I am sitting here surrounded by piles of books. There are at least thirty books I haven't read yet stacked on my desk, on my cupboards and even on the floor; they range from Oliver Twist to The Catcher in the Rye and I have bought all of them because I knew I would enjoy reading them. How come then that during the last few days I picked up every single book, started reading it and found not one that appealed to me?
Yesterday I ventured out at my parents' shelves, almost desperate to find a book I would want to read and came across The Divine Comedy there, which instantly fascinated me, so my dilemma is already sorted out, but it left me wondering why some books sometimes just don't feel right.
We do not stop to develop and mature until we die, in fact at fifty years we are not even the same persons we were when we were twenty and so it is obvious that one and the same book affects us differently at different stages throughout our lives.
There is more to it, though. A good book creates a certain atmosphere, it evokes a special feeling within us. It has a distinctive ambiance which makes us feel like coming home whenever we turn its pages after having read it once. These feelings are hard to put into words, but I am convinced that every passionate reader understands what I mean. Sometimes a novel fails to captivate us simply because it is not in line with our current mood.
Even the season makes a difference at times, in summer I am usually drawn to other books than in winter.
Another important factor is the amount of concentration we are prepared to spend on a book: now and then we want a light read because we only want to drift with the flow of a story without anylysing too much, but at other times we need something demanding that fully absorbs our concentration.
Not all is lost if we surprisingly dislike a book we expected to love, sometimes it is just that the time is wrong. For now I am content with The Divine Comedy and I know that soon I will again be in the mood to pick up a book I dismissed as boring only yesterday.