For true bibliomaniacs, “So many books, so little time,” is not a catch-phrase, but rather a cry of agony. That being said, why would anyone choose to reread a title (classics notwithstanding) when so many undiscovered gems are awaiting us? In the library world sometimes it is required and that is how I found myself rereading Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake recently. And was I surprised.
Over 10 years have passed since the first reading and much has changed in the world and my life as well. What was interesting was how a well-written tale about an immigrant family and their first generation American born offspring seemingly evolved into a beautifully expressed story of universal themes of family, relationships, feelings of inclusion/exclusion, and much more. Today acculturation vs. heritage and other aspects of immigrant life are very much in the forefront. However, as I read, I found the story to be much larger than the details used to create the characters and describe their behavior.
The Namesake is not only a book worth reading, it is a book worth rereading at a later time as the world and we, ourselves, evolve. And the idea of rereading should not be ruled out as wasting a chance to read something new – there will always be so many books and so little time.