but it hurts every time I pass one across the counter, even knowing I am sending it out into the world for somebody else to read and that I will get new books in exchange.
The other day I was sitting reading one of my old favourites, Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates by Tom Robbins, and it suddenly occurred to me: as much as I love writing reviews of brand new books, I feel as if there are so many wonderful worlds I can’t open up to people because they’re not “new.” A plan began to form. Just because I can’t write reviews of the books I have been carrying from home to home with me since high school for the website doesn’t mean I can’t write about them.
Aside from wanting to put down (metaphorically) on paper what I love about these books, aside from hoping someone out there will read one of these reviews and pick up a copy of a book that is near and dear to my heart, it is also an interesting experience re-reading a book as an adult that once changed one’s adolescent or childhood view of the world. Sometimes they are disappointing to re-read, other times we understand things that previously flew over our heads. But regardless, it is always enriching and, I believe, an important endeavour. Other books I read more recently and am so enamored by them as to want to write about them out of sheer enthusiasm. And so here I am, embarking on a new project to explore some of my old favourites and, hopefully, find some new ones.