Wednesday, July 08, 2009


My mom recently forwarded me a New York Times editorial titled "Some Thoughts on the Pleasures of Being a Re-Reader." It's a great article and describes exactly how I feel about re-reading. The author talks about how many people brag about never reading the same book twice, desiring to always discover new information. But she says, "At heart, I’m a re-reader. The point of reading outward, widely, has always been to find the books I want to re-read and then to re-read them." I always make fun of my mother because she reads the same books over and over and over again. Your chances are pretty good if you guess that Maurice Walsh's And No Quarter or Susan Howatch's The Wonder Worker are on her bedside table. She has read some new stuff on my suggestion and I'm always very proud of myself if one of those books becomes a re-reading favorite (Jennifer Crusie's books are an example).

But I looooove to re-read too. It's so comforting to settle into a book that you know you're going to love, because you've loved it before. I've spend the last couple weeks re-reading Harry Potter numbers 6 and 7. (Number 6 so that I'm ready for the movie to come out, and 7 because I couldn't stop myself.) Then none of my new books really called to me, so I've started re-reading Sara Donati's Into the Wilderness books.

Occasionally I think that I shouldn't be wasting my precious summer re-reading old books -- I should be discovering new great books. But then I realize that I only have a limited time available to read for fun, so I'll do whatever gives me the most pleasure. And right now that's re-reading favorites. :)


Marmee said...

Oh, I need to get that missing Sara Donati back to you. It surfaced, but then when we cleared out the dining room to paint it, it disappeared again. Not to worry. We'll get the stenciling done this weekend and put everything back in its place.

The concept I loved most in that NYTimes piece was this: "The characters remain the same, and the words never change, but the reader always does." Which may be why your inconsistent, up and down mama loves to reread books -- and your level-headed Dad wouldn't be caught dead re-reading a book or seeing a movie for the second time.

nath said...

I love re-reading as well, if not, what would be the point of keeping all these books! :) It's just that with all the new books, I don't have time to re-read... hence my re-reading challenge :)

Glad to hear from you, Jennie :)

C2 said...

Sometimes a good re-read is the only thing that satisfies a reading craving or breaks a slump. I love re-reading my faves (way too many keepers on my shelves). :o)

CindyS said...

I've been trying to find 'new' authors so re-reading hasn't been allowed. I re-read Garwood and Krentz, Quick and Lindsey so many times that some of the books I know by heart. Now, I want to re-read Singh and Ward's earlier books, Evanovich's 4 thru 8 (which I thought were her funniest).

But I still love finding a brand new keeper that I know will one day be picked up again.


Kate Diamond said...

I love re-reading books, and I always get so much out of it! I've been a big fan of L.M. Montgomery since I was 7. Obviously, my re-read of "Anne of the Island" at 27 gave me a different perspective on the story... (still loving Gilbert, though. Some things never change!)

Tirrill said...

I re-read murder mysteries, yes, even knowing whodunit. The best are worth rereading, often more than once, if only to figure out how the author dunit. I figure if it ain't worth reading twice, it ain't worth reading at all.
My fave at the moment is Jan Burke.

-Leslie Mehana