We all know the beauty of reading a really wonderful book for the first time—when everything about the story and the writing and the timing click to make a reader’s perfect storm … but it’s fleeting, because you can never read that book for the first time again.
So … if you could magically reset things so that you had the chance to read a favorite book/series again for the first time … which would you choose? And why?
And then, since tastes change … Do you think it would have the same affect on you, reading it now, as it did when you read it the first time? Would you love it just as much? Would you risk it?
I’d have to choose Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s The Shadow of the Wind (commentary). I first read the book around 2009 after reading a lot of buzz about it from book bloggers I normally visit and trust. I’d love to re-experience this novel for the first time because it was just amazing; there’s something about Zafon’s writing, the setting of this novel, the story itself that really transports the reader to 1950s Barcelona. There’s this atmosphere about the book that, when you read, it really does feel like you’re wandering through the foggy streets, the historic buildings surrounding you, that Gothic air. This book actually set me on a bit of a quest searching for books similar to The Shadow of the Wind in terms of themes or even moods.
I think I would love it as much if I read it for the first time now than I did four years ago. I don’t think my taste in books have changed a whole lot in the past four years. This novel actually introduced me to reading more Gothic novels and novels set in Spain so I can`t think at the moment how else my reading habits in the last four years would have been impacted by reading this book now.
Other books I would love to re-experience for the first time are J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings (review #1, #2, #3) and Jane Austen’s Persuasion (commentary) <3 those books so much =)
What book did you choose for this week's BTT? Let me know, I'd love to read your answer!
Firstly, I kind of flailed when I saw the Latin edition of The Hobbit last year in the bookstores…not that I know Latin, but I’ve always wanted to learn! I found a website recently that teaches some of the basics so I just pick that up sometime soon ^_~
Anyways, I do read some books in their original languages/foreign languages. I’m fairly fluent in Tagalog, the main language of the Philippines, so I’ve read a few books in that language (mostly Bob Ong; my dad picked up a number of his books a few years ago when he was there for me). I read a little slower in Tagalog than I do in English but it’s fun to read in that language. I can’t remember if my parents own a copy of Jose Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere in Tagalog (or if it’s only in Spanish) but it’d be cool to read it in the original…
I picked up Italian a few years ago while I studied there so I do try to read in that language as well (I think my reading is better than speaking and listening anyhow); it’s a good way to keep up with the grammar skills I’ve learned and try to get a grasp of the vocabulary. What I’ve done is I’ve bought a number of books I have of Alessandro Baricco and Italo Calvino in Italy a few years ago to accompany my English versions of the books. I can refer to the Italian depending on what chapter I’m reading so it’s quite a learning experience. When I lived in Italy a few years ago I also tried it with English books, picking up Jane Austen’s Persuasion but alas, never finished it *le sigh*
My French is very, very, very basic (it’s required to learn it here but after grade 10 I stopped) but I’ve also tried the same thing as Italian when I own a few French copies of some novels I’ve enjoyed (which is actually 2: Japrisot’s A Very Long Engagement and Gavalda’s Hunting and Gathering). I hope to brush up on my French one of these days though and try again…
I also learned Russian for grad school and own a copy of Pushkin’s Yevgeny Onegin in Russian but can’t for the life of me read it. We’ll see if I get around to brushing up my Russian one of these days =P
Although I’m a little out of practice with the other two, I do enjoy reading books in other languages. The experience is great because you kind of get a sense of what the author is writing in a way that can be lost sometimes in translation =)
I used to pair music with the book I’m currently reading. Sometimes it doesn’t quite fit the mood of the story; for example, I remember listening to David Usher’s “Morning Orbit” album while reading, for the first time, J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. lol, not quite reflective of the story–it took a while to get his song “My Way Out” out of my head without linking it to LOTR–but in later re-reads I would pop in the soundtracks while reading it =D
It’s so much fun reading the early chapters of FOTR while listening to the Shire theme song <3
I’ve also read Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice while listening to the 2005 soundtrack by Dario Marianelli. It’s a wonderful soundtrack, hands down one of the best you could listen to on its own. I think I’ve also done it for Austen’s Sense and Sensibility and maybe Ian McEwan’s Atonement (another haunting soundtrack by Marianelli!) but I can’t remember if I’ve paired other books with their respective soundtracks.
As for just pairing music that reflects the mood of the novel, I haven’t really done it much–if at all (don’t remember). I do however do it when I’m writing ^_~
What about you? Have you paired music with the books you’re reading? Leave me a link to your response, I’d love to read your answer to this week’s BTT!
Oh man, I have a ton of favourite quotes from books! But I’ll just list a few =P
“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
– The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
Actually there’s a bajillion quotes that I love from The Lord of the Rings (one of them is posted up at the sidebar of my blog and a lot of my other favourite quotes were said by Gandalf xD) but this is one of my ultimate favourites <3
“I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant. You alone have brought me to Bath. For you alone, I think and plan. Have you not seen this?”
– Persuasion by Jane Austen
Also known as the best love letter I’ve ever read in any fiction novel. I love Persuasion but this letter really nails it home xD
“People tend to complicate their own lives, as if living weren’t already complicated enough.”
– The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
There’s actually a lot of good quotes that came out of The Shadow of the Wind but this one particularly stuck to me because it’s so true =P
“Morire di nostalgia per qualcosa che no vivrai mai.” (To die for something you will never live)
– Silk by Alessandro Baricco
He actually has a couple of interesting quotes in his novels but I thought this one was particularly haunting which is why I like it so much =P
And one more otherwise I’ll go on and on forever xP
“So many vows … they make you swear and swear. Defend the king. Obey the king. Keep his secrets. Do his bidding. Your life for his. But obey your father. Love your sister. Protect the innocent. Defend the weak. Respect the gods. Obey the laws. It’s too much. No matter what you do, you’re forsaking one vow or another.”
– A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin
There’s a lot of great quotes and house mottos in A Song of Ice and Fire (“Winter is coming”, “What is dead may never die”, etc, etc.) but this one is my particular favourite. It was said by Jaime Lannister during his confrontation with Catelyn Stark and I love it because it’s so true if you think about it. Vows will one way or another conflict with each other at some point and in his case it did in a major way.
And that’s my BTT for this week, hope you enjoyed those quotes =) What’s your favourite quotes from a book?
So it’s been a very, very long time since I’ve done a Booking Through Thursday entry; my Thursdays for the past few months have been busy because I had been taking Italian language classes but my schedule’s a bit free again so I might be participating more often ^_~
If you could write a book, what would it be about, and why? (Though, of course, some of you already HAVE.)
Great question! I’ve actually written a number of full-length novels already, albeit all of them are still in their first drafts (never got around to looking at them and editing them…yet). I have a number of other story ideas locked in my head and jotted down in note form in my journal (some of which I hope to get going with Camp NaNoWriMo starting tomorrow).
But going back to the original question, ideally I would like to write a high fantasy novel or trilogy, something really epic that involves a lot of the elements I enjoy when reading (i.e. great character development, characters you could emotionally sympathise with, interesting plot, fantastic world-building and history, etc, etc.). Aside from wanting to write a book in the vein of what I enjoy reading, I guess another reason why I’d want to write such a book is because I love the fantasy genre so much; I grew up reading a lot of fantasy and it’d be fun to contribute to such an imaginative body of literature.
And that’s my answer for this week! =) What kind of book would you write?