Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Re-reading

I just finished an amazing novel. I’ll be writing up a book review for a later posting, so stay tuned on that. The book mentions the novel Jane Eyre several times, so I decided to read that again – I’ve read it before, but not for years, so it’s almost like a new read. I’m enjoying it so much! There are certain books that you can read again and again throughout your lifetime and pick out different points of view to identify with. Jane Eyre is one; timeless where human nature is concerned and rich in character development. East of Eden, my very favorite novel of all time is like this too. In fact, I think it’s about time for me to re-read that one too. It’s been a couple of years.

I don’t tend to read new fiction more than once. I’m not sure why, though. It’s the older, more classic novels that have moved me enough to read them a second or third time; the ones that might have been a bit tough to get through initially, either because the setting was unfamiliar to me, or the language was more dense than I’m used to. The second readings have been more rewarding, less challenging because I'd already blazed the trail in the first reading.

Having said that, there are a few contemporary novels that I’ve read over the past few years that I’d like to read again someday. Life of Pi is one. I'm not easily fooled, but I didn't see that ending coming. I will have to read it again to see what clues might be there that I missed during my first read. The Red Tent and Water for Elephants are others. The book I referred to at the opening of this post is another that I will definitely read again, if only to experience the sensation of the elegant prose wrapping itself around me like a warm blanket and transporting me to another time and place. (It was that good!)

That brings me to this question: Do you enjoy reading books for a second or third time? If so, do they tend to be the classics or contemporary novels? What book could you read countless times and not tire of?

5 comments:

WebGal said...

That's interesting...I've only re-read books that were re-assigned in college. I've never opted to re-read a book (or really even considered it). Some English major I am, huh?

And thanks for not revealing the end of "Life of Pi". I still need to get back to reading that one.

Monnik said...

Giving away the ending to that book would be a criminal offense. Get back to reading it, missy!

WebGal said...

First I have to find it. :) Plus I have two other books to finish (and I bought the first book in the Twilight series to read). I think I have a lineup of like 10 books I've bought but haven't read yet!!

Prairie Chicken said...

There are so many wonderful books to read that I always struggle with rereading. Still, I could reread Huckleberry Finn or Grapes ofWrath, or A tale of Two Cities without any trouble. I feel like I should reread--I know I'd get more out of a book the second time. And yet it means missing out on something else--I'm so greedy!!

MaNiC MoMMy™ said...

OK, I'm DYING to know what book you've just read!

I don't read books over, but I really wish I would. I would love to read To Kill a Mockingbird again. I would love to read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn again, and I would love to read Wally Lamb's She's Come Undone again. I really should. I can barely read the ones I have that I haven't read yet the first time!

This is a good reminder that I should get my butt in gear and read, read, read more!

And I really am curious to know what book you've just finished! Hint?