…Once, when trying with chin against a well-curb,
I discerned, as I thought, beyond the picture,
Through the picture, a something white, uncertain,
Something more of the depths—and then I lost it.
…What was that whiteness?
Truth? A pebble of quartz? For once, then, something.

—Robert Frost

I have a love-hate relationship with epic novels. The Red Horse by Corti, The Idiot by Dostoevsky, the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I love the gasps and sighs and ups and downs of that first read. I get enamoured with the character development and crave the distraction at work waiting for lunch when I can read while I eat my soup. Nothing beats the kind of 3am and my light’s still on because I need to get to the next chapter thrill. Yet, even though I quest continually to find the next “big novel,” I in turn truthfully hate something about each one: I’ll never read it for the first time again.