For whatever reasons, we abandon novels. We leave them half-finished; we discard them after only twenty pages, we drift apart from them after the first hundred. Often we’ll never pick up where we left off. Sometimes it’ll be a season or two later, sometimes a year, a few years, when the book nudges it way back into our line of sight, begging to be reconsidered….
I am not convinced that we ever understand why a book reaches us—how it snags us at one time, but not another, or misses altogether. Words on a page are illuminated by something inside us, or else they remain just that….
But I continue to wonder about all those subtleties (and they are cultural, developmental, emotional, historical, random) that tint the lens through which we regard a book, no matter how well it was written. Do books choose us?…
– Decatur book blogger Murray Brown, upon recently rediscovering Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse