I have three bookshelves next to my treadmill, and to alleviate the boredom I’ll often grab an old favourite to read while I’m trudging along.

A couple of days ago I started Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier, for the fifth or sixth time. It’s a longish book, a real classic, and it’s funny how I keep envisioning scenes from the Alfred Hitchcock movie.

That almost never happens! Books almost always trump movies, and yet key moments like when they’re on the cliff above Monte Carlo, when the protagonist first meets with Mrs. Danvers, they’re all intruding upon my experience.

The language is exquisite! It weaves a spell.

It really is her best. After first reading Rebecca, I scrounged up all the titles I could find of Daphne Du Maurier’s. The only one I never finished was My Cousin Rachel and I think it was because it was too much like Rebecca.

The Parasites was interesting, but the viewpoint is so cynical, almost acidic. Jamaica Inn was a rip-roaring adventure. And I’ll always remember the moment with the priest. Also a very cynical take on life.

Maybe I like Rebecca best because I can identify so thoroughly with the self-conscious protagonist.

It’s ‘comfort’ food. Like re-reading Watership Down or The Blue Castle.

And yet, there is one more image that sometimes rears unbidden into my imagination. Carol Burnett did a spoof on the story ages ago. You can find it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_PTaIezXYuQ

Oh, to be spoofed!

Maybe one day…