Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Books you read again and again

I don’t tend to read a book more than once. Mostly because I have so many books that I want to read that I don’t feel I have time to go back and read one again (even if I adored it the first time). But rereading books often gives a whole new impression of them and it’s something that I lament that I don’t do.

Two books that I have reread in recent times (when I was a kid I reread books repeatedly. Anyone need an off the cuff synopsis of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or A Dog Called Kitty? I’m your gal)  are The Great Gatsby and Anna Karenina and in both cases I really valued the experience. 

It was interesting to approach the book already knowing the outcome and the characters and I discovered different things in the action and plot development. A member of my book club once
 commented that she tries to read the Great Gatsby every year, and I’d like to try that.

With my interest in this topic, I polled a few friends and co-workers to see if they have books they read again and again. I got some interesting responses.

More than one person commented that they like to reread a title because it’s comfortable, familiar and is an easy way to relax. Different books surfaced in this category but one that came 
up twice is Outlander by Diana Gabaldon: a compelling, historical romance that I’m sure they aren’t the only ones to have read more than once. A co-worker mentioned Trinity by Leon Uris (another compelling historical novel) as one that she has read repeatedly on summer beach trips.

Other people commented that they reread books that strongly resonated with them at the first time they read them and that as time passes they find it interesting to see the changes in their attitudes toward the characters and plot. Two of my co-workers mentioned The Diviners by Margaret Laurence and Quinn by Sally Mandel for these reasons.

Is there a book that you revisit again and again? Tell us about it and why you keep coming back...

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