For years I had literally over a hundred books on my shelf at a time. When I moved, I sold all but the ones I thought I'd read again. But the truth is I have read only five of them again. However, I still find it strangely comforting to see the books, with their titles exposed, on my shelves. It's like looking over and seeing a good friend waving hello to me. I wonder if my grandchildren will ever be able to understand this simple pleasure.
A few months ago I bought a Kindle. I felt like the "Benedict Arnold" of the book world. However, I must admit, I have really come to enjoy it. It is streamlined, light, easy to read, ridiculously easy to download new books/newspapers/magazines, etc. And my Kindle also has WIFI. The pleasure of reading is still there, although the cozy feeling of turning a page is gone.
Revisiting an old relationship has always seemed to be a parallel experience to re-reading a book. Nothing has really changed and only one rare occasions does the second read provide a more gratifying experience. But, every once an a while, if one is really lucky, a chapter has been edited, revised or an entire new section, previously unseen, or, perhaps, appreciated, is revealed.
The words never spoken, or misunderstood, are finally unveiled, the confusion is lifted, gently and carefully, like mist on a stream on a cool summer morning. And slowly, ever so slowly, we re-enter, with eyes and heart open to re-experience and create new moments to be cherished. It is a leap of faith to read a favorite novel again, a test of trust in the author to move us - again.
So it is with an old/new relationship. We look over the cover and back page, tentatively open to the first page and start with the first word, then sentence, paragraph, page. We get bathed with warm, scented words and feel the power to be pulled in, to a place where we begin to open again and blossom. If we are really lucky.