Re-Reading: a special occasion

I very rarely re-read books. There is so much out there, infinitely much out there to read, that how can I spend the precious little time I have on this earth reading something I already read?

I’ll tell you how: when it’s such an indescribably good read that I haven’t stopped thinking about it in the four years since I read it.

I’m talking about The Peregrine by J.A. Baker, which I’ve just recently started reading for the second time.

How can a book composed entirely of the experiences of one man’s single winter of hawk-watching be one of the best books I’ve ever read? Because good writing is not about ‘what happens’ but about ‘how it feels.’ And the words are so delicious that I have to keep putting the book down every few pages to savor them. I originally read it on Kindle, and now I have a physical version, the 50th anniversary edition in paperback. I find myself constantly caressing the pages…

Already, too, I sense that I’m enjoying this even more than the first time. My reading experiences over the years have added to my appreciation of it, somehow.

I may have to make this a regular occasion… maybe 1 or 2 rereads per year, of the very best I’ve ever read. Certain books that have had a deep effect on me.

My tastes have completely, radically changed since 5 or so years ago. They seem to do this quite often. So any book that can stay with me that long, and be just as amazing the second time years later, must be a masterpiece.

If you have a taste for nature and beauty, and the natural darkness therein, I recommend it strongly.

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