I once came across a blog post about rereading books (I tried finding it again, but I couldn’t) and I was very surprised by how many people DON’T actually reread books. Even the books they really loved, they reread very rarely. This was news to me, since I’ve always believed that rereading is actually part of reading itself.
I love rereading. I almost always come across something new I haven’t noticed before, or a new point of view, or learn to appreciate an author’s way with words or have some other form of a discovery when I read a book for the second, third or ninth time. I guess it has to do with the fact that when I read something for the first time, I am so caught up in the story that I don’t notice the nuances, the little details as I am racing through the book to find out what happens next. When take up the book again, I already know what’s going to happen (I would hope so. Haha.) so I can pay more attention to the words, the writing, etc.
I also think that changes in your life can give you a new perspective on a book. The birth of a child or the death of a loved one could make you relate to a book more, make you understand characters more. Even things that may seem shallow to some and entirely unconnected to books could give you a fresh take on an old favorite. I found Nick Hornby’s Fever Pitch hilarious even before I developed my own tortuous love for a sports team. Now that I can relate to the gut-wrenching disappointment and the delirious happiness a football team can bestow on its fans, the book on Hornby’s relationship with Arsenal (yes, it is a relationship) strikes an even deeper chord with me.
Now that I’ve got my Kindle and a truckload of e-books (thanks, G!), I’ve got a full list of books I want to reread for various reasons:
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – because, duh.
- The Lord of The Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien- I can’t believe I’ve only read the trilogy just once. That’s just… wrong.
- The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton- I loved this book when I first read it in high school even if it was once of the saddest books I’ve ever come across. I borrowed it from a classmate, bought my own copy a few years down the line but I’ve never actually reread it. It was just so sad, and I’m a wuss. But it really is a beautiful book and I just need to deal with how depressing the ending is. I must keep telling myself: Lily Bart is not real. Lily Bart is not real.
- Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy – I read the Oxford World’s Classics version of this, a beautiful, small hardbound edition and I hated it. I really, really did. I don’t know if it was the translation, but the book felt so labored, heavy and dragging to me. Some sentences in the book took up TWO pages, I’m not kidding. I had to FORCE myself to finish the book, as I ALWAYS finish a book I start (there’s been only once exception to that rule of mine), even if I was so frustrated by it. I want to give it another chance, but I worry that I’ll go through all that again only to end up hating it even more.
- Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë – no, no, this has nothing to do with the fact that Michael Fassbender played Mr. Rochester in the movie version of this. Well, ok… that’s not exactly true. I’ve all but forgotten about Jane Eyre, until I found out that there was a movie on the book and that Fassbender was in it. That got my attention (wouldn’t it get yours?). When I read the book the first time, I wasn’t wowed by I think it’s high time I give the book a second chance… Maybe all movie adaptation of books should just star Michael Fassbender.
- Persuasion by Jane Austen – three words: Captain Wentworth’s letter
- Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire by Amanda Foreman – Politics, adultery, scandal, illegitimate children, exile, betrayal: the story of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire (yes, the one played be Keira Knightley) has it all and more. She lived a fascinating (if a little sad) life and I could barely keep up with everything and everyone while reading her biography the first time.
- Anything by Nick Hornby – I’ve read all his novels and I loved them all. Funny and ridiculously (and surprisingly) insightful about music, men, football, suicide, children, women and everything else in between, nothing by Hornby ever gets old.
So that’s my reread list so far, although I’m sure there are still more books I have forgotten or haven’t realized that I want to reread. And this list is on top of the list of books I want to read for the first time.
Sigh. So many books, so little time.
So how about you, do you reread?