One of my absolute favorite things about reading is how books can mean such different things to different people. After participating in a read a long where the questions was asked, "If there's a lesson to be learned from this story, what do you think it is?" and reading everyone's different responses, I was just blown away. I mean, check out my friend's responses.
...Suey from It's All About Books
"Don’t trust what someone tells you unless it’s from the source. Also, don’t be afraid to give people a second chance. Some may surprise you and others may not."
...Jenni from JenniElyse.com
"Be kind. Be genuine. Don’t act different in front of different audiences."
...Jessica from The Bluestocking Society
and my own thoughts...
"You can't spend your whole life making everyone else happy. At some point you need to think of yourself."
Crazy huh? And then my friend from Bookmark Dragon posted this thought...
“No two persons ever read the same book.”
― Edmund Wilson
Very true indeed.
I know! Bad childhood memories just resurfaced, right? Hopefully not. That's why required reading always bugged me. (now, technically I was home schooled and did not experience it myself but I have many a friend who did) You have this crotchety English teacher who insists you read a book. So, you read the book and, hey, maybe it wasn't so bad. You go to class all ready to discuss, or you write your paper on the book only to be mentally and verbally backhanded by your teacher who claims that She/He is the only one that knows what the author was really trying to say and what the book is really about! Well, I don't know about you, but that's not what reading is about. Not to me, at least.
Books are to be experienced. They mean something different to everyone that reads them and may even mean something completely different on a reread years later. That's why I love reading so much. It's why I love talking about books with other book lovers. Books are awesome! Am I right?!
So what about you, did you have a scary English teacher that insisted they and only they knew what the book was really about? Or did you have an awesome teacher that let you interpret books any way you wished?
And next time you are with someone that read the same book as you, ask them what they thought the message to the book was. It's pretty cool to get other's perspectives!