Novels are popular. And I don’t need any adverbs or adjectives or even nouns to prove this. Novels are popular and that’s it. However, what kind of novels are popular? What kind of novels attract the widest readership? What kind of novels are mostly written by modern authors? What kind of novels earns the biggest revenues? There are many questions that might be answered in a simple phrase – explicit romance or extraordinary brilliance at writing fiction. I have separated these two with or because you will find it as you read this article. Well, the subject of this piece is to identify what kind of novels are read twice, most of the times and more – while compared to other kinds. So, have you read any piece of fiction twice? What novels have you read two or more times?
I will confess honestly. I have read many works more than two times. However, I have read the works of ancient Indian authors many times. Well, those works are not novels. The Guide by R K Narayan and The Bachelor of Arts as well, by the same author, have attracted me many times. I read these works as a part of my BA syllabus and also read these works while writing my MA thesis and then also read these works independently. Leaving aside the beautiful language used by Narayan, the novels have an extraordinary brilliance (as stated earlier) that will let you draw different conclusions or different interpretations every time you read. Isn’t it magical? Well, this will mainly inspire the students of English literature, including the professor.
Try reading Chetan Bhagat‘s novel twice. You will feel like being pushed in the same streets without any will to continue. Read Fifty Shades of Grey and then try reading it again. You may visualise the text and leave it immediately because all the literary juice (from where?) has been sucked already and there is no need to read it twice. Try reading Vanity Fair twice and you will fall on your bed very soon. Try reading War and Peace and your mind will say – oh god, not again!
There are many novels by Thomas Hardy and Jane Austen that you will like to read twice if you have a taste for romantic emotions. Hardy had much more than Austen. Believe me. There are a few novels by Graham Greene that you would like to read twice just to locate yourself precisely… and more precisely. Novels by F. Scott Fitzgerald were limited to the arousing emotions of his age and they departed as soon as the age departed. Honestly. However, the novels by Ian Fleming and Arthur Conan Doyle will be immortal… they have appeal for readers from a different generation and motion pictures have made them more alive than ever.
So, you either read extraordinary novels or academic ones. However, for reading a single time, you either choose an extraordinary one or too explicit one – those midnight bed scenes or pulling up the condom packet from the wallet. Do you agree? You can share your second time reading list briefly in the comments section.
by Amit for Active Reader, a book blog