The Comfort of Rereading

In Vladimir Nabokov’s opinion, rereading is essential to being a good reader. In order to read a story to the best of your ability, you have to reread it, or at least reread the important parts. I somewhat disagree. To me, rereading is indeed an essential component of fully understanding and appreciating a story to its fullest extent, however, the most valuable benefit of rereading is the comfort that comes with rereading a good story.

There is nothing I love more than reading my favorite books. I can’t count the amount of times I have set down a newly-finished book only to think, “I can’t wait until I can read this again!” It’s like entering a world, only to leave bittersweetly, melancholy to go, but hopeful of your eventual reentry. After falling completely in love with the characters contained between the front and back cover, after yearning to be their best friends, you have to leave them. Rereading is like paying them a visit, seeing how they’re doing these days, relishing in your old friendship.

I have a terrible memory. I’ll forget conversation topics in the middle of the conversation, and what I was just doing in the middle of doing it. It’s a joke between me and my friends, but honestly I find that it has its uses. I can read a book or series as many times as I want. If I wait long enough, I’ll forget what happened, the characters’ names, the climax. I reread books, rewatch movies, re-listen to podcasts, and re-experience everything I can. Whether it’s a picture book from my childhood, each page bursting with nostalgia, or a novel I remember with well-written characters, there’s nothing more comforting. To me, it’s like getting under a blanket, soft and worn from use, and already warm. It’s like exploring a beautiful landscape for the first time, but knowing which corners the most gorgeous sights wait beyond. There’s no shame in rereading. There’s only comfort and the knowledge that you’ve made Nabokov proud.

Abnesti’s Profanity

After reading Escape From Spiderhead, I was in awe with the complex characters that occupied the story. Each character was completely fleshed out, even though it was only a short story. One poignant example was Abnesti. I think that Abnesti is an incredibly intriguing character, mainly because, regardless of his undeniable monstrosity, he is convinced that he is a good person. To me, the most interesting portrayal of this dimension of his personality was his refusal to swear. His usage of appropriate terms of exasperation instead or profane ones showed that he is completely convinced of his own goodness. The ridiculous extent of his appropriate swears, for example, “‘Jeff, you’re totally doinking with our experimental design integrity'” (Saunders 63), expresses his self-image. He thinks of himself as a goofy, appropriate, good guy. He’s a family man, who buys his subjects cream from the store, who doesn’t swear, and does things in the name of science. His abhorrent actions, his murder of Heather, none of those mean that he is a bad person. He’s a good guy because he doesn’t say potty words.