I was reading some reviews I wrote just a few months ago, and although I remember writing them and I remember feeling content about the final texts, I now find them strange or off at places. Sometimes, when I am about to post a review that I drafted some weeks ago I have to rewrite the whole thing just because it doesn’t look good to me anymore, although it did back then.
I wonder if that’s the way authors write their books? Does it mean that if they never publish their book but keep changing it according to the way they feel at a given moment, the book will keep growing throughout life like a plant without ever acquiring a solidified form? In fact, I once heard one author saying that he would have changed one part in his book (the one I didn’t like either) had he been writing the book nowadays. What would happen to Lolita then, for example? Would Lolita happen at all?
I definitely feel that some modern books didn’t grow properly or fully. They were plucked too early from their drafts so that they could be put on shelves and promptly sold.
I’m sure a similar change of perception happens to readers too. You read a book and enjoy it. You still think you love the book so you open it later to live through all the emotions again but there are only shells left while the essence has vanished. The book itself didn’t change! And yet it feels completely different.
Maybe there is never just a book but an author’s perception crossed with a reader’s perception at a certain moment of time. Ten different people will read ten different books even though the books would have the same author and title. And then they will read ten more books from the same pages if they open the book later.
Have you noticed it too?