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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wednesday Writer Club: What makes you re-read?

My husband, the Bear, thinks I'm crazy.

For lots of reasons, but today we're just going to talk about one.

You see, I re-read books.

Not a lot of them, but there are a few that I'm pretty religious about reading every so often.  I think it's my own personal version of a pilgrimage.

I've had more than one person ask me why I bother reading a book when I already know the plot. (Especially when I was still teaching).  Here are some of the answers that I've given through the years:

(Note: I'm not counting if you re-read books in a series before the new one comes out, that's just for a completely different reason).

  1. I'm a different person than I was back then--I firmly believe that books like The Scarlet Letter (for example) should not be read in high school.  I know that when I read it, I wrote it off completely as old-fashioned and dull.  But when I re-read it as an adult, I could see it for what it was.  A truly tragic story of redemption.  Without my life experiences, I never really saw the big deal about Hester.
  2. I'm sentimental--There are a few books (Anne of Green Gables, The Secret Garden, and The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe) that will always have a soft spot in my heart because they meant so much to me as a child.  I find myself turning back to these books in times of stress when I need to unwind from more adult issues.
  3. I discover something new every time--I try to read Catcher in the Rye and Jane Eyre every few years (odd combination, I know).  Every time I read these two works, I find some small detail or character that brings the whole book to life again. 
I want to write books that people re-read time and again.  I'm not trying to kid myself and say that I'm as wonderful a writer as those I've mentioned above, but I believe even the less "heavy" of books can become a perennial favorite.  

 Are there books that you re-read on a regular basis?  Are there any reasons that I missed?


Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

I try not to re-read books. There are just too many I want to get through before my life is over that I want to have read them all by the time that I must check out of this life and ready myself for the next.

Lola X said...

Such a great post! Love visiting your blog!

Lola x

Lola X said...

Such a great post! Love visiting your blog!

Lola x

Witless Exposition said...

@Lola X--Thanks so much! Glad you enjoyed it.

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