I almost always read books to their very end; yet at the same time, I almost never reread them. I often feel surprised when I come across someone who has a book or two that they read time and time again. I heard a fan of Jane Eyre say they read the book fifteen times, and my only reaction to that was, “How can you do that? Don’t you get… well, bored?”
I love books as much as the other bibliophile and I do have some favourites, but even those I can’t picture myself reading so often. I can read a book twice, or three times if I really love it, but even then I wait for long stretches of time before I even think about giving it a second spin. My shelves are crammed with books I haven’t read in years because they are still fresh in my head. I can remember almost every detail about them and as such I don’t feel the need to read them again. In a way I’m a bit of a paradox – I can’t not finish a book, yet I can’t be bothered to finish it a second time.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think it’s silly or stupid for people to do that. I just don’t understand the idea behind it. Some favourites of mine like Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (my favourite HP book), Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About, Little Women and David Copperfield I’ve read more than once. However, they lost their novelty with the second read, my eyes glazed over and I start skipping pages to get to the parts I like best.
Comic books and manga novels are exempt from this because I like to go back and look at all the art and the things I didn’t catch the first time. One might argue that, similarly, I might have missed out on some things while reading a book. That’s true, I might’ve missed a sentence or two, but I doubt that I missed something so significant that could possibly alter my perception of the book or my general understanding of it.
What do I do then? I move on to new books. There are so many books I want to read, and I recognize that time spent re-reading and growing closer to a book is time I could’ve spent getting acquainted with a new one. I suppose I could save myself a lot of money and just borrow books, but I just love the way they appear on my shelves. Of course… the result is that I soon run out of shelf space, haha.
On an entirely different but semi-related note, I don’t mind re-watching movies and some TV shows. There are some that I’ve watched countless times (Home Alone, A Walk to Remember, Wall-E, You’ve Got Mail, Lord of the Rings, Click, Scrubs, Friends, etc) and yet I willingly sit and watch again if they’re on TV.
Do you re-read books (or re-watch movies)? Is there a particular book you always find yourself returning to? 🙂