When I was 17, I read Gone With the Wind for probably the 20th time. I read it the first time when I was 9. I don’t know why my mom thought THAT was acceptible reading for a fourth grader, but I read it, attempted rape, prostitution, KKK and all. I still read it occasionally, returning to the familiar story and characters time after time, because it’s comfortable. It takes me only hours now to read what used to take me weeks, because I know what happens. I also like to watch the Carol Burnett spoof, part 1 and part 2.
It’s Read a New Book Month. I’m trying to feature some of the more out-there or lesser known holidays in the month of December. I thought Read a New Book Month sounded like the perfect time to rediscover THE book: The Bible. If you’re like me, you’ve read it in fits and starts.
I’ve read it like Bubba from Forrest Gump: as literature, Truth, history, poetry, gospel, law, literally, figuratively, authoritatively, inspired, Matthew to Revelation, Genesis until I fell asleep in Numbers, Proverbs of the day, Psalms, piecemeal, The Message, NIV, KJV, NRSV, lamp unto my feet, light unto my path, to memorize, to chastise, to pasturize, to galvanize, in-depth, parabolically, big picture, detail, systematically, skeptically, fearfully, whole-heartedly…
But, I wonder, since it’s that time of the year, if I should read it like a new book, not like Gone with the Wind, where it’s all so familiar, but stripping away my preconceptions, as if it had caught my eye on the shelf, not like it has always had a place of honor in my home. What would I find? How would the story change for me? What might I catch that I’ve never caught before? Is it possible to read it again after all these years like it’s the very first time? I’m going to take up the challenge to read the Bible in 2011, maybe you’ll join me?
What’s your favorite book? How many times have you read it?