Change of taste, change of heart10:31 AM
The other day I was cleaning my book shelf, sorting through all the titles, cleaning the books, setting aside the ones that were too old and needed to be restored.
These copies were all worn out of all the many times I’ve read and re-read these stories. Many notes filled the small blank space on the bottom and the sides of their pages. That means these are my favorite books right? While I was holding them, I suddenly realized: I could give these books away and not care.
They were indeed favorite books, but now they don’t appear so appealing anymore. I actually haven’t re-read them lately.
I opened them, read a few lines and noticed how similar the three main characters are to each other, in the sense that they are people that suffer too much, while making others miserable as well. Most importantle what they all have in common is: they were all my past selves. I used to be Emma and Mersault. I'm not anymore - at least I don't want to be.
Two of them were discovered at the same age even: around 2007 I read both Madame Bovary and The Stranger and became quite obsessed over them. About the first I wrote papers in college, read critical books about it and kept saying to others that Madame Bovary, c’est moi.
In The Stranger there was Mersault whose cold detachment from others I envied. I didn’t consider him misanthropic or bad but blasé and cool. I kept quoting those infamous first lines with enormous excitement: Maman died today. Or maybe yesterday, I don’t really know.
However, I don't feel that connection now. I considered just giving the books away and not restoring them. On one hand, it's pretty sad to say goodbye to my old crowd. On the other, it's like I'm ready to befriend a completely different group of people - and that's exciting.
Do you change tastes often? Is there a book you once loved and now you can't stand?