i've always wanted to once more explore the literary world hidden away in my cabinet. but i could never force myself to do it. i've read, in one way or another, all the books found therein but experience has shown me that i could only read a piece of literature twice. case in point, hemingway's "old man and the sea." i've read that short piece back in high school and read it once more in college. then one summer, i found myself cleaning my room and i found it lying between some of my "professional" books. i wanted to read it again, partly for leisure and partly to finally understand what it was all about. i tried to, but i think i covered only a quarter of the book.
you see, the first perusal of the book for me is a bit of an introductory phase, testing the waters if you will, getting the initial ideas and emotions of the book, learning what it is generally about, that sort of thing. then my second attempt on the same book would usually involve a deeper appreciation of the contents, i try to be slow, i try not to skip details as i would do in my first encounter with the book, and basically approach with a more "scholarly" sensitivity. the second attempts don't always work, partly because i'm too impatient to finish a huge book, if it happens to be long, and partly because of a subconsciuos pressure for me to finallly learn it since there wouldn't be a third try.
thus, i've found myself having to plan for that same situation just a few moments ago. i've finally finished a chesterton form each genre, non-fiction, fiction, essay and poetry. and i'm also in the middle of another book he wrote. i'm planning to at least read all his works once, and then reread the more interesting ones again. i must admit that i like his style, although there are moments when he simply loses me, but he isn't a bore, just "heavy."