It’s wintry outside. It’s the holiday season. And I have a sudden urge to re-read Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth by Chris Ware – the best graphic novel I’ve ever picked up (though the number of graphic novels I’ve ever picked up is rather small.

Usually, I don’t believe in re-reading books, especially books I’ve read so recently in the past. I figure there are so many books I want to read, why waste time reading something I’ve already read? Why re-read Grapes of Wrath when I’ve got several Steinbeck books I have yet to even crack open?

There are some exceptions. I find myself re-reading some Bill Bryson stuff – to me, they’re so easy and fun it’s like watching a re-run of The Office or Arrested Development – and I’ve picked up books long forgotten from my early high school days.

But re-reading seems like a waste of time.

So when the mood strikes – when I’m driven to re-read something – is it because the book was so good in the first place? It was so unforgettable that I need to read it again in order to even more permanently instill its words onto my brain?

Or is it that I’m simply not able to take an original step, content in staying with something familiar?

This was lovingly handwritten on December 11th, 2007