Thursday, September 29, 2005

The Pleasures and Point of Re-Reading

The comments about reading War and Peace stir once more thoughts on what we re-read. Martin raises the point that many people who don't get re-reading a book don't think twice about listening to a piece of recorded music repeatedly or watching a film over and over.

With as many books in our house as we have, it would be pretty stupid not to re-read (otherwise why buy...? well, there is just the pleasure of the book...!) although it obviously takes longer to get around to re-reading everything. Some books just merit re-reading, or at least offer pleasures in doing so. Some are dipped into, for reference or knowledge, but are rarely 'read'.

For me, some books just give back something in being re-read, in much the same way as some films can do that (and music certainly does). The point certainly gets me thinking about updating my Books side bar to be a little more meaningful.

Anyone else thought much about re-reading? The point of it? Why we do it? And, if you don't re-read much but do re-listen/re-watch, why?


Paul said...

I can't say I've given much point to re-reading, but having just re-read all five Hitchhikers books, there is certainly something to be gained from going back to a favoured book - or film.

I think that there are some cases where knowing the shape of the plot does allow you to get more out of the book than you did the first time around. And some books are just so good that they merit returning to for entertainment value alone.

Reidski said...

It's an interesting point, but, as Martin says in a previous post, don't know why, but re-reading just isn't the same as re-listening or re-watching. I suppose it's a genre thing. I may get back to this one at a later date!

I had a pause there to consider if I have re-read a book ever - the answer is no, but I did mention at work today that I should re-read Catch 22!!