This is a post that I shared several years ago. I'm still a re-reader and I'm curious about your habits in this regard, especially during this most unusual year. Thanks for indulging me and commenting - ha!
As I begin this little discussion about my habit of re-reading books, I'm going to first share three quotes:
"Tell me what you read and I'll tell you who you are" is true enough, but I'd know you better if you told me what you reread. ~~Francois Mauriac~~
When you reread a classic, you do not see more in the book than you did before; you see more in you than was there before. ~~Clifton Fadiman~~
To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life. ~~W. Somerset Maugham~~
I want to talk a little bit about re-reading books. Do you have this practice? Do you go back to the books you read when you were younger and see if they hold up well? Or do you finish a great book and turn back to the first page and begin again? Or maybe you've enjoyed a book in print form and then later, you try it in audio format.
I will confess that I am a re-reader from way back. I think I've shared that my parents did not indulge my wish to physically own books when I was growing up. I had a few, a very few. However, money was tight and they felt that the library could provide any books I might need or want. Which was fine until we'd go and spend 2 weeks at my grandmother's house. I'd take armloads of books that were checked out from the library, but I'd finish them - so, I'd start over and read them again.
In my teens, I'd read sweet love stories and scary ghost stories and pretty much anything that wasn't "assigned" by my English teacher - well, I did read my assignments but never twice. In my 20's, I discovered that I loved going back to well-loved books from my teens and taking another look. And I've continued that practice off and on up until now.
Why, you might ask? Well, I know that I'll never get to read all the books that I want to read in my lifetime. I know this. However, sometimes I just need a story that I'm familiar with for the comfort value. It's like a warm blanket or a cup of hot chocolate or a hug from my mother. At tough times in my life, I find myself picking up books that I remember so well and also remembering how they made me feel. Safe, secure, a refuge as Mr. Maugham states in the quote above.
I also use re-reading as a technique to bump myself out of a reading slump and have done this for years. My favorite go-to books are varied. Authors might include: Agatha Christie, J.K. Rowling, Phyllis A. Whitney, Mary Stewart, Louise Penny, Debbie Macomber, Elizabeth Peters, Barbara Michaels, Nora Roberts or so many that I've talked about as favorites.
OK, now I want to hear your thoughts. Do you read books for a second or third or endless amount of times? Or are you a 'been there, done that' kind of reader? I'd love to know and I'd also love to know a few of the books that you consider your favorites to visit again. Who knows? I might have forgotten one that I'd like to go back to for the second time. And thanks for sharing!