Do You Re-read Books?
This past weekend, I curled up in my comfy red-and-gold chair (after removing the gold cat, who makes the chair more gold than red), and I re-read THE HOBBIT. I haven’t read THE HOBBIT since … maybe college? High school? Maybe even junior high?
(I know that I first read the book as required reading in fifth grade, and I re-read it numerous times in middle school. The copy I read this past weekend was highly annotated — I planned on turning the novel into a play, and I struck through vast quantities of narration so that all of the dialog was ripe for the plucking. The strike-throughs didn’t keep me from reading this time around, but I can’t *imagine* what I was thinking about my future as an adaptor. Although, I did adapt THE LITTLE PRINCE and ILLUSIONS for successful school plays in ninth grade, so maybe I *was* onto something!)
In any case, it was a fun book to re-read. I remembered huge swaths of the story (although, oddly, I’d almost completely forgotten about Beorn.) I justified my wrath with the bloated movie version. I laughed at some of the quaint language.
I actually intend to re-read LotR in the near future. But generally, I don’t re-read books very often. I don’t have a lot of time to read, because I work from home, so I no longer have a subway commute to fill with great books. I’m a slow reader, so any book I choose to read represents a fairly substantial investment of my time. A lot of my reading choices are occupied by books that I *must* read — either for editing clients, or for the Book View Cafe co-op, or to stay abreast of developments in the genres where I write. All of those factors combine to make re-reads “cost” a lot.
But there are long lists of books I want to re-read — Patricia McKillip’s THE FORGOTTEN BEASTS OF ELD. R.A. MacAvoy’s TEA WITH THE BLACK DRAGON. The early Pern books. Etc., etc., etc. Obviously, I need to manage my time a lot better than I’m currently doing.
So. How about you? Do you re-read books? If you do, how do you choose which ones to re-read? How often do you set aside books, realizing that they aren’t as good as you remember them to be? How often do you discover greater depths that you missed on earlier rounds?