The eventual conclusion that each review comes to is: Everything Changes but the Past remains the same. The reviewers largely ﬁnd themselves rereading with more perspective and experience, but remember their old selves, motivations and weaknesses (their ignorance and their bliss) vividly through association with the text. It makes me incredibly happy to hear others talking about their love of books, and how a life of reading has bolstered a life of writing. These aren't great literary accomplishments, these reviews, but they are familiar, as if hearing a friend tell you a long story after dinner in order to make the point: you might like the book, too.
"It never occured to me that the need to catalog the stuff of everyday life might be a sign that the authors I loved were loners and misﬁts. Normal people, after all, don't stand around at garden parties or lie in bed with their loved ones trying to ﬁgure out what even the smallest ordinary gesture means."
-David Samuels, Marginal Notes on the Inner Lives of People with Cluttered Apartments in the East Seventies, a rereading of J.D. Salinger's Franny and Zooey.
Evidence of the superfluity of books in my life: this wee pile was acquired whilst in Sundial Books, currently the best little bookshop in Chincoteague.