June 16, 2012

Pajama Musings - Tales of a Re-Reader

With TBR piles towering, this might seem crazy to some, but I know a lot of folks who love to re-read perennial favorites despite having hundreds of unread books just waiting to be picked up. Me? Guilty as charged. Though admittedly I am not all that often re-reading books for the very reason that I own so many unread ones, but occasionally I feel in the mood for a re-read too.

Personally, I read books again simply because I love them so much. You probably know the feeling of dread when you turn the last page of an amazing book. You don't want it to be over. If it's not a series where you can wait and hope for the sequel, all that's left to do is start all over again. A bookish Groundhog Day, but in a good way.

This year I'm also re-reading several Dean Koontz novels in my respective reading challenge for a whole different reason. I read those books ages ago when I was still a teenager, and I finally wanted to read them in their original English version and not the German translation I read back in the days. This is kinda like meeting an old friend, with bits and pieces that I remembered, but at the same time so many new things to discover between the pages as well. Funny how you can always find little details you didn't quite notice the first time around and which lend a book even more depth. I guess that's the beauty of re-reading.

Another reason that comes to mind is re-reading a novel before getting started on more books of a series, especially when it's been a while since you read the first book. Admittedly I've never done this myself, but it does make sense to me. More often than not, if I really like a book in a series, I'll get my hands on the other books as fast as I can, so I'm unlikely to forget the gist.

Want to know my favorite re-read? The Complete Ivory by Doris Egan. It's a nice heavy tome with the whole trilogy. I'll typically read the book every other year, so technically speaking I'm going to do so again this year. Though to be honest, since I took up book blogging my TBR piles have grown into a rather daunting mountain range, so I'm a wee bit hesitant right now. Then again ... I love Theodora's adventures too much to wait another year.

Do you ever re-read books? If so, what are your reasons for doing it? And which books have you re-read in the past, or plan to read again in the future? Or maybe you don't read books a second (or third) time? If so, what's the reason youre a one-time-only reader? Please share.

8 comments:

  1. I love to reread my favorite books, because every time I do so, I discover new things or I am enchanted by new layers of the story. I have read The Alchemist 4 times and I still want to reread it, I also reread J Winterson's novels and I am planning on rereading Henry Miller's Tropics soon... When I first read them I was 19, so I am eager to check if I will still be impressed :)

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    1. It's true, it's like getting know a good friend even better, the more you read a book again. If my TBR piles were smaller I'd also love to re-read some of the books I read when I was still a teenager - I'm pretty sure that I'd appreciate many of them a whole lot more today.

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  2. I don't re-read often these days due to the size of the TBR but I have done in the past. I think once a long term series has come to an end, it would be good to read them all again. I will probably do this with Kelley Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld series as the final book is out this year. There are a few favourites I would love to re-read and maybe a few from school that I wonder if I'll like more now. But it is tough, with all those distracting unread books!

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    1. Oh those TBR piles, tell me about it! This is definitely a reason why I am not re-reading as much as I'd actually like to. In the end "new" books almost always win when it comes to picking my next read. Distracting indeed!

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  3. Some books I re-read. I read 'Gone With The Wind' at least once a year. I read 'Little Women' every couple of years. When I need a spiritual lift, I re-read Mitch Albom's books.

    I have many books that I read once and enjoyed, and kept them. I wondered the other day why I'm keeping them (Because they are taking up room on the shelves) so there may be a lot of re-reading coming.

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    1. That's exactly why I keep so many of my books too, because I think I will read them again one day. Delusional? I guess. Especially seeing how many books I haven't even read once *sigh*.

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  4. I re-read certain books, but not too many. Like Amy I have wondered about why I keep books, because I know I will never read them again, but then I am living in hope that my kids will read them one day.
    Yes, when reading a new book in a series often it is good to re-read the previous ones, otherwise you are completely in the dark as to what happened before. Especially if the last book was years ago.

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    1. I have trouble parting with lots of my books as well. These days I at least get rid of those which I am pretty certain I won't feel the need to read again. Just not enough space to store them all and (so far) no kids around to maybe share them with one day.

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