Every time I pass a copy of The Time Traveler’s Wife, I wish I could read it again for the first time. Do you know the feeling? It doesn’t matter if it’s my personal copy or if it’s at the library, a bookstore or a friend’s house. I don’t want to re-read it. I want to read it again for the first time.
This strange and complex love story follows Clare, who lives a perfectly chronological life, and Henry, who time travels involuntarily to important moments in his past and future life. It’s part romance, part science fiction and yet in a genre all by itself. If you haven’t already read this book, I envy you.
Yes, I could re-read it and discover new things, but I will never have that joy of reading it and experiencing the unusual plot and unique love story unfold around me for the first time.
I can think of a handful of other books that I wish I could read again for the first time because the story, the characters and the storytelling cast a nearly magical spell over me. Bel Canto—in which an opera diva and all the guests at a lavish party are held hostage and forge the unlikeliest of connections—is also on my short list. I couldn’t put it down, but I’m sure if I picked it up again today it wouldn’t captivate me in quite the same way.
The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer is another book I wish I could read again for the first time. This epic saga about Hungarian Jews during World War II was one of my picks for the best books of 2010. Despite the heavy topic, this was also a stunning love story that I couldn’t stop thinking about for weeks.
What about you? What books do you wish you could read again for the very first time?