The Joy of Reading Books You Don’t Entirely Understand

In recent years, I feel like it has been less common to find books to challenge me, and by me I mean their readers, and by “books” what I really mean is “publishing,” which can feel very focused on the sure thing, the brand name, the splashy debut that somehow speaks to millions and millions of people.

In the last few years I’ve taken to re-reading books I love. I first saw a friend doing this and couldn’t understand why he’d go back to a book if he already knew the ending. Now I realize why. 

Re-reading a book is like re-discovering a lost friend. You know you enjoyed spending time together, and are excited to catch up. When I go back over the pages of a novel, or even one of my favorite books to re-read, I know it will end up in a place I’m happy with, but I’ve forgotten just enough details for it to be interesting again. 

But I still want to advocate for sometimes, at least sometimes, going out on a limb, out on a genre vacation, or just out into the wilds of a tale you don’t feel like you entirely understand. 

Diving into the unknown with books that are uncertain is daunting; and I’m hesitant to go away from what I know. Still, as someone who has written a few weird, but hopefully delightful, books, I love the idea of giving other authors a chance and going on journeys of discovery with them. 

(From Molly Templeton at Reactor)