The Great GatsbyWith my oldest son in high school, I’ve enjoyed some of the ‘joys’ of returning to some of the old Classics I haven’t read since my own (long, long ago) high school days.

Of course, many classics I reread regularly on my own, but strangely enough, for some others I apparently need a little push.

This is why I found myself at a track and field meet for my younger son last weekend, rereading F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby at the request of my older son. He’s reading it in class and “wanted to discuss it with me.” And let’s face it, when a sports-obsessed son wants to discuss novels with his mom, you’re kinda nuts to pass up on an opportunity like that. : )

Of course, I remembered the basic themes, main characters and plot points, but, how can I put this delicately? After such a long time between readings, it’s (almost) like reading the book again for the first time.

I enjoyed it in high school, but I didn’t love the novel. Somehow, I find myself warming to it rereading it all these years later, remembering scenes or character insights I had forgotten about, and – just maybe – reading it through the eyes of a different person, since books means so much more to us at different stages of life.

This has happened to me with other novels we’ve read together, and it’s one of the (many) joys of novel reading – interpreting novels differently at different stages of your life, with accumulated experiences and wider views you bring to the reading experience as – ahem – the years go by and your views change.

What about you, readers? Do you enjoy revisiting novels you read in the past? Do you revisit some of them as your children read them for classes? Are you surprised to revise your opinions of them?