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Reading Again



This painting by Mary Cassatt reminds me a lot how I read, with my head propped up with one hand and turning the pages with another.

When I was a child I probably re-read books more then I went out and found new ones. Swallows and Amazons, various books in the Redwall Series, The Railway Children, Dogsbody and many others have been read, re-read and read all over again.

I haven’t been re-reading books as much as I used to, mostly because I seem to have formed this humungous pile of unread books. They feel a little bit like a ticking bomb ready to explode if I don’t read them.

Soon I’ll be re-reading North and South – which I have read three or four times already but just can’t help giving it another go. And also The Three Musketeers which I have been wanting to do so for about a year or two now.

I find re-reading books helps give you an extra perspective then when you first read it. The first time around is like a voyage of discovery but the second time around you get a chance to look a bit more at the scenery.

There are many books I’d like to read again, some because I just want to re-visit that world, others because I think they’ll benefit from a second read and some because I feel I didn’t appreciate them the first time around.

  • Kafka on the Shore and The Wind-up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
  • His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
  • The Hungry Tide and Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh
  • The Constant Gardener by John le Carre
  • Shogun and James Clavell

And many many more of course.

purple chopWhat books have you enjoyed reading for the second or third time, and what books in the future would you like to read again?

3 Comments leave one →
  1. 16/05/2011 02:37

    I’m like you. I used to re-read a lot, but now I feel like I need to be reading my piles of unread books. I’ve decided to be better about reading exactly what I want though, so that includes re-reading some old favorites. I particularly want to re-read all 20+ books of Charles de Lint’s Newford sort-of-series in order. They don’t really have to be read in order, and I didn’t read them that way, but I’m curious to see how they build. I’ve re-read several of them many times already, but there are a few that I’ve never even read at all. I re-read the first one earlier this year, and I think it’s getting time to pick up the second one.

  2. 17/05/2011 01:52

    I love it when I find that a really, really long book is rereadable — I reread Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell last week, and it was every bit as marvelous as it was the last three times I read it. The more times I’ve read a book I love, I find, the more I love it in the end. It’s nice.

  3. 17/05/2011 10:49

    Haha, oh dear I couldn’t even get through JS&MN the first time Jenny! Pity!

    I’m really looking forward to re-reading Shogun. It’s over 1000 pages long. I’m not sure I’ve re-read such a long book before but I am looking forward to see if it will make me feel as much, laugh as much and love as much as before.

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