Re-reading Books


There are some books that we read when young – perhaps because we had to as students. We might have enjoyed them but reading a book because it has been a set text is approached with quite a different attitude to one that has been recommended by a friend.

It might be decades, many decades later when we return to one of those books and how different they seem. Some books are meant to be re-read when you’re older. When they’re read again it’s like discovering new paths through a familiar woodland or looking at a painting and finding details that you’d overlooked before.

Poetry that was studied when young takes on quite  a different aspect years later. Tastes change and taste for literature alters just as much as tastes for certain wines or spirits.

Our bookshelves reveal much about our lives – looking along them we can see how certain subjects dominated different times. We can see developments, we can see how some authors retained our interest for longer periods while others appear just once. The non-fiction books might say a lot about how our interests developed over the years, but perhaps some ended up in charity shops rather than gather dust on the shelf as they were no longer relevant.


Books around the house

become our biographies.

Looking along the shelves

are stories of our past.

Old childhood favourites

now dog-eared and faded.

Books on flowers, trees, birds

show interests that we shared.

Reference books for holidays

on canals or among mountains.

Weighty books on furniture,

and other texts reflect careers.

New Age, Buddhist and Quaker

themes reveal  spiritual journeys

and changing philosophy.

Novels of the sixties, spines faded

on collectable orange penguins –

memories of student days.

Many recent texts on gardening

hint at a change in emphasis.

Now there’s more time,

poetry books never gather dust.

Giving books away is like

parting with our shared past

and that’s hard to do so

more shelves are added.




Author: annedunford

Now fulfilling my ten year old self's ambition to become a writer - it's taken many years and a long,long winding road to get here! After a lifetime spent teaching, making miniature ceramics, returning to teaching and training, I am now indulging in a lifelong ambition to write!

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