Re-read or not re-read…that is the question
I’ve mentioned in this blog several times that I’m not a big re-reader of books.
However, I do know that many other people are.
My Significant Other knew somebody who only ever read the same two books: Helter Skelter and Gone with the Wind. They would finish one of them, start the other one, finish that and go back to the first, and so on.
That doesn’t appeal to me personally. I want books to change me. I want to read lots of books…different kinds of books by different people with different viewpoints.
For me, that’s the magic of books.
I will say that I am re-reading a book currently…fourteen books, actually.
I have an omnibus of the original (Wizard of Oz) books, and I’ve taken to re-reading them before I go to sleep.
It takes me a long time to go to sleep at night…there’s a real process. Reading before I finally fall asleep is part of it.
I often don’t read much at that time…quite often, not even a whole chapter.
That doesn’t mean I don’t retain it, though.
I’m re-reading them partially because I am writing some things about Oz, and I want to get the details right.
I’m also getting new insights.
Until we had cellphones, I wouldn’t have realized that there was one in the Oz books!
Additionally, I’m at a different place in my life than the first time I read them…or had them read to me (I was a kid).
So, I’m now open to the idea of re-reading…even though I feel a bit guilty doing it, which I know is silly.
I can see how I’d be more likely to re-read things now, even if I didn’t have a specific purpose. It used to be that I would remember just about everything in a book I read, even years later.
That’s no longer true.
I’ll pretty much remember the general plot, but characters’ names, for example? That doesn’t happen automatically any more.
Thinking about it, it’s also interesting: I have no reluctance at all to re-watch a TV show or a movie. I’ve seen the same episodes of the original Star Trek series many times…even though I could just about write the script from memory.
I’m confident in saying that there are some movies I’ve seen more than a hundred times, and would happily watch again.
Why the difference?
I think part of it is the investment of time. Watching a movie is a couple of hours…reading a book can be much more than that.
I also don’t expect the visual media to change me the way a book does. The level of engagement is far different…most movies work on my surface emotions…books get deep inside my mind.
Let me ask you a couple of questions. Figure we are talking about novels or short story collection/anthologies…not non-fiction, which is a different kettle of words. 😉
This whole post was inspired by a comment one of my regular readers and commenters, jjhitt, made. jjhitt thought it would be interesting for me to ask you, my readers, which books you re-read…and I am interested in that. I’m also interested in why you re-read…or why you don’t. If the poll isn’t enough for you, feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.
Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!
When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. Shop ’til you help! By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.