Good 12:35 a.m. to you. Hopefully your night is more restful than mine thus far…but alas, there is a reason that my blog is named what it is, and that is due to the fact that strokes of blogging genius generally hit me around this hour. Don’t ask me why–I do adore sleep. It just seldom finds me at this time of night.
As I’ve been tossing and turning, I’ve been reflecting on a few of my most recent reads, which surprisingly (though not for me), I’m already aching to re-read. So, it got me thinking about the perceptions of re-reading in the blogosphere.
I’m curious, fellow bibliophiles, what are your thoughts on re-reading books/series? Do you re-read books often or are there only certain books that you would consider re-reading? If you do re-read, why is that? What does that repetition do for you?
I suppose for me, re-reading offers me an entirely new literary experience. See, I distinctly remember the first time that I’ve read many of the most monumental books in my life. For instance, tearing through the final Harry Potter novel was extraordinary for me. I still remember the giddy giggles that I had when I finally read that Ron & Hermione kiss and eagerly tabbed the page with a pink Post-It note.
Similarly, I’ll never forget my three day span of reading A Court of Mist and Fury on vacation with my family in Arizona last summer. That humongous novel didn’t leave my grasp for the 72 hours it took me to devour it. And immediately after I was already flipping back pages to re-experience my favorite scenes.
Certain books I can read once and feel satisfied, while others remain beloved in my heart long after and demand a re-read, and to me, sometimes that second/third/whatever reading is almost more satisfying. It offers me something completely new.
Though my first time reading a (read: GOOD) book is memorable, I think that I get so much more out of the story/writing/characters/etc. when I read it the next time around. When I re-read Frankenstein this past fall after reading it for the first time freshman year of high school, I discovered insights that I had never found before. Obviously six years changes your perspectives on stories, however, even reading ACOTAR & ACOMAF this April (only nine months after my original read) I had an entirely new perspective.
Maybe it’s that the first time around I’m so focused on plot that I miss the lovely minor details that make the novel the beauty that it is. I think that might be it. Plot is essential to stories, obviously, but I think the thing that distinguishes good stories from great stories it the depth with which they are written.
Take Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. The first time you read it, perhaps Catherine Earnshaw is the victim, while Heathcliff is obsessive, controlling, and altogether mad. However, in my experience, my re-read gave me a new angle–Catherine is manipulative, and is the root of Heathcliff’s madness through that manipulation. Maybe that’s not the conclusion that everyone would draw from it, but the point is, re-reading offers a chance to learn something new.
And after all, isn’t that what reading is all about? Learning? Although you may embark upon the same literary journey again, there is always room for something new if only you open your mind to it.
As always, just some late night food for thought.
Until next time…