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Simple question:  

If you could read one book again for the first time, what would it be?  

You know, you spot someone reading that book and suddenly you're telling a complete stranger how wonderful it is (as if they didn't know ... they're reading it), and how you wish you could hit yourself in the head with a rock hard enough to forget the whole thing, just so you could read it again, experience it as something entirely new.  

Yeah.  That book.  

I want your titles.  

But ... I started this.  So I guess I'll go first.  

But you promised not to laugh, or at least I'll claim under oath that you did.  

For me, it's Edgar Rice Burroughs' A Princess of Mars.  

What?  You were expecting Proust?  This was a seminal book.  There's no way to convey how weird this book is, since its futurism is the product of a past age, a forgotten future where radium still seemed like a neat thing that should be everywhere.  There's no way I could read it now, more than twenty five years later, and still be struck the same way by its orientalist (and, for Burroughs, racist) sense of the exotic.  Reading it was like hearing Rudyard Kipling explain a Frank Frazetta painting.  

It's part of a genre that I've just finished trashing, but I would love to be able to read it again for the first time.

Your turn.  

Originally posted to Grand Moff Texan on Tue Dec 02, 2008 at 12:39 PM PST.

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