Tag Archives: Dorothy Sayers

Old Friends Are Best

“If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” — Oscar Wilde

I started writing seriously in 2008.  Up to that time, I read a book or two every week.  Now I find myself editing the books I read, and I maintain a running commentary (criticism) of the author’s skills, or lack thereof, in my head.  As a consequence, reading is not quite the joy it once was, and the books are fewer.  However, for some reason the critic in me is not activated when I take an old favorite down from the shelf.

I believe that Wilde thought that a good book could be re-read because the reader, as he or she gained experience in the world, would discover new reasons to like it.  Certainly, someone forced to read, say, War and Peace in college, would gain a new appreciation for Tolstoy’s novel if he picked it up again thirty years later.  I did.  For me, though, it’s more than that.  Certain books have become my friends. Continue reading