I read most of my comics/graphic novels digitally these days. It helps that they tend to be cheaper that way but it’s mostly about physical space because I have packrat tendencies. (True, cheaper does help me read more of them as well.)

The books that really strike me, I try to buy physical copies and make shelf space. I want to read them again, to hold them, to shove them in someone else’s hands and say “you need to read this.”

But I have a rule: I can’t just buy them and put them on the shelf; I must read them again first. Let me tell you, it is wonderful feedback to know that a book can strike you the same way again—sometimes even more deeply.

  • Through a Life” by Tom Haugomat. This isn’t available digitally as far as I know (and probably wouldn’t have the same effect due to its layout), but was a library checkout in the Before Times. A fairly thick book with no text beyond a date-and-place legend on each left-hand page. Each page spread is a starkly graphical diptych capturing moments spaced approximately a year apart, gradually layering up an affecting portrait of a life that went to space yet remains mortal. This read struck me even harder than the first time. Stunning.

  • The House” by Paco Roca. Oof, this book. This story manages to capture the weight of generations in just 127 pages while siblings deal with each other to repair their inherited vacation cottage. Another book that rewarded a repeat visit, partly because sometimes the panel flow is nonstandard and combined with seamless flashbacks can be disorienting the first time through. This book definitely holds my heart.

“Here. You need to read these.”