Happy Fall, Monsters!
I have to tell you, one of my main goals for Autumn is to spend some more time outdoors. Not in the way you are thinking, I’m not planting flower bulbs to bloom in the Spring, and I’m not landscaping my yard to make it into a showpiece for the neighborhood.
No, I’ll be doing none of that. What I will be doing is sitting in one of my newly purchased Adirondack chairs, covered in a UVA-Wise Cavalier red and grey plaid blanket, and try my best to re-read the Harry Potter series, my favorite book series in my entire career of being a reader.
Now, I say try because it is physically impossible – barring brain damage, amnesia, or a forgetfulness spell or potion – to reread, or rewatch, something without some sort of knowledge of the subject itself.
Isn’t it the saddest thing? I can never go back and read Pride and Prejudice, or Lord of the Rings, or The Wizard of Oz for the first time. I can never go watch Brave, Doctor Who, or The Guild without knowing the plot-lines, the characters, and the story arcs. And I can never again experience the first time I ever fell in love with Mr. Darcy.
Those things are forever ruined for me because I know now ,direct from the beginning, what is happening and when exactly it will happen.
Does that bother anyone else?
I mean, memory is one of the greatest gifts bestowed on mankind. With memory we can recollect times long gone with family and friends, we can pinpoint locations we were in at a significant moment in time, and we can certainly recall all those embarrassing moments of our adolescent years, the anger we may have had towards family and friends, and those times we accidentally hurt others.
But why can’t we just forget, for a short period of time, a book plot so we can read with fresh, new eyes and minds? Wouldn’t it be so much more enjoyable to forget the initial read and begin again? This is one of the greatest despairs of being a reader, as we can never go back to these first times.
Never again will I read about Jo March without knowing about the tragedy that befalls their family. I’ll never be able to forget about the obstacles faced by Thorin Oakenshield and his company of Dwarves as they travel from Hobbiton to the Lonely Mountain. And I’ll certainly never again experience Harry Potters’ days at Hogwarts without having lived them before.
That is what I find is the most difficult hardship of being a lover of books and movies: You can never have a brand new experience with a favorite book like that of a brand new one. And this will prove to be my greatest challenge of my Great Autumn Project: how can I read all seven of Harry’s adventures without thinking ahead to the end of the series, this proving the point that you can’t go back “home” again.
So dear audience, for the sake of discussion, what do you wish you could go back and experience with brand new sense of wonder? Is it a book? Is it a movie? Could it be your first trip to Disney World? Tell us in the comments what you wish you could go back and do over for the very first time.