"Wherever men have lived there is a story to be told." Henry David Thoreau

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Would You Read it Again?

In a discussion recently among some friends, it was asked which of our favorite books had we read the most times. I racked my brain and had to admit that I couldn’t remember ever reading a book twice. There are certain books I’ve loved so much that I’ve kept them on my bookshelves for decades, thinking some day I would read them again. But I never have.

As a matter of fact, I had a shelf with books “to read” and I finally admitted that I had had those books for years ... and years ... maybe as high as twenty years. And I still had not read them. Every time I would go in search of something new to read, those particular books kept getting put back on the shelf. So, I recently did a drastic thing. I gathered them up and donated them to the library. That was Liberating! Now I don’t even have to consider them anymore.

I’ve even wondered how liberating it would be to gather up all the books I have read and do the same thing, because I know I won’t read them again. But that’s probably a bridge too far. I think I keep them because I want to occasionally look through them and say, “Oh, I remember that book. I loved it.” And for a minute or two, I’ll fall back into the story. But read it again? Nah. I know I’ll always choose the new adventure, the road I haven’t traveled, the ending I don’t yet know. For me, that’s the fun in reading.

17 comments:

B.J. Anderson said...

There are a few books I've read more than once. One was Dreadful Sorry, a book I read as a teenager. There was something about that book that I loved so much! It made an impression.

Will Edwinson said...

Actually, Linda, there are several books I have read more than once, but not until two, three, or four years have passed.

By that time I've forgotten enough about what happened in the stories that I enjoy the rereads just as much as I did the first read.

For me, I think it depends on the author as to whether I read a book more that once. I particularly like Robert B. Parker for his simplistic style of writing. I've read the first four books of his Virgil Cole Western series two and three times. The later books in that series were written by someone else after Parker's death, and they were a disaster.

I also like his Spenser series. I've read several of those more than once as well.

I like Sidney Sheldon, and have read several of his books more than once; the same holds true for Jack Higgins. I've also read a few of Rosemund Pilcher's books more than once, as well as a couple of Linda Sandifer's novels.:)

Another author I've given a second read to is Richard Paul Evans.

I'm on my fourth reading of the Harbinger at the present time. It's non-fiction, and I'm rereading it because I'm so intrigued by the subject matter.

And last but not necessarily least that I tend to stick with my favorite authors is I think I'm too lazy to venture out to other authors.

Anonymous said...

Oh, yes, I've reread books. It's like rewatching a favorite movie, I like to go through a great story and pick up little bits of info I might have missed the first time. One of my all time favs is, The Turquoise Sun. I love to see the villain get his!

Sherry Roseberry

Eunice Boeve said...

I've read To Kill a Mockingbird at least twice, also Grapes of Wrath, and the Mother by Pearl S. Buck. No need to name the authors of the other two. :-) Some favorites Heidi and Bambi to name a few I read as a kid and then reread as a grownup.
Several books I'd like to read again, and several books I know I won't read again, but simply can't part with them.
I know a few people who will watch a movie several times. I've watched Cross Creek, the story about Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings when she moved to Florida and later wrote The Yearling based on a neighbor girl and her fawn, a half dozen times and actually could watch it again today. But cannot name another movie I'd watch again. I didn't care much for the book though. Odd, huh?

Amanda Gaume said...

I probably keep too many books. Books that I will never read and books that I will never read again. But, there are those that I do go back to re-read passages (or the whole thing). My two favorites are Smilla's Sense of Snow and Les Miserables (I actually love this one so much I own three copies: one in English, one in French, and an antique 1911 version similar to the version I first checked out of the ISU library!). And then there is a slim book of short stories by Annie Dillard (Teaching a Stone to Talk) where the writing is so beautiful that I go back again just for her words and images.

Rereading the books that gave me inspiration as a writer can get me out of writer's block or over a writing depression hump. I love discovering new books and adventures, too, but I collect the "good" ones to turn to when I need a "friend"!

Linda Sandifer said...

I also read that book, Bonny, and it was very good.

Linda Sandifer said...

Will, thanks for reading those Linda Sandifer books more than once! It sounds as if you reread quite a bit.

Linda Sandifer said...

Sherry, glad you enjoyed that book. I guess, in all honesty, I've reread my books over and over too -- in the process of trying to write them. Ha!

Linda Sandifer said...

Eunice, I had forgotten all the children's books I've reread to my kids! But I can't tell you the names of any of them. :D

Linda Sandifer said...

Amanda, I loved your comment about rereading the books that have given you inspiration or gotten you over a writing hump, simply because they were so beautifully written.

Emily Sandifer said...

I agree with Bonny. Dreadful Sorry was one of my favorites growing up. I've also read your book Turquoise Sun a few times. It's one of my favorites because of the adventure and paranormal time travel aspect!!! And witty dialogue, too. :)

Emily Sandifer said...

I agree with Bonny. Dreadful Sorry was one of my favorites growing up. I've also read your book Turquoise Sun a few times. It's one of my favorites because of the adventure and paranormal time travel aspect!!! And witty dialogue, too. :)

Linda Sandifer said...

Thanks, Em, for the compliment!

Anonymous said...

I've read books that inspire me as a writer more than once. I agree with Bill, Robert B. Parker is the master in simplistic style with his Spenser series. I love how he injects humor, empathy, intrigue with just a few words. I love your books, Linda, and like Sherry have read the Turquoise Sun twice. I could go on about books the books I've cherished but let me end with the book I've read the most: Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day (one of my childrens and now grandchildrens favorite.)
Loved this blog,
Sue Anne Hodge

Anonymous said...

I've read books that inspire me as a writer more than once. I agree with Bill, Robert B. Parker is the master in simplistic style with his Spenser series. I love how he injects humor, empathy, intrigue with just a few words. I love your books, Linda, and like Sherry have read the Turquoise Sun twice. I could go on about books the books I've cherished but let me end with the book I've read the most: Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day (one of my childrens and now grandchildrens favorite.)
Loved this blog,
Sue Anne Hodge

Linda Sandifer said...

Thanks for commenting, Sue Anne. It's been fun getting everyone's input!

LadyMac said...

What a fun topic. I enjoyed your blog and the comments it generated.

I don't read books over again because I already know how they end. Like you, finding out the conclusion is part of the magic.

Poetry is a different story, however. I can, and do, go back and read the works of my favorite poets many, many times. TS Eliot, Lang Leav, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Alfred Lord Tennison, Robert Frost - I read them over and over again. They make me melancholy, happy, sad. They inspire me. They make me cry. They fill me with gratitude. My poetry books are lined up neatly on my desk so I can get to them quickly and easily (the novels are in the book case).