Sunday, September 14, 2008

Weekly Geeks Quote #2

For today's quote for the Weekly Geeks Quote Week, I've picked this one from 18th-century French essayist Joseph Joubert:

"The great objection to new books is that they prevent our reading old ones."

I continually struggle with this pull between old and new. I have shelves and shelves of old favorites—books that I feel nostalgia for even glancing at their spines. Whenever I read a review of one of these books, I think, "I really need to go back and read that again."

But I so rarely do because there are so many new (to me) books. I am simultaneously weighed down and excited by the sheer enormity of books I've not yet read. Each year I make a promise to myself: I will re-read at least a few old books, sandwiched between all the new ones. Last year was a great re-reading year, as I taught American Literature and had to pick which classics to teach. On my list this year: Robert Penn Warren's All the King's Men and Steinbeck's East of Eden.

Weekly Geeks Quote #1 here.


Anonymous said... know how I feel about rereading books! I LOVE IT! I am thinking about writing John Irving and telling him how many times I have read "Owen Meany", at least 10 times, probably more like 15.

CJ said...

What an amazingly valid point. I keep my books, the ones I fall in love with, and intend to read them again. Some I do, some I don't, but there's always the possibility.


Anonymous said...

New books don't prevent me from reading old books. Whenever I want a really good read, something that would not fail me, I always turn to old books. They're already classics and you know that when you open the cover, you'll be reading a great story.