R is for Re-reading

So… after 2 drafts of “R” posts (at least one of which will get finished at some point) and a book review that I was about to pass off as my daily post for the A to Z challenge… I finally came across an idea for “R” at (literally) the eleventh hour!

Re-reading.  A topic I am sure that many of us bloggers, readers and writers have strong opinions about.

I love to re-read books.  If I got through it the first time (without coercion), I am likely to pick it up again.

I have re-read several “classics” from high school and discovered that I like them much more as story if I don’t have to pick them apart on the first read (A Tale of Two Cities and Jane Eyre come to mind on that point… The Old Man and the Sea and Catch-22 do not.  Maybe I’ll try them again someday).

I’ve also re-read books that I read as a younger child such as the Wrinkle in Time series.  Well, technically I read that as a child, then as a teenager in high school, and then many, many times as an adult.  I tend to re-read books by Madeleine L’Engle frequently anyway — as I have grown to know more about the author, I find it fascinating to see how her life influenced her books.  And, of course, I am loving sharing books I loved with my little boy.  So far my husband or I have read The Mouse and the Motorcycle, The Littles, and Alice in Wonderland to him, along with countless Dr. Seuss books and classics geared to the preschool crowd.

I also re-read books that I particularly enjoyed.  A thread on a page I was browsing earlier today led to this blog post… and I didn’t think of re-reading books as “comfort reading” until reading that thread.  However, that is often what it is. As a child, I loved the library but owned few books of my own.  The books I own now are those I have grown to love… and when I don’t have the mental or physical energy to tackle a new book or drive to the library to browse, I often pick up an old favorite.

I’ve mentioned on several A to Z blogs that I am currently re-reading the entire series of Harry Potter books for the first time since completing the series.  I’m finding it fascinating to see how information that is used in the finale is slowly revealed to the reader throughout the series.  I think that I am perhaps starting to read books as a writer (even though I have no aspirations of writing fiction!) and not just a reader, and that in itself is interesting to me.

Just some rambling thoughts tonight on re-reading books.  So… what about you?  Do you re-read books?  What are some of your favorites?

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7 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Marjorie on April 21, 2010 at 11:36 pm

    I re-read my favorites all the time. I have read Lord of the Rings many, many times. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve read the Harry Potter books. I frequently go back to old stories I love when I don’t have anything else to read.

    Reply

  2. I’m a bit strange about re-reading books and I’m the same with re-watching movies. I fear that a book or movie I loved the first time might reveal flaws if I go over it again without the same immersion of wondering what will happen next and I’ll lose some of my love for it. I also tend to think that time spent on a book I’ve already read or a movie I’ve already seen is time taken away from new books/films. It’s one of the reasons I’ve stopped buying books in the last few years minus the odd charity shop find.

    Harry Potter is one of the few I’ve reread because when each book I came out I was eager to refresh my memory of the story and I recall it was before I developed this odd fear. I suppose it was also before I became a critical reader.
    – Sophia.

    Reply

  3. Re-reads? Watchman Nee’s “Spiritual Man” is always a re-read. i need 3-4 years for a re-read on any book normally. by the way Melody, how come you’re over here on word press instead of blogsplat? i aplogize for forgetting about you because now you’re buried deep in my bookmarks.

    Reply

    • I don’t remember how I ended up on WordPress. I had a blogspot blog for a while (baby updates… pure mommy blog!) but switched to WordPress and can’t remember why! Then when I started up this new one I just kept it where the other one was. Any insights onto which is better (easier to use, easy to post, etc.?) It does seem like most are on blogspot.

      Reply

  4. I adore re-reading some of my favorite novels!!! The Harry Potter Series is one that my husband and I both re-read!!! He’s addicted as am I!! To Kill a Mockingbird is on my list along with Catcher and The Rye, classics that made me love to read and write from the beginning.

    Hmm lets see I am loving this trip down memory lane! I love Rohl Dahl books and I don’t think I’m ever to old to pick up those classics. My husband re-reads several of Dean Koontz books, he just can’t seem to get enough.

    Some that will soon be re-read books are: Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins (just came out this year and is one of my favorites already!!!) & Prada and Prejudice by Mandy Hubbard (another on of my personal favorites that is new!)

    The list could go on and one but for now that’s all I’ll write!!! Thank you for stopping by my blog, I appreciate the feedback and hope you visit again! I know I’ll be back, your blog is awesome, love the layout!

    Reply

  5. I’m with Sophia.

    I have some favorites, but I have to be in the right frame of mind to re-read them. Sometimes it’s like I’m expecting too much — as if this book could redeem the situation I’m in, comfort me like Jesus. Same with even favorite hymns or other activities. I can’t count on anything to be steady comfort, except God, and he doesn’t behave the way I want him too sometimes.

    Tolkien, for example — sometimes I read LOTR and it’s breathtakingly epic, and other times it’s annoying. Some of my favorites for re-reading include LOTR, Narnia, L’Engle (need to buy some of her others besides The Wrinkle In Time series), Till We Have Faces, Howards End, Watership Down…

    Reply

  6. I hadn’t reread any of the classics in years, but decided to tackle “The Scarlet Letter” again before reading the new release, “Hester”, by Paula Reed. Once I got into the rhythm of Hawthorne’s language, I really enjoyed it. So many wonderful books, so little time…

    Reply

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