GUEST DISCUSSION: Reading a book for the first time only happens once

Hello my lovely readers! I am happy to bring a very special post to you today. As I was coming up with some discussion post prompts, my husband had a couple ideas that he was excited about and wanted to write for me. So without further ado, here’s his first post!

I’m a little jealous of people who haven’t read the Harry Potter series. Especially those who are also unfamiliar with the movies.

Before you digitally curse me with an unforgivable curse, let me explain: those who haven’t read Harry Potter have the opportunity to read it for the first time. That’s why I envy them.

There’s truly nothing like the first time. That’s why I don’t re-read a lot of books (my wife told me that the bookish community doesn’t judge people’s reading habits. I’m banking on that here). If I were to give Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone another go, I’d smile as I recalled my favorite parts of the wizarding world. But nothing could compare to that first time.

I’ll never forget when I first walked into Olivander’s with Harry to pick out a wand. When Wood originally explained the game of quidditch to Harry and me. When I was freshly introduced to the subjects taught at Hogwarts. That was genuine magic.

Because I can only try something for the first time once, I have some peculiar practices. For instance, if I know one of my favorite bands has a new song, I usually wait until I’m alone to listen to it, and I sit in a cool, comfortable spot without distraction so I can fully take it in. My favorite writer is a retired magazine writer. Because I know he’s done publishing stories, I wait months to read one I haven’t read. I know that someday I’ll run out of stories of his that I can read for the first time, and I’m in no hurry for that to happen. Based on what friends and family members said, I knew I would love Ender’s Game. Because I knew I would love it, I waited until the ripe age of 24 to read it, and I took it in during the summer, when I knew I would be able to give it my full attention. I read just a little bit at a time, and savored it.

The difficult thing is, there’s a lot we all want to read, right? And some things we want to read aren’t so special to us, and don’t need to be held in reserve or read little by little. So we can just plow through them. The problem is, we never know when we’re going to come across the next Harry Potter, and the beauty and wonder of such a book may not dawn on us until it’s nearly digested. I’d like to know when I’m about to read something that will change my life, so I can properly prepare myself and completely enjoy the first time. That’s why it’s nice to learn which writers and types of books are special to us. Then we can brace ourselves for yet-to-be-read books, and allow them to impact us as much as possible.

Was there a book that was so impactful that you remember the circumstances of your life when you read it the first time? 

Are there any books that you’re holding in reserve, to be read at a time when you can most enjoy them? 

Is there a book you wish you could go back and read for the first time?


7 thoughts on “GUEST DISCUSSION: Reading a book for the first time only happens once

  1. I absolutely love the thought of this post. I have so many great first read through memories that I absolutely cherish and wish I could experience all over again. The desire to experience it all over again has only gotten stronger as my daughter has gotten older, she turned 8 in April (reads closer to the level of a junior high student than an elementary one) and is a huge reader, and I just want to experience all the same first read through feelings that she is experiencing. She has read quite the number of books, including Matilda and the first 2 HP novels and I wish I could experience that first time feeling all over again with her! Though I do get some of that feeling just listening to her talk about the different books she has read, I feel lucky to have that. It isn’t exactly the same as the first read through feeling, but it is still just as special. The nostalgia of a good read, experiencing that story all over again even if it isn’t the same as the very first time is still a good time because sometimes you just need that feeling. There are very few books that I will reread, but the ones I do are just good comfort reads for me. Excellent post, cherish those first reads! =)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know exactly what you’re saying! And I can’t wait to have kids so that I can push all of my favorite books onto them haha 🙂 When someone’s reading a book that I especially loved the first time around, I always find myself asking, “What part are you at?” repeatedly. I’m sure it’s annoying, but it’s like I’m living vicariously through them, you know? I’ll pass your compliments on to my husband! He’ll be happy to hear that you liked his post 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes! I have most definitely been suggesting some of my favorites to her since she started getting into reading and I love that she actually enjoys them and it doesn’t feel like I am forcing them on her. And don’t worry, I always feel the same way anytime I find out someone is reading a book I love. I love Goodreads, especially when I catch progress updates with comments that say things like “Wait, what?!” and I can empathize with them because it was my exact same reaction. I swear, the book community is amazing!

        Liked by 1 person

    2. my nephew is 8 and he’s currently devouring Harry Potter. hes on bk4, altho that was a couple of weeks ago so maybe hes finished by now. i have to visit and ask him where hes up to and does he want to play quidditch with me

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ahhh, that is awesome that your nephew is reading them and enjoying them too! I doubt he’d say no to quidditch – honestly, I doubt any of us would lol. My daughter has her last day of summer school tomorrow and I am sure she is going to begin to devour books again. She wants to reread the first 2 HP novels in Spanish (she attends a dual language elementary school studying both in English and Spanish) then read the following 2 in English since it will be her first time reading them. She is super excited about it and so am I!

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Loved your post. It made me think about the first time we read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. We did it as a family and it was so refreshing to find an author with such an amazing imagination. The characters really did come to life for us. It was a great way to bond as a family as well.

    Liked by 1 person

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