Thursday, July 8, 2010

Do you reread books?

I do. I find it a comforting thing. See, I count my books as my friends, and so picking one up and reading familiar dialog is like driving over and visiting a friend I haven't seen for awhile, but love dearly. No book, if it's really good, is going to satisfy me if I only read it once. Someday, perhaps in a year, perhaps five, I'll be reading it again.

And guess what? C.S. Lewis agrees! Take a look at this quote from his work "An Experiment in Criticism" -

In the first place, the majority never read anything twice. The sure mark of an unliterary man is that he considers 'I've read it already' to be a conclusive argument against reading a work. We have all known women who remembered a novel so dimly that they had to stand for half an hour in the library skimming through it before they were certain they had once read it. But the moment they became certain, they rejected it immediately. It was for them dead, like a burnt-out match, an old railway ticket, or yesterday's paper; they had already used it. Those who read great works, on the other hand, will read the same work ten, twenty or thirty times during the course of their lives.

4 comments:

Liz B said...

I do re-read books! Well...only the really good ones. For example, I've re-read the Harry Potter series (in its entirety) about once, and various books multiple times. I'm starting a re-read of the entire series this summer again...to last me the year (since I normally read 2 books at once) to prepare for the movie finale next July. Its been about a year since I did a re-read. However, I absolutely adore the Harry Potter books, so it seems like a lot longer!
My mom criticizes me for re-reading...she never does. But if I like a book the first time, chances are I'll come to love it even more once I read it again. :)

Kinsey said...

Yes. I usually reread my favorite ones...ones that really interest me to no end, ones whose characters are so vivid and tangible, or ones that I am sentimentally attached to. Generally I wait a few years between rereadings, however, simply because the Kinsey of 5 years ago is different than the Kinsey of today.

Hydra said...

I have a list of books that I reread over and over again. The top of the list is occupied by The Fairy Tale Novels, with Bess Streeter Aldrich second and classics like Jane Austen and the Little Women series after that. I've gotten to the point where I practically know the characters personally - which is a great deal of fun! Who wouldn't want Rose Brier, Suzanne Martin, Elizabeth Bennet, and Jo March to be included in their circle of friends?

Katherine Sophia said...

Oh, yeah. Most of my favorite books I've probably read... 3-7 times? If I like it, I'm pretty sure to read it at least twice. :)