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Dec 26, 2007, 4:30pm

Has anyone re-read anything they read at a younger age? Perhaps in high school? Did you get anything different out of it?

For me, I can't say I've re-read a single thing. I move on to something new and never look back. Sometimes I wonder if I'm missing something though for not having gone back with more experienced eyes...

Dec 27, 2007, 2:33am

I've re-read several things that were once required reads and I enjoyed them much more the second time around. Probably because I was--er, um, am--really stubborn and I was determined to hate what ever I was forced to read. That said, I have yet to re-read anything that I remember hating, so perhaps I should give a few of those titles a second chance.

Dec 27, 2007, 1:02pm

I don't re-read. I find I have too much on my to-read list to go back and review completed novels.

Dec 27, 2007, 4:13pm

I'm currently re-reading The Idiot by Dostoevsky and lovin' it. Back in high school, I remember a summer when I read a lot of Dostoevsky and I'm starting to feel it coming on again.

Dec 27, 2007, 4:32pm

I rarely re-read, because there's so much unread out there. I do return to Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility every so often.

Dec 27, 2007, 4:32pm

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Dec 27, 2007, 4:32pm

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Dec 27, 2007, 4:58pm

I used to re-read a lot more in my 20s. Now, not so much. A few times I've been disillusioned about a book I loved, re-read, and fell out of love with. Sometimes it's better to live with that comfortable memory than to re-read. There are some exceptions, but for the most part I don't. Why I actually buy books is a mystery to me.

Dec 27, 2007, 11:52pm

I did re-read Jonathan Livingston Seagull a few years ago. I am willing to re-read some things that I was especially taken with in high school or college to see if I still love them as much as I did then. Sometimes, much like with old boyfriends that I've run into, I think, "why did I like this so much?" But it doesn't ruin the memory for me. Different time, different place. With Jonathan Livingston Seagull I said to myself, "hmm....different story this time around."

Dec 28, 2007, 12:05am

I re-read the Little House books once a year at least, I just love them so much.

I have re-read other books from high school which I hated then, such as the Scarlet Letter and Ethan Frome, but enjoyed reading as an "adult" (I'm not sure if I am one of those yet). I will say, I have tried to re-read Dickens but I dislike him just as much now as I did then. But I love Hawthorne today, I have Blithedale Romance on my to-read list.

Edited: Dec 28, 2007, 12:59pm

>10 Transflake:, Transflake - I re-read the Little House books about a year ago, while I was in the thick of grad school and literary analysis. I read them like a grad student, rather than a kid, and I was amazed at how much there is to learn about life and attitudes of that period that I had sort of missed when I read them as simple adventure stories. It was amazing to me to see how simply the Ingalls family lived, how they used everything they encountered, how perilous life seemed to be, and how much things changed during Laura Ingalls Wilder's life.

In general, I don't do re-reads, since there are already so many books on my TBR list, but I am considering re-reading a few more things that I read in my teens (Salinger, A Tale of Two Cities, As I Lay Dying, A Brave New World, etc) and seeing if time has changed my impression of them.

Oh, and I want to re-read Little Women, since I remember loving it so much as a kid.

Dec 29, 2007, 8:49am

The books that I re-read are the ones that I loved in an elementary school - Like fannyprice, I re-read the Little House books. I also loved re-reading the All-of-a-Kind Family books by Sydney Taylor as well as The Little Princess, The Secret Garden, Charlotte's Web, The Joyous Season and other books that are more like old friends than books. Sometimes when I'm sick, these are the books I go to - they don't take much effort, but they make me feel better. :)

Dec 30, 2007, 3:27pm

Actually I've been thinking I don't re-read nearly as often as I should - I'd end up liking a higher percentage of books I read.

I do have one re-reading tradition: I've read at least two Jane Austen novels a year for more than 20 years now. I've only read one so far in 2007, but I still have a day and a half. ;)

I started reading young adult and older children's fiction in 2006 - some of those were re-reads I hadn't set eyes on in 20-odd years. I loved Black Beauty as a child, but as an adult, I didn't see the appeal (and was annoyed by the "Uncle Tom" attitudes).

Dec 30, 2007, 3:51pm

>13 suzecate:, chanale - Re-reading Jane Austen (what is up with the touchstone for that not working?!?) every year is definitely a tradition I can get behind!

Dec 30, 2007, 10:39pm

I re-read constantly. I get in these moods where I want to read, and there's nothing new that interests me in the house, so I just pick up a book I loved, and re-read it...if it's part of a series, I will read the whole series. (And not necessarily in order. I often start with the middle book, read until the end, and go back and read the first books.)

This is part of why I'm trying to get back to getting new books again. My library was very stagnant for a while. It's expanding again, and I have about 15 books that I haven't read before now.

Dec 31, 2007, 8:35am

#15 - That's interesting to me because while I know a lot of people who will watch the same movies over and over and listen to the same music over and over, it is more rare to find people who re-read books many times. I wonder why that is? More of a supposed time commitment?

Dec 31, 2007, 11:57am

#16 - that may be it, perlle. It does take time to read. I'm a fast reader, so it doesn't take me as long as a lot of people. I'm also ADHD, and reading is my hyper-focus activity. I've got my mind going, so my body gets a chance to calm down. (Although I am still fidgeting the whole time anyway, but not nearly as badly.)

Jan 1, 2008, 5:10pm

Hmm, the only "school" book I voluntarily re-read was A Separate Peace by John Knowles - I liked it in high school, so I bought it and re-read it in my 20's - though it was still good, it wasn't as good as I remembered it being.
I'm not much of a re-reader, I suppose it's because I already know the ending. However, when I've run out of unread books, I will pick up either The Stand or Skeleton Crew by Stephen King, and do a partial re-read until I've found something new to read.
I have 2 friends who are mega re-readers - one has read the Anita Blake series something like 20 times, the other bounces between re-reads - he reads the Harry Potter Series, then the Lord of the Rings, then the Dark Tower series and then he starts over again with Harry Potter. I think they are nuts!

Jan 3, 2008, 9:23pm

I reread The Hobbit when I was in university. I was way too young when I read it the first time around and didn't understand a word of it.

Jan 6, 2008, 9:14am

I used to re-read a lot more than I do now, but I did re-read a couple of books over the last couple of years:

The Stand by Stephen King
Maia by Richard Adams
The Chronicles of Naria by C S Lewis
Ronia, the Robber's Daughter by Astrid Lindgren

I found all of them to be as wonderful as I remembered.

i've also re-read, at some point, the entire Discworld series by terry Pratchett and Savages by Shirley Conran.

I have to admit, though, re-reading is, for me, the reading equivalent to comfort eating - I tend to do it when I'm feeling under the weather and can't be bothered concentrating on somethign new. Instead, I'll pick up an old favourite and visit with them for a while till I feel up to trying something previously unread.

Jan 6, 2008, 12:16pm

Kell, I had never thought of it that way, comfort re-reading. :)

But it's true. I do it too, just never realized it. And I had been in a state of tired/burned out this summer, and I think that was why I was re-reading so much. No energy to find new books to try.

Jan 8, 2008, 9:33am

I would also say I re-read for comfort; new books are fantastic, but there really is something comforting about picking up an old favorite and reconnecting with those characters.

Jan 8, 2008, 10:53am

I re-read.

Most of my reading is a book I've already read. It's cheaper. I read so fast the first time through I've missed some of the details.

I definetly do get a different experiance out of reading a book many years after I first read it. Sometimes good, sometimes not.

Jan 8, 2008, 12:52pm

This year I am going to re-read all the J.D. Salinger that I read as a teen in order to reconnect (and possibly re-assess!) my love for his works!

Jan 17, 2008, 8:56pm

I do a lot of comfort (re)reading, as well as rereading when the library is closed and I'm trying to cut down on the percentage of my paycheck that gets redistributed to Borders!

I have read Jane Green's Bookends at least once a year since I first discovered it. (Thanks, Jude!) As far as rereading childhood books, I would say that Lois Duncan reappears more than most but occasionally a Paula Danziger, and prior to movie releases - Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe and Bridge to Terabithia.

You wouldn't eat your favorite food only once, right? :)

Feb 12, 2008, 8:38am

I absolutely do re-read every book I've enjoyed. I think I've read my favourite ones 10 or more times. Every time I read a book again, I find something different and it 'tells' me something new, like getting deeper and deeper into the book itself. I mean, you read it for the plot once, then you get to understand the plot better, then you appreciate the characters, then the language...Quite a speleological work, in fact! :) Among the books I've read more times are Dracula by Bram Stoker, I promessi sposi by Alessandro Manzoni, The Stand by Stephen King, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen---- To name a few!!

Feb 12, 2008, 7:45pm

My reading habits and tastes have changed a fair amount since I was in high school, so it's hard for me to imagine comfort re-reads from that time of my life. (It's easier for me to imagine comfort re-reads from my 20s.) That said, there are a few books I have re-read from back in the day.

Fishboy - This was a gift I received in high school. I didn't really like it--too weird and grotesque--but held on to it. Last year I pulled it out and was surprised at how enchanting it was--funny, beautiful and, yes, weird/grotesque, as well.

Horselords - The first TSR novel I ever read, even before the Weis/Hickman stuff that are the "classics" of the subgenre. I got sick of fantasy (esp. of the TSR sort) my first year of college and gave/traded away all my TSR novels except this one. (Sentimental value, and Mongols are cool.) After being thoroughly bored by Feist, I thought I'd dig it out to see if it held up at all. Actually pretty entertaining.

All Quiet on the Western Front - One of those "literary" books I kept for some reason. I remembered it as being moving and sad. Re-read it last year and it was still moving and sad. I was amused to see that as a high school student, I had highlighted some of the more, er, scatological passages.

Mar 23, 2008, 10:30pm

Lord of the Flies has maintained. Moby-Dick makes sense now. Camus seems a little pretentious. Stephen King is mostly silly. Other than these, I haven't re-read for the same reason cited by most folks on this thread -- too much remains that is unread!

Mar 23, 2008, 11:05pm

I agree with purplequeen. You get a lot more out of books when you re-read. I only buy books I think are worth re-reading. The library is where I do all my first time reading. I think if a book is worth re-reading, it is either really well written, or, like many of you have mentioned, a "comfort read". I have old books my mother had as a teen that I like to re-read every once in awhile. They are 50's teen romance genre but I love them! And Anne of Green Gables! and Jane Austen! and Robin McKinley! I have to read them every so often. Anyway, that's my take on re-reading.

May 23, 2008, 10:01pm

I like the terminology "comfort re-reading" and there are most definitly times when I am comfort re-reader and it does have a lot to do with stress of work and study and other things I am reading. If I manage to combine a particularly 'heavy' load then rereading an old favourite like Tigana is just total escapism and relaxation.

I am a fast reader too, so I sometimes when I reread i do pick up subtle things I missed the first time through

I am quite addicted to reading, and can get quite stressed when I don't have something to read and I know I am going to 'need' to read (e.g. travelling), and then I will often pick up something off my bookshelves to reread. what is the point of keeping books if you are not going to read them again?

There are some books, such as Birdsong which I have enjoyed by I don't think I will reread...

Jul 5, 2008, 2:40pm

I'm totally with #29, I try to get most of my reading from the library (or friends) before I buy...I only keep books in my "peronal library" that I would refer to again or reread.

I have to admit that of late, my focus has been on NOT re-reading because I'm trying to read all of those books that I somehow managed to miss having to read as part of HS or college (and there are a lot of them)!

Edited: Jan 5, 2010, 12:09am

I'm a collector I Love My Books! I have a few books on my to be read pile that I pulled off my bookshelf. I try to do this at least a once a year mainly to visit stories or series that I love and to get rid of the crud I don't want cluttering my book self. Did a lot of rereading last spring and sold 22 books in my summer garage sale. Used the money to buy more books....of course. I mainly reread in the winter since its harder to pull myself out of the house with 30 below weather and I just can't stand not reading something through the week. This last fall I made out like a scoundrel from the second hand book store so haven't made the time to reread anything since there's a new story just waiting to be read. Will get to them in the spring again I suppose.

Jan 5, 2010, 12:57pm

I'm with SpicyCat, I do a lot of comfort re-reading, especially when stressed and/or down. Like in the middle of winter.

In fact, generally, I don't even keep books that I don't plan to re-read at some point. Some of the ones I have I no longer re-read, but did at one point and can't bear to part with them now.

And I can't read new fiction before bed - that leads to finishing at 4 AM and not being able to function the next day. Re-reading, however, means I'm not desperate to know what happens next and I can put it down and go to sleep.

Jan 5, 2010, 1:30pm

I re-read The Chronicles of Narnia and got a completely different and much deeper impression of it than I did when I was a child.

I would like to re-read one book a year. I think it will become a goal of mine. Yes.

Feb 27, 2010, 3:55pm

I have some comfort reads too. When I went through a stressful period last year I couldn't cope with reading anything new so went back to an old favourite and read Juggling by Barbara Trapido. I've also read The Lovely Bones, Case Histories and The Travelling Hornplayer at least three times and like to go back to Robertson Davies and The Cornish Trilogy every now and again. I'm looking forward to rereading The Amber Spyglass and The Subtle Knife but the time is never right.

Feb 27, 2010, 3:56pm

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Feb 27, 2010, 3:56pm

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Mar 22, 2010, 3:31pm

I think great, challenging works deserve a re-read; I also agree with timepiece that I don't keep books that aren't worth reading at least once, or at least referring to. I am currently re-reading the Iliad.

Apr 4, 2010, 7:57pm

I read your question and thought - great, I'll list all the books I've re-read, but then I realised that I must only INTEND to re-read, because I can't think of a single one I have!

I intend to re-read My Name is Asher Lev, The Road (Cormac McCarthy), How to be Alone, Spontaneous Healing, Authenticity (David Boyle), Small Wonders (Barbara Kingsolver), and all my poetry books (which let's face it, I've only ever scan-read).

Apr 21, 2010, 11:54pm

I reread quite a bit as well. I have re-read several "classics" from high school and discovered that I like them much more as story if I don't have to pick them apart on the first read ( A Tale of Two Cities and Oliver Twist come to mind on that point). I've re-read books that I read as a young child such as the Wrinkle in Time series or Chronicles of Narnia... I actually re-read all of those quite frequently. I also re-read books that I particularly enjoyed. I didn't think of it as "comfort reading" until reading this thread... but that is often what it is. The books I own are those I have grown to love... and when I don't have the mental or physical energy to read a new book or drive to the library to browse, I often pick up an old favorite. I re-read series as well... I am currently re-reading the entire Harry Potter series for the first time since completing the series and finding it fascinating to see how information we need is slowly revealed to the reader throughout the series (also interesting how much foreshadowing goes on).