Friday, May 27, 2011

Return to "Foundation"

I don't have any major summer reading projects this year.  I had planned to read Infinite Jest this summer, but got pulled into an online reading project last fall and finished it in March.  I do have a sizable stack of books at home just waiting to be read, so I'll work my way through those.  One will be Noah Andre Trudeau's Gettysburg, since I'm going to a wedding there in July and I'd like to know more about the battle before I see the battlefield.  I have a few other non-fiction history books to read, such as a book on the Jewish Resistance during WWII and David McCullough's book about the Johnstown Flood.

But before I dive into all of that boring history nonsense, I'm re-reading Isaac Asimov's Foundation novels.  I devoured Asimov's fiction (and some of his non-fiction) as a kid.  I tore through the Robot novels, the Empire novels, and the Foundation series, all before I was in high school.  I remember them as fast reads but I don't recall much of the detail.  I do remember enjoying the Foundation novels more than any of his other books.  I think it was the concept of psychohistory that captivated me more than the ideas of robots solving crimes or a decaying galactic Empire. When I was home last October, I grabbed all five of the books I have in the series (not counting the two prequel novels, which Asimov wrote much later in his life) and brought them back to New York.  I think I'll read a Foundation novel, then read some non-fiction, then read another Foundation novel.  I think of them as palate cleansers.  Also, it means I'll spread out the fun over the summer.

I rarely re-read books.  The last time I remember re-reading anything was 2001, when I read the Lord Of The Rings trilogy for the third time, in preparation for the movies.  But every once in a while I think it's worth revisiting books that I've loved.  I listen to the same music over and over (though I introduce new albums all the time, I return to my favorites far more often) and I re-watch movies I love.  Why not re-read books and see what I missed the first time around?  Also, it's an excuse for me to keep all those books on my shelves.  I can always say "hey, I might want to read that again" when it comes time to clean the apartment.

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