I don’t know how much truth there is in the saying that you grow wiser as you grow older, but I definitely know of one thing that never stops changing (no, by that I don’t mean your nose which never stops growing – ack!!) as long as you live.
It is your perspective; your viewpoint. It keeps changing along with you whether you want it to or not. For better or for worse.
A few months ago, for kicks and out of curiosity, I went to some trouble and finally got hold of DVDs of a couple of movies that I used to watch again and again as a teen.
I was fully prepared to not really drown in the magic of those movies the same way that I did way back then, but I thought that I’d at least be able to enjoy a few carefree hours of strolling down memory lane.
Little did I know that I’d end up very close to tears. No, not the joyful, oh-how-much-I-missed-you tears, but fat, hot man-am-I-bored-or-what tears.
No, I’m not demeaning the feelings or the emotions I’d experienced as a pre-adult . It’s just that I’ve moved on. The over the top hair and loud clothes of the early nineties and the melodramatic, hit-over-the-head throes of first love, which meant so much to me then, have obviously lost their charm for me. (And I’m not complaining – who wants to be on that roller coaster again?! :-))
That was about movies.
Amazingly enough, the books – be it The Summer Adventure or a Pride and Prejudice or a Mrs. Pringle – I used to love a decade or two ago still hold the same power over me. I go back to them again and again whenever I’m in need of faithful company, and always come back from them refreshed and buoyed in spirit.
In fact, there are some books that I didn’t quite get as a kid, but when I read them again as an adult, I saw a whole new side to them.
For example, when I first read Great Expectations, I couldn’t look beyond the morbidity in the setting of the book. When I read it again as an adult, a couple of years ago, I couldn’t help but notice Dickens’s sense of humor playfully peeking through the chinks in the dark fabric of the book.
So, what makes books different from movies in this respect?
I think it’s the wings lent to your imagination when you’re reading a book. Movies are very restrictive in this sense. They definitely don’t provide the same scope for making up your own world.
Whatever it is, I can only say: “Thank God that it is so!”
Is there any book (or books) that has grown on you as you read and reread it?
And, on the flip side, are there any books that you have grown to hate over time?