Thursday, January 28, 2010

I Pontificate, on re-reading books

There are some books that I read once and then get rid of, via Used Bookstore, Bookcrossing, whatever. There are other books that I keep around to re-read once in a blue moon. Then there are those books that I re-read over and over again. Sometimes I read them from cover to cover and other times I read selected bits.

Some of those books I no longer re-read like I used to. I've changed or perhaps I read that book one too many times.

I'm thinking about this because I've been in a funk, for quite a while now. It's been really hard for me to get into a new book, no matter how good. I haven't wanted to stretch myself to deal with an unfamiliar author or story. There have been a few exceptions but I have been turning to my old favorites a lot lately. Admittedly, that does help with my book bill (a book a day habit is expensive).

This morning I was dipping into War God's Own again. I was just in the mood for Bahzell Bahnakson. Tomorrow, I may be in the mood for Circle of Magic: Sandry's Book, or perhaps one of the In Death books will call to me siren-like, or maybe I'll dig out an old Jayne Ann Krentz.It depends on my mood and what I can reach from my stacks of books.

Why do I re-read books? I know how it ends; usually. My memory can be a bit spotty & when you read 300 books a year, more or less, they do blur together. The story isn't going to change the second time I read it (Juliet always stabs herself -oops, I hope that's not a spoiler).

I think it's like my ancestors, yours too, probably. They knew that Beowulf was going to kill Grendel (oops, another spoiler). Nonetheless, they sat by the fire and listened to the story again and again.

That's what makes the difference I suppose. Really good story telling.

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