On ReReading

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I’ve been doing some rereading this summer, something I haven’t done much of since I was a teen and read The Outsiders a countless number of times. I’ve seen the subject discussed on goodreads, and recently read another blog on the subject, so I thought I would share my own recent experiences in rereading, including the rereading I have been doing this summer. I would love to hear from others on what they reread and why. I know most of you readers are like me and feel that with “so many books to read, so little time”, how can anyone possibly justify rereading? Well, there are several reasons, but read on for mine.

First, let me mention a legitimate fear in rereading and that is the possibility of returning to a book you enjoyed at an earlier time, but when you reread it, you’re disappointed and wonder ‘what in the world did I see in that book?’ Obviously, we are different people at different times and usually a book will mean different things to us at different times. However,the well-written book will stand the test of time, even if it means something different to us upon rereading.

A series of books I recently reread was the Harry Potter books. I know; almost a cliche. I don’t know how many times my five kids have reread those books. I read them the first time as they came out; before they were a cult, a fad, a part of our culture. I bought the first one for my oldest son (now 23) and began reading it to him; though a few chapters in, he took it upon himself to read it alone. A couple of years ago, I decided I wanted to see the movies because I had only seen a couple of them, (having stayed home with “the babies” when the first ones came out, and my husband took the oldest ones to see them). Now, with the “baby” being 13, I told him I wanted to watch the movies with him, but only after I read the books. So, we would reread a book, then watch the movie together. So, I reread this series for two reasons. One: I wanted to see the movies, but not without returning to the books first (and in most cases, I don’t know how you know what’s going on without reading the book first). Two: to spend time with my son doing something we both enjoyed.

This summer I find myself rereading several books in different genres for different reasons, though they all boil down to the simple reason of: I want to. I am currently rereading Lord of the Rings. I have read this several times, but probably not all three in over 20 years. It was just time. I’m rereading Gap Creek by Robert Morgan. I read this several years ago and enjoyed it for his beautiful writing and because I know the characters lived a lifestyle shared by my own grandparents and great-grandparents, and I find this fascinating. I have wanted to reread it for awhile, but having bought Morgan’s sequel The Road fro Gap Creek, I decided this was the time.

Two other books I am rereading this summer are about as different from each other as possible. The first is Bill Bryson’s A Walk Through the Woods. One of the few books that my husband and I have both read. We agreed it would be good to reread this before the movie comes out. Two chapters in, I am already laughing and glad I found a used copy on AbeBooks.

The other book is Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. I first read this in college and have probably read it a couple of times since. My apologetic skills are weak, so I knew this deserved a reread before I tackled some new books in that area.

For another view on rereading, check out Kelly Jensen’s blog: http://www.stackedbooks.org/2015/07/on-becoming-re-reader.html

What about you? Are you doing any rereading this summer?

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6 thoughts on “On ReReading

  1. Currently rereading the Bartimeus Sequence, which I remember reading when I was a lot younger. I actually remember a few of my younger self’s thoughts when I reach certain phrases, which is always a nice surprise. I’ve followed, I’m a writer myself, and if you have the time I’d love for you to check out my small blog. Atm its mainly short stories and a bit of poetry, but I’m working on a novel (Prologue is on my blog). Feel free to check it out on http://www.kasimskorner.com , keep blogging and have a good day 🙂

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  2. I wonder what your opinion is of the Harry Potter movies in comparison to the books as I have never read the books. A couple of summers ago I read Sarah’s Key and then watched the movie with my mother. As we were watching, I wondered how she could know what was happening when so much of the story was left out of the movie. In the end, I don’t think she enjoyed the movie nearly as much as I enjoyed reading that book. I look forward to your response! Thank you for the blog!

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    • I think the books add so much more depth to both the characters and the plot. When I reread the books, then watched the movies with Garrett, we both agreed that the last four or five movies would be hard to understand without the books. The first time I read the books, the fourth was my favorite, but when I reread them, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the seventh. (Though I still really liked the fourth). I would not watch the seventh movie when it came out in the theater, however, since it was only the first part of the book. I was glad I waited so I could watch them close together.
      I read Sarah’s Key, but never watched the movie. The book was so sad, I wasn’t sure I wanted to. Do you recommend the movie?

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      • I think I will now have to read the Harry Potter books for the first time. 🙂
        As for Sarah’s Key, I enjoyed the depth of feeling I had when reading the book. I felt connected to the time and the experiences. It opened my eyes to another side of the victims of WWII. I appreciated the reality that the book gave me. The movie skimmed over the darker realities explored in the book. It was pieced together to cover the book but the background and details that gave the story life were left out. If I had not read the book, I would have found the movie very unsatisfying.

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