Essays about the joys of rereading seem to be a perennial thing. Just search “joy of rereading” and you’ll see. I’ve read a few essays about this and they’re fine. But I’ve yet to find one that really gets into what I see as the juicy territory of how and why we reread.
So this is a first foray into the possible mechanics of the desire that drives us to return to particular books. Also, is there a small set of common reasons we do this? Or is it entirely personal and hidden, even from us as we keep doing it, a compulsion words can only approach without capturing? This first attempt will be expansive and general. Maybe I’ll write about some specific books later. For now, some more questions and a few awkward leaps toward some kind of answer.Continue reading