When I was fifteen, I read To Kill a Mockingbird for the first time. It had been on my “to-read” list for a while before that (I can thank Rory Gilmore for that), but I read it because it was an assignment for my grade 10 English class. I read it in a week, partly because I was grounded that week and had nothing else to do, and partly because it touched by heart and I loved it.
Last week, I picked it up again to read. I wanted read it because I planned to read it because I want to read Go Set a Watchman, and wanted to refresh my memory before reading the newly released sequel. By the second chapter, I was reading it because I loved it and it touched my heart.
After reading it for the second time (how have I not read it again these past 11 years?), I’ve realized the difference that time and experience has on my reading. Ten years ago, my analytic skills were not the strong, but now with many, many hours of reading and University English courses, they are much stronger. The first time, I didn’t clue into the notes of feminism, the social commentary or notice the differences, and more often the similarities between Scout’s world and mine. I also never noticed how central Boo Radley is to the story the first time (I always thought it was just about Tom Robinson).
This is why I love re-reading books so much. Each time I read it, I’m different, which in turn makes the story different too. I hope I don’t wait ten more years to read To Kill a Mockingbird again, but I know that if I do, I’ll find something completely different.
Have you read To Kill a Mockingbird? Do you like to re-read books?