Actually, I re-read it. Last time I read it, I was in 11th grade.
This year, Robbie is reading it for 11th grade Humanities. "This is a really stupid book," he said. "I thought it was good," said I. "You're crazy--you don't remember it," he said. So I reread it.
It is a really good book.
I found the copy I read in 11th grade, which was also the copy my mom read in college.
"Lois Hoffman, Amer. Lit, Fall 1954" it says inside the cover. It also has some of her notes--in fountain pen ink--in the margins.
To help Robbie get through "dat book," as he called it, I read a few chapters aloud to him on a few evenings this week. It reads aloud nicely, as long as you're good with long-ish sentences.
Robbie didn't like the ending. "Why does Dimmsdale die? He met with Hester in the woods, and decided everything was OK, and he told Chillingworth to stop poisoning him. So why does he die?"
I told him I didn't think the book was completely realistic ("yeah, duh!") but more a symbolic romance. Experiment: what happens to different people when they are touched by sin?
I haven't been reading much recently. That's what happens during the term. But I did update the Book List widget on my blog--I haven't been completely illiterate. And I certainly enjoyed Scarlet Letter!