the pleasure of re-reading

I have friends who never re-read books, sometimes due to a lack of time and sometimes because the mystery/thrill has gone out of the story for them after the initial reading.  While I agree that there is nothing quite like that pioneer perusal, re-reading to me is like returning to a precious memory, rejoining a conversation.

Books I re-read most often:
The Chronicles of Narnia (I re-read these almost continually, sometimes up to a dozen times a year!)
The Book Thief
Deathly Hallows
The Last Unicorn
Peace Like a River
poetry by Billy Collins

Sometimes I re-visit old favorites that I’ve not picked up in years, and this is delightful too.  I just finished re-reading Anne of Green Gables, a book I haven’t read in over ten years but which used to be my absolute favorite.  What a joy to listen to Anne’s imaginations, to run over to Orchard Slope to see Diana, to crack that slate over Gilbert’s head, to delight in puffed sleeves, and to watch Marilla soften over the years!  I think I’ll start in on Anne of Avonlea next.

Do you ever re-read books?  If so, which are your favorites to revisit time and again?

14 thoughts on “the pleasure of re-reading

  1. There is really only one book I have re-read multiple times: To Kill a Mockingbird. I first read it in high school, of course, like everyone else. But an older friend of mine later said, “Forget what you thought of it in high school. Read it again.” And oh my, was he right. There is so much richness in that book. I’ve read it probably a dozen times since high school, and each time find new things.

  2. I absolutely reread books. I always have. Probably the books I’ve reread the most as an adult are Joan Didion’s books, especially her books of essays. There’s always something new to learn and notice, and also the comfort of visiting what seems like an old friend again.

  3. I love to read memoirs, and I have re-read some of them – though only the sections that I found most interesting. It’s funny, when I re-read things, I notice stuff that I never noticed before. I often think, “Huh, how did I miss that?”

    I have a younger relative who absolutely LOVED the Chronicles of Narnia and I can’t even tell you how many times they read that series.

    • Sunny, me too! And I love that I keep discovering new things! What are some memoirs you’ve enjoyed? I like memoirs too, especially when they are funny! I like Anne Lamott, David Sedaris, Mary Karr …

  4. Rereading books is like meeting up with old friends, and like 71 & Sunny said, I catch something new everytime. I’ve reread every Lynn Austin book at least twice, though “Eve’s Daughters” and “Candle in the Darkness” I’ve read so much the binding is ripping. “Ella Enchanted” is another one I’ve read to death.

  5. billy collins is amazing. “litany” – are you kidding me. i have to imagine you have seen them all, but the animated videos on youtube that coincide with his readings are incredible!

  6. I always re-read books, sometimes it’s because I need to escape from reality and reading something I know is more safe than trying something new. Sometimes I re- read to check if I have changed or if i will have the same emotions

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