Alphabooks: R is for Regret

R: Reading Regret

Sometimes you read a book before you’re quite old enough or knowledgeable enough to understand it. On one hand, you may reread it one day and say “Ohhhhh, THAT’S what’s going on” and all shall be illuminated. More likely, however, you will regard it with confusion, disdain, and mild hatred or apathy, and never ever read it again.

At least, that’s how I feel about some of the books I read in school.

It’s why I’m disinclined to ever pick up anything by Hemingway again. It’s why I resent Margaret Mitchell so much. It’s why (to steal a cliché from a completely different sphere) I’m glad I waited to read 1984: I probably would have appreciated it in college, but had I read it sooner, I might’ve said “Well, that was fine, I guess” and never understood all the terrifying implications of it.

The tricky thing is, reading is one of the ways in which people grow better at reading and understanding.  So while I’d get more out of, say, The Great Gatsby today, maybe it was still worth the effort put in during my freshman year at Westland.

What reading regrets, if any, do you have?

6 thoughts on “Alphabooks: R is for Regret

  1. Pingback: Alphabetical Promptings | Egotist's Club

  2. I read 1984 in highschool, and I don’t think it went over my head. I would like to read it again, though, and see what I see in it now.

    Lord of the Flies, though? Never again. I don’t care what it’s themes are, I will never, ever forget what happened to Piggy. That book was traumatic to me. The thing is, I am not sure it wouldn’t be equally traumatic for me if I read it for the first time now.

  3. I usually use the lists of ‘books to read before college’ as lists of books to avoid but I disregarded my own principle and read Tess of the D’Ubervilles recently. It was a beautiful/terrible book. I wish I had never read it.

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