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Thread: Serial Re-Reading

  1. #1
    Spring Goddess Easter's Avatar
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    Serial Re-Reading

    In general there are two schools of thought when it comes to re-reading a book: 1) People who will NEVER re-read a book as they think it's a waste of time and 2) People who love to re-read books... I typically come in contact with people who are EMPHATICALLY for one or the other, so I'm interested to see what people on here have to say!

    So which are you? Do you fall somewhere in the middle of the two extremes? Any particular reason(s) for NOT re-reading books? Would you re-read a book more than once? What would make you want to re-read a book?

    If you're a serial re-reader, what's your record for the most times you've re-read a book?

    My own answers will be forthcoming
    "But she expressed herself in many different ways, until she lost control again..."

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    Lately I think I do nothing but rereading. I remember some quotation of Pessoa talking about that he doesn't like the new books, and just read what he knows, I think I'm in the same situation.

  3. #3
    Registered User Calidore's Avatar
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    I'm willing to reread if I like a book enough, but it depends on the book itself, not any personal philosophy.
    You must be the change you wish to see in the world. -- Mahatma Gandhi

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    Watching You RicMisc's Avatar
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    I usually don't reread books because there's just so much still to read and to me it would be a waste to reread a book when I could be having an entirely new experience reading a new book. That said, there are some books I've reread; these are most Harry Potter books, I was young and so in love with the books I must have read some of them like 5 or 6 times.
    So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past - The Great Gatsby

    Give every man thine ear, but few thy voice - Polonius (Hamlet)

  5. #5
    I have nothing against rereading, but I usually favour reading new books because there is still so much out there that I haven't read yet. When I do reread books it is usually because they are required reading for a university course and I want to refresh my memory of them. Also, if my views have significantly changed since I last read a book it may be worth revisiting it to see if my my opinion of it has changed.
    “Yesterday's rose endures in its name, we hold empty names.”
    ― Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose

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    Skol'er of Thinkery The Comedian's Avatar
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    I re-read Walden every year, usually in the spring. Returning to its page is like a click on my personal spiritual and literary refresh button. I've read is so many times, I'd say I'm in the 20-25 range, but I've lost count over the years. I also re-read poems, a lot: the works of Whitman, Yeats, Wordsworth, Herrick. . .come to mind. I also hit up Plato's "Apology", Marcus Aurelius' Meditations, and some of the classical tragedies: Hecuba, Antigone, Oedipus, Medea. . . .for re-reads. But the only true serial re-read for me is Walden.
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    Card-carrying Medievalist Lokasenna's Avatar
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    I re-read books fairly often, certainly more so than I used to - perhaps this is a sad reflection on me, but I've read so much that the books all tend to blend together in my head these days, so I need to re-read stuff every now and then to straighten it all out!
    "I should only believe in a God that would know how to dance. And when I saw my devil, I found him serious, thorough, profound, solemn: he was the spirit of gravity- through him all things fall. Not by wrath, but by laughter, do we slay. Come, let us slay the spirit of gravity!" - Nietzsche

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    Inquisitive bloke ClaesGefvenberg's Avatar
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    I do a lot of rereading, for several reasons:
    • In many cases it is like getting reacquainted with a good friend.
    • Sometimes I pick up something new in a story despite having read it before.
    • What else is there to do if I happen to reach the bottom of my stash with new reading matter? I have to read something, right?


    My most reread book? I really don't know, But Lord of the Rings could not be far from the top of that list: At least 10 times, probably much more.

    /Claes
    Hanlon's Razor: "Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity."

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    Voice of Chaos & Anarchy
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    If it's worth reading, then it should be reread. Alas, most books are not worth that first reading.

    There are some book that I have read more than five times, and I intend to reread all of those.

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    The Poetic Warrior Dark Muse's Avatar
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    I myself fall in the middle, usually I just have too many books I haven't read yet to go back and re-reading things I have already read, but I am not completely against re-reading depending upon the circumstances and the book. If I do re-read something it is usually a book I haven't read in a long time and needless to say a book I really enjoyed, and I tend to be more inclined to re-reading the classics than other books. Though I do not re-read on a regular basis or very often, I have re-read some books more than once.

    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before. ~ Edgar Allan Poe

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    Although I personally do not have the discipline to reread books, I find it strange that people would be so opposed to it (as you say they are, OP). The purpose of rereading a book is not, in my opinion, to reacquaint yourself with it or to rekindle your love for it, but to better embed within you the written style and techniques that are in the book in the first place. What's the good of reading a classic if you're going to merely give it a once over and move onto the next book? It's always great to progress and to introduce yourself to new works, but if you don't revisit the old ones you might never actually take from them the value that they had in the first place.

    Sometimes with a fresh perspective we glean something deeper than we did the first time around. A book isn't a piece of food in a wrapper, to be eaten once, digested, and then defecated out [forgotten] when the system is "through" with it.

  12. #12
    Registered User Desolation's Avatar
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    I'm the kind of person who would rather be very familiar with the works of a few authors than loosely familiar with the works of many authors...So I'm a proponent of re-reading. Some books can't really be fully grasped on the first read anyway.

    That said, I haven't reread many books yet. There are still too many unread books physically sitting on my bookshelf, and not quite enough time passed since the first reading of many of the books I'd want to reread.

  13. #13
    somewhere else Helga's Avatar
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    I re-read a lot, some Shakespeare play about 10 times but when it comes to novels, well as a kid I read Black Beauty about 20 times but these days it's probably lord of the rings, and just some of the classics.

    I always find something different when I re-read probably has something to do with growing up and growing older. I read Macbeth for the first time when I was 12 and was amazed and have read every couple of years since last time was in November and I always find something I didn't think of (or just don't remember thinking of).
    I hope death is joyful, and I hope I'll never return -Frida Khalo

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    Personally, I think that the unique and supreme delight lies in the certainty of doing 'evil'–and men and women know from birth that all pleasure lies in evil. - Baudelaire

  14. #14
    Now that we are computerized, I can find quotes without rereading whole books. To me it is like watching a movie again. It had to be cool and have something I wanted to see again. I read LOTR many times, and thus saw the movie many times, long before the mass public ever saw it on film. I love Dune and Shogun. Those are a few times each. And MY GOD I have reread myself endlessly. It also depends how fast you can read. The wise man would say, keep reading. Most people don't read at all.

  15. #15
    Registered User Delta40's Avatar
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    I re-read books all the time. Mainly because I never get around to buying new books and the ones I have, I really love. It's not good for me because it keeps me in a bit of a vacuum and stops me from venturing outward. I have been given other books to read and sometimes they just sit there for months before I pick them up. I can't explain why this is so. I did break out of my mould and start reading Shakespeare though so that's something....
    Before sunlight can shine through a window, the blinds must be raised - American Proverb

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