The first time I read To Kill a Mockingbird it was in high school and there was only one scene that engaged me at all and that was the scene where there was a scuffle in the woods. For most of the book I was indifferent to the writing and situation, whether that was the uncomfortable read-aloud time in class or not, it just wasn’t for me.
Recently though I had a conversation about re-reading books, namely the ‘classics’ that are well-read for a reason: because of universal themes, engaging characters, beautiful language, or historical poignancy to name a few. I had read The Great Gatsby in high school and disliked it also, but re-read it in college and it spoke to me. So I know that time does change things. Who we are as people specifically. Joan Didion wrote “I have already lost touch with a couple of people I used to be” and this is so apt. I’m morphing and changing in leaps and bounds. Finding my voice, making a statement, living out who I am.
With the renewed interest in Harper Lee because of an impending release of a new title, I mentioned that I disliked Mockingbird, but that I would consider re-reading it because of who I am today versus who I was as a self-centered sixteen year old. I’m about to crack open by own copy soon and am eager to discover my feelings for it as an avid reader and adult.
Has an opinion of a book ever changed for you?