I recently picked up Bret Easton Ellis’s American Psycho to re-read it. Or at least that’s what I thought I was doing. Instead of that sense of comfortable déjà vu you get from re-reading an old favorite, I felt like I was experiencing it for the first time.
When I was a quarter of the way through re-reading American Psycho, however, I realized I was actually reading it for the first time. The reason the movie had seemed so different, so alien, to me was that I’d never read the book it was based on. Apparently, the book had been on my shelf for so long that at some point I just assumed I’d read it.
Maybe I’d read a few pages; maybe I’d even read a few chapters. But one thing was distressingly clear: I had never read the entire book.