|Steve has a whole shelf |
of Dickens, and a whole
bookcase of classics.
The thing is, I rarely reread anything. Even many of the books on my favourites list are ones I've read only once, or twice at best. The biggest exceptions are the books I kept returning to as a kid, like The Velveteen Rabbit and Where the Red Fern Grows, but aside from Charlotte's Web even most of my childhood favourites haven't been reread in adult-hood.
|As illustrated by the talented Walt Sturrock. |
This all got me thinking about an article I once read*** which pointed out that before libraries were common, people could only read books they owned, and many families were lucky to own even a small handful. People would read and re-read those few books so often that the words would become part of the fabric of an individual's life. Now, it argued, we're so busy trying to get through our longer-than-a-lifetime to-read lists and generally trumpeting all the new! and unique! experiences we have, few people are rereading at all, or rereading more than a select one or two books. The main idea being that few people today read deeply enough; that in our quest to read moremoremore we're actually getting less, because the words never become a part of us.
Turning Over a New (Book) Leaf?
|My personal Goodreads Challenge. |
The orange bar is coming along nicely!
So in an effort to make myself publicly accountable, here, in no particular order, are just some of the books I want to reread before the year is out:
- Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
- The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
- American Gods by Neil Gaiman
- Feather and Bone: The Crow Chronicles by Clem Martini
- Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
- Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
- And J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter, though I'll be surprised if I do all seven this year.
Many of them won't take long - it's just a matter of making the decision to pick one off my shelf rather than turning to my un-read pile of new books. (This is also in a year where I want to read some of the classics I've never gotten to, but that's for another post).
How Do You Read?
So are you a re-reader? What are the books you keep returning to, or the ones you'd like to re-read? Or are you one of those people who reads it once and never looks back? Comment or share a link to your own thoughts on rereading below or on Facebook.
**It was around this age that I was the narrator in our school's production of A Christmas Carol and I suspect this book was a gift to commemorate that. I don't remember what words I said on that stage, but I'm going to assume that particular school-production script left out a lot of the nuances.
*** I tried to find it with Google, but I can't remember enough specifics. Here, though, are some other interesting articles I found:
- Re-Reading: The Ultimate Guilty Pleasure? on BBC Culture
- The Key to Re-Reading on NYR Daily
- Middle-School Monday: The Joys and Benefits of Rereading on Teen Librarian Toolbox
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