The Pleasures of Rereading – T.Lamont

The pleasures of rereading | Books | The Observer.

Writing for Britain’s paper The Guardian (“The Observer”, Culture/Books section), Tom Lamont describes his habit of returning to books he has already read (dated April 7, 2012). I found his article not only well-written but interesting. Are you are re-reader? I do not do this very often, especially with entire books; but I certainly have gone back to re-read parts of books or essays that appeared in a collection. And when it comes to reading the Bible, Christians are all re-readers. We read God’s Word over and over again throughout our lifetime, and return to those favorite passages that speak to us in special ways at special times. That is truly a good habit.

Here is part of what Lamont had to say about the pleasures of re-reading; find the full article at the link above.

It usually starts with a pretence of steeliness. Not the whole thing, I’ll tell myself, reaching for the ruined paperback. One chapter, a favourite passage, then I’ll wedge it back in with those books begun but not yet finished; the dozens more bought or inherited that I honestly mean to open, sooner to get to all of Dickens. I’m a chronic rereader, mostly of novels, and it is a habit as coiled with guilt as it is with pleasure, because every go-round with a favourite is also another time I haven’t read Bleak House.

…Examples mentioned here are personal. The novels that yoke the rereader are not universal – they’re not always good. Some of the motivations and satisfactions, though, must be shared.

It is time travel, a reliable way to reawaken feelings sparked by a book at first encounter. George MacDonald Fraser’s series of Flashman novels summons for me an early stretch at university, when I picked up one in a stranger’s room, skimmed a paragraph, and realised with excitement and dread that my set-text reading plan would now implode. Nineteen Eighty-Four brings back a thrilling first sense of professional life and the daily commute, Orwell’s novel finished while travelling across town for work experience at 15. Salinger’s slim book of stories will forever be a ski-trip coach that smelled not unpleasantly of Chewits; Laughter in the Dark a summer spent dumped and misanthropic and grateful for Nabokov’s mean wit. Howard’s End is the time I met my wife, opened every year since.

…To freshen my memory before writing this, I carefully explored my book shelves, alert for scuffed bindings, squeezing paperbacks for the tell-tale crackle of sand and crisp-crumb. They weren’t all there, my stalwarts, but I found them – some in a pile by the sofa, a few kicked under the bed, one hidden away in an old shoulder-bag. I’d seized them up when last ill or bored or moody or restless, in need of comfort.

Rereading is therapy, despite the accompanying dash of guilt, and I find it strange that not everybody does it. Why wouldn’t you go back to something good? I return to these novels for the same reason I return to beer, or blankets or best friends.

Published in: on April 17, 2012 at 2:04 PM  Leave a Comment  

Visual Theology – The Tabernacle

Visual Theology – The Tabernacle | Challies Dot Com.

The next Biblical/theological infographic (“Visual Theology”) introduced by Tim Challies on April 4, 2012 looks at the OT tabernacle. Simple, clear, and visual! These can be handy tools for use with your children, or for Bible study, or for the next time your pastor preaches on the tabernacle and its furniture. Here is Challies’ summary:

Today’s graphic looks to the Old Testament tabernacle. Every item in the tabernacle was given by God to display truth and here we’ve tried to show what each item proclaims about the sinner’s need, God’s provision, and the ultimate fulfillment in the coming Messiah.


And here is the graphic (click on it to enlarge it):

Published in: on April 17, 2012 at 12:11 PM  Leave a Comment