Finally finished reading a book. Sven Regener’s Herr Lehmann, a book highly recommended by many. The reading process went as usual: starting out, being drawn into the world presented. Recognising characters and situations, the topic being Berlin, albeit at a time I wasn’t living in the city, yet. Nevertheless, many of the types described still hang around here. After two thirds of the book, a long reading pause occured. I don’t know how many books I have, that are only two-thirds read. Just books that have about five to ten pages left unread are the ones I really like. I hate finishing a book. If I like it a lot, reading gets slower and slower toward the end for fear of coming to the same. Those left unread after fifty pages, I’ll most likely never finish. Books, that bore me or are otherwise crap. The writer just not speaking in a language I can relate to. Those with a reading break after two thirds are decent, but nothing to write home about. Describes Herr Lehmann: decent, at times even bordering on funny. Finishing it was more a disciplinary excersise. I was wondering if I were still able to finish a book at all. Mind you, I have no trouble re-reading books I already know and like, in one go. Sometimes I do that out of pure curiosity. To mark my own developement. As an indicator of being alive. Especially at times, when I am not so sure, whether I am alive or merely existing along. A way of dedecting growth, which I think is becoming harder, the older one gets. If growth is too much to ask for, I settle for a search for change. Re-reading books is one of the finest measures of change. Just try it: read one of your favourite books from teenage years or a book that was important to you in any way in years past, one more time. Amazing, how a couple of years later your own perception of the story or the way of writing and how the story is related or the message or idea about the book, that got you in the first place, presents itself quite differently. Sometimes it is as if I were reading a different book. Other times I am not interested in it anymore. Wondering about what the heck had fascinated me when I first read it. At the same time wondering who I was, then.
I am prone to think, only books, that have different layers with new insights, still interesting or enriching when read in five-year intervals, are the ones worth keeping. There are but few of those around.
Another explanation to that phenomenon might be simply: whatever gets to you about a particular story, when re-read is something you still haven’t come to terms with. Some unfinshed task on your personal todo-list.


2 thoughts on “reading

  1. ^^ good to see it put in words. I concur for most parts.

    something though doest not dare to ask which titles in particular are deemed “keepers” ^^ for fear of maybe generating some kind of roadmap to the human condition, cheapening & tainting the achievements in the process.

    now is that just me?… some hidden, yet unattended paranoia or is there a resonating quality to it, the idea perhaps to reserve such insight to loved ones only – or even just to yourself.-


    thx, appreciate the entry ^^


  2. well, just ask away. some of the books are shown in this blog’s header pic.
    most everything h.c.artmann and t. bernhard wrote, f. innerhofers books, r.p. grubers writings, p. turrini. but then also f. o’brian, steinbeck, barnes, jenkins, morrison, haddon. some of t.c. boyle (riven rock) and of course w. shakespeare forever along with wittgenstein and schopenhauer and nietsche. but this is not exactly prose, is it?


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