Sunday, 11 January 2009

Re: re-reads

You see what I did there? Anyway, I'm in a bit of a re-reading phase at the moment (Tanya Huff's Smoke and Ashes, since you ask) which seems to be something that not everyone does. But I always have. I read and re-read most of the books I had as a child, and the habit seems to have stuck. Besides, it strikes me as the best criterion for whether to buy a book. If you're not going to read it twice, get it out from the library.

On the other hand, most things seem worth reading more than once. The first time, you get the excitement and the surprise. The second, and third, and so on, you get to simply enjoy the beauty of the writing, to revel in the way the story's done, and to anticipate the good bits. Think about it. You wouldn't only listen to a song once and then declare that you'd heard it. You'd play it in the background, listen to it when the mood took you, maybe plot the untimely demise of the people singing it (as my brother has been known to do whenever a boy band shows up on TV) and definitely hear it so many times that you can almost, but never quite perfectly, remember the lyrics.

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