Rereading

Rereading. It’s a strange topic for a strange blob.

I don’t like to reread in a short period of time. I do like to reread books, but I don’t reread them until at least a few months have passed, possibly even years. My sister (who you’ve met) loves to reread books quickly. I mean, she’ll read a book, and be reading it again in the next day. I’m sorry, but I can’t do that. I like to feel the excitement of the original reading. Therefore, I wait a while before reading again, so I forget some of the parts, points in the plot, a couple of quirks of the characters, and such and such. My sister might do the same thing, and have a horrible memory, I don’t know. But I don’t reread books in short periods of time. I sometimes go back and reread parts of a book once I’m done, but I don’t go and read the whole thing until I completely forget some of the main points. It’s more fun to reread that way. I don’t like to know what’s going to happen before it happens, so I need a little bit of time to recalibrate my brain to forget everything.

Unfortunately, there are some books that I’ve reread so many times that I know the style, the characters, even some of the conversations by heart. That’s the way Brian Jacques’s Redwall is. I haven’t read the original book for many, many years. But I still remember the accent one character has, what happens to another character who also comes into the sequel, the weapon this guy has, the fate of the antagonist. I know it all, unfortunately, so rereading it now would be superfluous. I wouldn’t gain anything. And that’s why I read, not for the story mainly, but to gain something. I think it was Sharon Creech who said something like “Each book takes you on its own little journey.” Something like that. I’m horrible with quotes. And there was someone else who said “You’re never the same after reading a book” or something like that. Again, I’m horrible with quotes.

And there are some people who can’t read the same book twice. I don’t understand this mindset. I just don’t. I can’t understand not wanting to reread a book to feel the same feelings, to love the same people, to hate the others, and to generally relive your previous journey. I love that stuff.

What about movies? I can re-watch movies as much as I like, but I do remember them better than I remember the books. I’m a visual learner, really, so I learn more from watching. I learn a lot from reading too, but that’s beside the point. I don’t like re-watching movies that much for that reason: I just know too much about it. I mean, there are some great movies that I can re-watch millions of times, but not many. Things like LOTR, Narnia, after the first three times, I start looking at other things: what’s going on behind Gandalf, thinking about why the heck Peter says what he did instead of something else, stuff like that– writer stuff. I start noticing different things. But in animated movies, there are really no background images to watch. It isn’t like a human video. Anyway, I’m going on a tangent here.

The point is, I like to reread, but not to re-watch so much. What do you think?

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12 Comments

  1. I found this post quite amusing. Recently, I’ve put off buying new books until I’ve re-read at least one of my old ones. Still hasn’t happened yet so I’ve stopped reading altogether! It’s horrible, I know, but I’m always thirsty for new adventure. As for films, I usually don’t re-watch them, either, unless they’re visually striking with intriguing concepts.

    Reply
  2. Erin

     /  December 11, 2011

    I am with you on the rereading thing. I have to wait awhile to go back and reread the book.

    I love re-watching movies, but I need to allow myself a certain amount of time before I go back and watch the movie again. After the first couple times watching the movie, I also tend to pay more attention to the people and things in the background, or study the character’s weapons or clothing, or laugh about how stupid and terrible the acting is. I find myself yelling at the TV a lot when the movie does something I didn’t want it to do, and then I end up not watching the rest of the movie but instead concocting up my own ending, which is usually much better than the actual ending. 🙂

    Reply
  3. Gwendolyn Copperstone

     /  December 11, 2011

    I don’t reread that often, mainly because there are so many great books out there that I haven’t read yet. I have reread a few of my favorites though. Also years after I read them the first time. I do re-watch movies, especially if it’s one of Jane Austen’s stories.

    Reply
    • Oh, yes, Jane Austen movies are quite popular in my family. Especially the 2009 Masterpiece Theater remake of Emma. Just say the name and my sisters and mom will start singing the theme.

      Reply
      • Gwendolyn Copperstone

         /  December 11, 2011

        That’s my favorite Emma! The music is wonderful, I have the theme going through my head now. I sing it every time I watch the movie too.

      • As soon as I wrote that, my sister started singing that theme.

  4. I love Brian Jacques books so much and have read and reread them with much delight. When you were talking about the accents of the characters I couldn’t help but think of the moles and the hares and the fantastic world he created. I used to reread books far more than I have lately. Part of this, I think, comes from realizing just how many books are out there. More than I could ever hope to read, and more all the time. It takes a special book for me to want to relive it rather than go in search of new adventures and heroes. That said, the second read differs from the first read. On a second read I find myself savoring the journey rather than rushing towards the conclusion.

    As an aside, I can totally relate to knowing people who can reread a book the next day. More than once, my wife has finished the last page of a book, only to turn back to the first and begin again. Great post!

    Reply
  5. I like to re read the Narnia series and the Percy Jackson series. 🙂 alot actually… lol

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