Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme that focuses (mostly) on books and reading.
I’ve asked before if you re-read your books (feel free to recap), but right now I want to know if that habit has changed? Did you, for example, reread more as a child and your access to new books was limited by how often you could convince your mother to take you to the library? Has the economy affected your access so that you’re forced to reread more often now? Have you grown to look at old books as old friends so that you’re happy to spend time with them rather than rushing the next new thing?
I reread books all the time. I have some favorites that I return to again and again. The stories never get old for me. Going back to a story that I’ve already read isn’t boring or dull. It’s comfortable. I read a lot of fantasy (as you all probably know), so I feel like I visit a lot of different worlds when I read fantasy books. Medieval worlds, desert worlds, poisonous worlds, worlds just like ours but a little off-kilter, worlds with strange beasts and even stranger people . . . the list goes on. Reading a book I’ve already read, stepping back into that world for a little while–it’s like stepping back into my own home. Some of these books have a lot of history with me. Their pages have become yellowed and the spines are coming unglued (which I hate), and the characters are so familiar it’s almost as if I actually know them.
I don’t mind rereading the same things over and over, because not only is it like coming home, but I almost always find something new in the story that I had never seen before. Or, perhaps, never realized. Some books I read as a teenager I better understand now because some of the subtext went over my head. But as an adult, I get it. Or a character’s motives become clearer after a reread or two, when before I thought they were mysterious. Usually I find things I had missed on the first read or even the tenth, and I find joy in that.
Let’s see, back to the questions above . . . I’ve been rereading ever since I could read, so trips to the library didn’t matter so much to me in that regard. The economy hasn’t affected me at all when it comes to books and rereading. I already have a pretty good stack of books that I haven’t yet read, so I’m working through that when I get tired of reading old favorites. And yes, I do regard certain books as old friends. I prefer to spend my time reading the oldies but goodies than spend time reading new books, although that’s not always true. But there’s a reason why I have a To Be Read stack–not only do I tend to buy a lot of books, but I do tend to reread the ones I already have. I think it’s the only reason my mother let me buy and hang on to so many books when I was growing up–she saw that I actually did reread them, many times, and even when I added new ones to the collection, they would get read again.