“Recently, a colleague mentioned that she had been rereading Richard Hughes’s “A High Wind in Jamaica,” which was first published in 1929 and is about a group of creepy little kids who become the unwanted wards of sad, listless pirates. She praised it, and her recommendation sent me to Amazon. The title was familiar, as was the vibrant cover of the New York Review Books reissue. One cent and $3.99 for shipping, and the book was on its way. A couple of weeks later, I opened to the first page and started reading. By the fifth page, I realized that I had read this novel before, and pretty recently, about three years ago, when another colleague had also praised it and lent me his copy.”
This is something that i’m experiencing currently with Kafka on the Shore. I first read it during my 2nd year at the university, 13-14 years ago. I am now re-reading it and although I’m on Chapter 4 , admittedly it has short chapters, i still can’t remember anything. There is no “oh yeah…” moment yet. The only proof that i have read this book before is the actual hardback i bought (and recently gave away) and the rating i gave it on Amazon at the time.
“This embarrassing situation raises practical questions that also become ones about identity: Do I really like reading? Perhaps it is a failure of attention—there are times when I notice my own distraction while reading, and can, in a way, feel myself forgetting. There is a scarier question, one that might seem like asking if one is good at breathing, or walking. Am I actually quite bad at reading after all?”