Are you the kind of person who likes to re-read books? Some people I know consider reading a book a second or third time as being pointless. Once you’ve read it, well – you’ve read it. However, I totally disagree. I compare it to listening to your favourite music over and over. For example, that album which has developed some kind of meaning for you. It evokes an emotion or triggers a memory. It changes you, if only for a brief moment. And you’ll keep on listening to it because it does exactly that.
A well written piece of fiction can take you places by using nothing more than your imagination. It can make you feel happy or sad, basically your emotions are under the authors command.
There are certain books that I will read again and again because of what the author can do. This includes Arthur C. Clarke’s ‘A Fall Of Moondust’ which I re-read recently. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve buried myself in the pages of the story. Most will agree it’s one of Clarke’s best and is now regarded as a classic.
The book was originally published in 1961 and describes the moon before we really new anything about it. To aid the story, certain assumptions were made. Some of which have turned out to be inaccurate – such as the actual depth of moondust on the surface (centimetres, not meters). However we can forgive that sort of thing as Clarke used the science that was understood at the time. His writing is at it’s best when he’s extrapolating in to the future and weaving it in to the story.
I was in my early teens when I first picked up the book. The story caught my imagination, it was all happening on the moon and there were spaceships too! With subsequent re-reads, and with a developing interest in science, I started to understand more about the ideas that pushed the plot along.
With each reading of ‘A Fall Of Moondust’, I go back to my teens. I remember how I felt when I first read it, the gripping story line and how the words filled my imagination. It’s more than a ‘comfort read’ because I still find the story exciting. The book will always be close by, proudly sitting on the shelf with other treasured stories that I will re-read someday soon.