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Nothing Remains the Same Paperback – 29 Jun 2003


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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin; Reprint edition (29 Jun 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618340815
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618340811
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.4 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 856,514 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

REVISITING HER FAVORITE BOOKS AFTER 20 OR 30 YEARS, LESSER IS STIRRED BY THE CHANGES SHE FINDS--IN THE BOOKS, IN HERSELF, AND IN THE WIDER WORLD. FROM THE ESTEEMED CULTURAL CRITIC AND JOURNALIST WENDY LESSER, NOTHING REMAINS THE SAME IS A BIBLIOPHILE S DREAM: A BOOK ABOUT THE PLEASURES AND SURPRISES OF REREADING, A WITTY, INTELLIGENT EXPLORATION OF WHAT BOOKS CAN MEAN TO OUR LIVES. COMPARED WITH READING, THE ACT OF REREADING IS FAR MORE PERSONAL -- IT INVOLVES THE INTERACTION OF OUR PAST SELVES, OUR PRESENT SELVES, AND LITERATURE. WITH CANDOR, HUMOR, AND GRACE, LESSER TAKES US ON A GUIDED TOUR OF HER OWN RETURN TO BOOKS SHE ONCE KNEW, FROM THE PLAYS OF SHAKESPEARE TO TWENTIETH-CENTURY NOVELS BY KINGSLEY AMIS AND IAN MCEWAN, FROM THE CHILDHOOD FAVORITE I CAPTURE THE CASTLE TO CLASSIC NOVELS SUCH AS ANNA KARENINA AND HUCKLEBERRY FINN, FROM NONFICTION BY HENRY ADAMS TO POETRY BY WORDSWORTH. LESSER CONVEYS AN INFECTIOUS LOVE OF READING AND INSPIRES US ALL TO TAKE ANOTHER LOOK AT THE BOOKS WE VE READ TO FIND THE UNEXPECTED TREASURES THEY MIGHT OFFER.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By clahain on 19 Oct 2014
Format: Paperback
"Nothing demonstrates how personal reading is more clearly than rereading does."
--Wendy Lesser, NOTHING REMAINS THE SAME: REREADING AND REMEMBERING.

Lesser, editor of a long-running literary journal, revisits books that have been important to her over the years.

I was so happy to find this book. I'd heard about it back when it was first published but never actually grabbed a copy. It has come to mind on several occasions since. For some reason, I never followed through on the urge to read it. Thank goodness for Amazon's 1-click feature (so good, it's bad!) and the human weakness for instant gratification.

Lesser offers great insight into how, through the books we reread, we rediscover ourselves. Or, rather, get a glimpse at our multiple selves. She points out how aspects of a book that we skimmed over at twenty might hit us right between the eyes at forty. And how memory and life experience can exert opposing pressures, so stories that comforted us at ten might unnerve our adult selves, dark connotations and troubling symbolism emerging out of the friendly scenes of our old favorites.

But wait... The opposite is also true. Rereading can also act as a time machine that grants access to younger selves, to the very moment (along with a full "sense" track of sounds, smells, emotions) we first read LITTLE WOMEN or THE SECRET GARDEN.

I think what I love most about this book is the license it gives readers to step back from our towering to-be-read piles and revisit books we've already known and loved. It underscores that, whatever the marketing world would like us to believe, a book is not just another product, to be consumed and forgotten.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
Rereading as a doorway to our many selves 19 Oct 2014
By clahain - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
"Nothing demonstrates how personal reading is more clearly than rereading does."
--Wendy Lesser, NOTHING REMAINS THE SAME: REREADING AND REMEMBERING.

Lesser, editor of a long-running literary journal, revisits books that have been important to her over the years.

I was so happy to find this book. I'd heard about it back when it was first published but never actually grabbed a copy. It has come to mind on several occasions since. For some reason, I never followed through on the urge to read it. Thank goodness for Amazon's 1-click feature (so good, it's bad!) and the human weakness for instant gratification.

Lesser offers great insight into how, through the books we reread, we rediscover ourselves. Or, rather, get a glimpse at our multiple selves. She points out how aspects of a book that we skimmed over at twenty might hit us right between the eyes at forty. And how memory and life experience can exert opposing pressures, so stories that comforted us at ten might unnerve our adult selves, dark connotations and troubling symbolism emerging out of the friendly scenes of our old favorites.

But wait... The opposite is also true. Rereading can also act as a time machine that grants access to younger selves, to the very moment (along with a full "sense" track of sounds, smells, emotions) we first read LITTLE WOMEN or THE SECRET GARDEN.

I think what I love most about this book is the license it gives readers to step back from our towering to-be-read piles and revisit books we've already known and loved. It underscores that, whatever the marketing world would like us to believe, a book is not just another product, to be consumed and forgotten.
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