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Author Topic: What do you re-read?  (Read 13138 times)
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« Topic Start: September 16, 2009, 01:49:55 pm »

Do you ever re-read any books? If there're some in particular you keep returning to, what is it about them that keeps drawing you back?
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« Reply #1: September 16, 2009, 02:00:38 pm »

Do you ever re-read any books? If there're some in particular you keep returning to, what is it about them that keeps drawing you back?

I tend to think that life's too short to read the same book twice.  However, I tend to re-read the Harry Potter books but that may stop since it's a completed series now.  And if a book is very good I may read it again (such as the books I read by Poppy Z. Brite).
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« Reply #2: September 16, 2009, 02:42:25 pm »

Do you ever re-read any books? If there're some in particular you keep returning to, what is it about them that keeps drawing you back?

I don't do it as often as I used to, but I do reread some things sometimes.  Usually they fall into one of a few categories:
1.  Stuff I haven't read in ages and don't remember very well
2.  Books in an ongoing series that I'm rereading to refresh my memory so I can read the new one
3.  Books that are really complex and take multiple readings to really get
4.  Stuff I just enjoyed and want to revisit, in much the same way I'd go back to the same vacation spot or listen to the same music multiple times
5.  Nonfiction that I'm using to refresh my memory on facts or to support points in some discussion I'm involved in
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« Reply #3: September 16, 2009, 02:44:22 pm »

Do you ever re-read any books? If there're some in particular you keep returning to, what is it about them that keeps drawing you back?

I'm not reading as much as I used to, but I have some all time favs that I'm re-reading once in a while.
Good books are like friends you visit again and again Wink
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« Reply #4: September 16, 2009, 03:33:51 pm »

Do you ever re-read any books? If there're some in particular you keep returning to, what is it about them that keeps drawing you back?

Several. First of, I have a book shelf full of Dick Francis-novels (thriller/detective) that I reread any time I just want to do some easy reading on spare sundays or during longer journeys. Exciting, uncomplicated, and easy to want to read all the way through.

Then some young adult literature, Harry Potter amongst them, that need rereading because there's so much in there. When you read it again, you see all sorts of details that you hadn't (couldn't have) noticed the first time. There has unfortunately not been adult literature that to me has the same power.
Terry Pratchett comes close though. There are so many layers and backreferences that you could never take it in at once. And I enjoy the sense of humour (for a while - it's great but in limited dosage only Smiley )

Then there are some philosophical and psychological books, also some spiritual. I notice that, as I get older and learn new things, there's new layers in the books as well. I will reread them every so often until I feel they do not contain new things for me. (One of those is 'The social animal' by Elliot Aaronson.)

Also I'll reread things if I have fragments in my minds (quotes or parts of the story). If I have a melody in my mind, I'll relisten the music, if it's part of a story, I'll try to find the story.

And then eventually I'll read or reread anything available if I want to read.
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« Reply #5: September 16, 2009, 03:44:54 pm »

Do you ever re-read any books? If there're some in particular you keep returning to, what is it about them that keeps drawing you back?

I read fast, so I have always re-read books I really like. For example, I usually re-read the LOTR every two or three years.
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« Reply #6: September 16, 2009, 03:49:25 pm »

Do you ever re-read any books? If there're some in particular you keep returning to, what is it about them that keeps drawing you back?

I re-read a lot: it's been the only way for me to manage at some points in my life. (Like in college, where I brought a bunch of books with me, but didn't have easy access to a public library for supplemental pleasure reading.) I average about a book every 2-3 days these days (and at least a book a day when I'm on break) and for most of my pre-working life, it was closer to a book a day, so that's a lot of books.

Generally, I re-read when:
- a new book comes out in a series I'm particularly fond of. (Usually I read the new book, then re-read the series, then re-read the new book again.) I've probably got 10 - 15 series I'm like this with (or will have, when I finish acquiring a couple.)

- I want a particular type of book, and I don't have one handy in my current library pile. (For example, I'm sometimes in the mood for a mystery, sometimes for urban fantasy, sometimes for space opera, sometimes for deep character development, sometimes for something with a very strong setting.)

- Comfort reading, or predictable reading, especially if I've been low on sleep, am sick, am feeling overwhelmed in some other way - I want something I can put down without feeling like I'm going to want to keep finding out what happens.

- There are some books I re-read every year or so, because I reliably see new things in them. Pamela Dean's _Tam Lin_. Emma Bull's _War for the Oaks_. Rosemary Edghill's _Bell, Book and Murder_ omnibus of Bast novels. Most of Lois McMaster Bujold. Most of Dorothy L. Sayers. Diane Duane's _So you want to be a wizard_ first trilogy.

- I rarely re-read non-fiction, with the exception of Pagan-related books (and then it's usually to refresh myself on the approach, details, etc. rather than to get the information again.) There are a few exceptions, but they're mostly very narrative in approach, and usually fall into the comfort re-read category.

Rough guess, I'd say that about one in 5 books I read is a re-read in some form, but I can go weeks without a re-read, and then do a whole stint of it until I get through a particular series again.
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« Reply #7: September 16, 2009, 04:07:02 pm »

Do you ever re-read any books? If there're some in particular you keep returning to, what is it about them that keeps drawing you back?

1. Brave new World

2. Alas Babylon

3. Larry Niven's short stories, All the Myriad  Ways, Long Arm of Gil Hamilton, Flight of the Horse, A Hole in Space  and then FOotfall although I would love to see a movie version of Lucifer's Hammer.  These are also the only Niven books I've read

4. The harry Potter series

5. Hobbit and LOTR

6. the little House Series.

7. Narnia

Actually, I reread a lot of books, If I liked them, these are the ones that I have an inordinate attachment to.

Books I will NEVER reread: Clockwork ORange, Animal Farm, 1984, The Jungle, Lord of the Flies, the left behind series, and On the Beach

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« Reply #8: September 16, 2009, 04:28:42 pm »

Do you ever re-read any books? If there're some in particular you keep returning to, what is it about them that keeps drawing you back?

If I enjoy the book the first time, I'm likely to read it again.  I REALLY fall into the comfort reading pile - I like to read, and I like *easy reading* for when I feel run down.  It's something I don't care if I put down, but I enjoy while I'm there.  it's like visiting with a friend.

I also like to re-read books to try and figure out what makes them work - I will sometimes do this with *popular* works that don't do as much for me, but I want to figure out the attraction.  Then I go over them slowly to think about the pieces.  But not as often.

But really, if it's a book and it's near where I'm sitting, I'll re-read it a number of times until I get sick of it.  Then I'll move it and get something else to sit by that chair. Cheesy
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« Reply #9: September 16, 2009, 05:05:50 pm »

I don't do it as often as I used to, but I do reread some things sometimes.  Usually they fall into one of a few categories:
1.  Stuff I haven't read in ages and don't remember very well
2.  Books in an ongoing series that I'm rereading to refresh my memory so I can read the new one
3.  Books that are really complex and take multiple readings to really get
4.  Stuff I just enjoyed and want to revisit, in much the same way I'd go back to the same vacation spot or listen to the same music multiple times
5.  Nonfiction that I'm using to refresh my memory on facts or to support points in some discussion I'm involved in

Same here on all points. I also reread LotR in kind of a ritualistic manner, because it is such a powerful touchstone for me--it not reaffirms a lot of what I would like to accomplish in my writing, but in my reading and analyzation of books, and even in my spiritual work. I look forward to these rereads because it the associations I make with the actual reading of it.

For the curious, I reread LotR once every year at the end of the year.


Some of my favourite rereads:

1. Harry Potter: when the books/movies come out, I tend to return to them again and find more strengths/weaknesses and deepen my view of JKR's writing. Not sure if I'll be rereading the entire series before movie(s) 7, but we'll see.

2. Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell: This book is just so huge, I have to reread it again. I've read it twice so far, and my enjoyment only increases every time.

3. Terry Pratchett: These are wonderful rereads. Pratchett remains my favourite "contemporary" author for his humor, humanism and movie-esque writing style. In fact, I may start my reread of the entire Discworld corpus for funsies soon.

4. Sherlock Holmes: I listened to the BBC radio production of the entire canon, and then read the entire canon of these last year. Always entertaining.
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« Reply #10: September 16, 2009, 05:45:10 pm »

Same here on all points. I also reread LotR in kind of a ritualistic manner, because it is such a powerful touchstone for me--it not reaffirms a lot of what I would like to accomplish in my writing,

You mean you want to write a door stopper that spends too much time describing tiny, unimportant details and has subplots that that take away from the main story?

*ducks and runs*

<j/k>
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« Reply #11: September 16, 2009, 05:55:59 pm »

You mean you want to write a door stopper that spends too much time describing tiny, unimportant details and has subplots that that take away from the main story?

*ducks and runs*


*throws that doorstopper at Mel*

Grin

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« Reply #12: September 17, 2009, 01:06:27 am »

Do you ever re-read any books? If there're some in particular you keep returning to, what is it about them that keeps drawing you back?

I read and re-read Watership Down (Richard Adams) over and over again. I've been reading that book since I was 7. I read it about once or twice a year, and I've literally worn out copies of it - the pages come loose from the spine, or I drop it in the tub or over the side of a boat... For me, it is such a heroic story.

Imajica (Clive Barker) is another one of those that I wear out copies of. The first couple of times I picked it up I couldn't get into it - it was very different from his horror fiction, and I think I was too young. I tried again when I was 14 or so, and a budding ceremonial magic(k)ian... and the book just sucked me in. Every time I read it, I get something completely new and different from it.

Whenever I need to be reminded of truth and beauty, I pick up Jonathon Livingston Seagull or Illusions by Richard Bach. And whenever I need to just take a load off, it's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy or The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul by Douglas Adams. I can also re-read just about any Stephen King book over and over again, simply because I love junk food.
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« Reply #13: September 17, 2009, 04:59:39 am »

I don't do it as often as I used to, but I do reread some things sometimes.  Usually they fall into one of a few categories:
1.  Stuff I haven't read in ages and don't remember very well
2.  Books in an ongoing series that I'm rereading to refresh my memory so I can read the new one
3.  Books that are really complex and take multiple readings to really get
4.  Stuff I just enjoyed and want to revisit, in much the same way I'd go back to the same vacation spot or listen to the same music multiple times
5.  Nonfiction that I'm using to refresh my memory on facts or to support points in some discussion I'm involved in

I couldn't fault that list Smiley

I would add books that explored particular ideas that I want to re-explore (I reread Frank Herbert's Dune for this reason every few years). It's also fairly common for me to re-experience any media that I have enjoyed (and some that I initially didn't), whether that be book, music, film, or whatever. I find that I see different things and appreciate different aspects on subsequent runs through.

Oh, and LOTR+Silmarillion used to get a ritual run through about 3 times every two years from 8-30yrs of age. It was quite a bit more often than that in my early teen years thanks to a TV show, called Mastermind. Just after my second run through they made a big fuss of a man whose claim to fame was that he was a 'Tolkien Expert' and had read it 31 times - I had to beat that for some reason). I stopped counting, but not reading quite a while after passing his count Smiley
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« Reply #14: September 17, 2009, 05:00:30 am »

You mean you want to write a door stopper that spends too much time describing tiny, unimportant details and has subplots that that take away from the main story?

*ducks and runs*
<j/k>

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