Tuesday, August 03, 2010

It's Deja Vu all over again

Do you read books more than once?

I used to. I had a number of books that I loved and read over and over again – chief among them, believe it or not, was Splinter of the Mind’s Eye by Alan Dean Foster. This was a Star Wars story written back when no one even knew Luke and Leia were brother and sister. I devoured it and I could even recite the opening lines…

But I digress. After a while I gave up reading books more than once. I just didn’t have time and there were so few books I loved enough to go back and start at the beginning. Some that I’ve tried to read again haven’t kept my interest the way they did the first time around.

Yesterday, I finished Deja Dead by Kathy Reichs, and it wasn’t until the last chapter of the book that I realized I had definitely read it before.

In the beginning of the book there are a few details of a grisly murder that rang strangely familiar, but I figured hey, serial killers are often trite and cliché, they copy the crimes of others, so maybe this killer just happened to be similar to a killer in another book I’d read once.
I read happily on, actually enjoying the book and finally, when I got to the big reveal at the end, one of the details of why the killer killed struck me as completely unique. This wasn’t something two authors had come up with. I’d definitely read the whole book before.

I’m more upset with my failing memory than with the idea of rereading a book I’ve already read when I could have been reading something else. I enjoyed the book, and enough time has obviously passed that I really thought I was reading something new. Maybe I should start making notes on the books I read, because I tend to forget plots pretty quickly.

I haven’t forgotten Splinter of the Mind’s Eye, though. I can still picture the boggy jungle planet, the glimmering read crystal and the underground lake. I’d actually love to read the book again, but my dog eared copy is long gone.

Have you ever read a book twice without realizing it? Or do you have a better memory than I do. Good thing no one needs to know what I had for dinner last night. I’m not sure I can recall that either.

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