This week's topic: Re-reading books: why or why not?
I don't re-read books as often as I would like. I mean, really, there are thousands of books to-be-read on my bookshelves that I still want to get to before I'm no longer on this Earth (I sincerely hope there is a vast library waiting for me in Heaven!). But, I do have some special favorites that I will go back and read from time to time.
I'm currently re-reading all of the Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I had started reading this series years and years ago before I had children. I found myself addicted to the stories. I read about half of them before I set them down, worried that I would finish them all too quickly. Then I moved into a new house and the book got shuffled around. I finally pulled it back out and started it over again. I really love these stories and exploring the mysteries of Victorian London with Sherlock and Watson as my guides.
Another book I've re-read was This Is All I Ask by Lynn Kurland. She's another of my favorite authors. Her books are truly amazing! The first time I read This Is All I Ask, I was sitting in a doctor's office waiting for my boyfriend. He was getting an MRI and I was content to read while I waited for him. This book is brimming with emotion. I couldn't help but cry while I read it. I remember the other patients in the waiting room casting surreptitious glances my way. It didn't occur to me until later that they must have thought I was upset because of my boyfriend's condition. Which turned out to be nothing. But I had been so consumed with the book, that I didn't think about my tears drawing anyone's attention.
Years later, I still remembered the emotional impact of this book. I wanted to read it again, this time as a writer, to see how the author pulled those emotional responses from me with her well-crafted words. Yes, even the second time reading and already knowing what was going to happen, I cried. Again. This time, in the privacy of my own home. This book really touched my heart and placed Lynn Kurland on my auto-buy list.
There are also some books that I re-read just because the first time I read them so quickly, so eagerly that I really wanted to go through them again at a slower pace, to really absorb the writer's words and to pick apart how the author was able to grab my imagination and attention so completely. Basically, I read these books for enjoyment the first time, and the second time I read them as a writer, analyzing all the elements it took to make that book enjoyable. Dialogue, plot, pacing, etc.
These are a few books I've picked apart:
I have plans to re-read whole series someday. Among those I'd like to re-read are The Bridgertons by Julia Quinn; The Women of the Otherworld by Kelley Armstrong; The Demon Whisperer by Ash Krafton; and The Chronicles of the Warlands by Elizabeth Vaughan.
I've re-read the first three Harry Potter books. The first go-around was for me. The second time, I read aloud to my children at bedtime. It took us a year to get through the entire series. After we finished each book, we'd watch the movie again.The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings, too. I read these books years before I became a mother, but after Harry Potter, my children were eager for more. I pulled this series out and read to them each night. It didn't take a year to get through them, but after finishing each one, we watched the movie again.
And I might as well add that I re-read children's stories, too. With four kids, I've re-read countless Dr. Seuss and Berenstein Bears books over and over. And Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown. I read this book every night for a year to my youngest son. It was the only way I could get him settled in bed. It's memorized now. I can recite it like people recite Shakespeare!
I guess I re-read books more often than I realized! :)