Scott D. Parker
The new Bruce Springsteen album, Only the Strong Survive, was released yesterday. It’s an album of soul and R&B covers, most of which I don’t know. The album is wonderful, brimming over with joy that’ll just make you smile, get up out of your chair, and dance.
This new record marks Springsteen’s third album since 2019’s Western Stars (fourth if you include the live, slightly tweaked versions of the Western Stars album) and I know this new one will be one I live with and listen to for months to come.
The idea that I’ll be listening to this album over and over got me to thinking about books. The average album more or less lasts around an hour. After sixty minutes, you’ve heard all the songs and then you’re ready to move on or listen again.
Books are a different animal. I’m not sure how fast you read, but my reading speed is just average. I’ve never actually timed myself reading a book. Judging by all the audiobooks I listen to via Audible or the Libby app that is tied to my local library, however, many books range from seven hours to ten. Lots of them land in the 8.5-hour range.
So, it certainly takes longer to read/listen to a book and you certainly have more “first time” with a brand-new book, but how often do you go back and re-read a book? For me, it’s pretty rare. Usually when I re-read a book, I’m studying how it was written, structured, and marking up the pages with annotations and post-it notes. I’ve done this with The Da Vinci Code and Naked Heat, the second Richard Castle book, but I can’t remember the last time I re-read a book just for fun.
What about you? Do you return to favorite books and re-read them?