A couple of weeks ago I had the urge to reread the first book in the Twilight series.
While they aren’t everyone’s favourite, I always really enjoyed the novels. Each time a film in the series came out, I would reread all the books in anticipation.
I remember very fondly a week I spent buried in the stories, around the time the first film came out. I had a week off work and with nowhere to be, and I allowed myself to be completely absorbed by that whole world, reading for hours at a time.
It’s a feeling I often wish I could replicate.
But it’s been several years since I last read the books, so I decided to go back to them. I read Twilight fairly quickly and I enjoyed it, but the magic that used to be there escaped me. I found myself noticing the flaws in the writing and the characters much more, in a way that proved distracting.
And when I finished that book I started on the sequel, but before I’d even finished the first chapter I decided that I didn’t want to spend another 500 pages with Bella and Edward and their overly emotional affair. Instead I skipped to the last few chapters, as she travels to Italy to save him from the Volturi.
Then I put the book away and read something else. I didn’t feel the need to finish the series.
Perhaps I’m too old now for teen vampire romance novels, or I’ve spent too much time writing to ignore an author’s style if it doesn’t work for me.
Maybe it’s normal for my feelings about something to change, as I have. Those books meant something to me at a particular time in my life, but it’s a time that passed long ago. I’ve grown and moved on; it’s only natural that my tastes would change.
But there’s something sad about revisiting an old favourite when it doesn’t stir the same emotion it once did. It’s like meeting up with a friend you haven’t seen in years and realising you have nothing in common.
It’s like a part of the past has slipped away.
I’m sure there will be other favourites, other books that have me feverishly turning the pages at 2am, my bedside light burning.
These books might not mean the same thing to me anymore, but I can vividly remember how intensely I loved them all those years ago, and I’ll keep searching until I find something else that captures that same feeling.
For me, that’s one of the best things about reading: that intense emotion that comes when you connect so completely to a story and its characters that you wish you were a part of the same world. It’s been a while since I felt that way about a book, but the anticipation of finding my next favourite keeps me reading.