I have always found re-reading a book to be like greeting an old friend. Not the awkward type of conversation that ensues when that old friend isn’t quite what you remembered – you know the type of conversation, where you both hem and haw and chat about the weather and wonder where that old sense of kinship went to.
No, I mean the sort of old friend where you can sit down after months, even years apart, and instantly that kinship and sense of being known and loved is there, and in an instant, the stories gush forth and it’s like you’ve been transported back through the year to the golden days of long ago.
For me, that’s what re-reading a beloved book is like. And I think the best books grow through re-reading. Each time you crack open the pages, they have something new to offer. An undiscovered secret. An unseen thread of foreshadowing. Deeper levels to the theme and character growth than you first recognized.
Maybe this is why I love epic fantasy so much, because epic fantasy is prime for the re-read. It nearly demands it, because each story is so vast and complex that you simply cannot pick up on everything in the first read.
So, I thought it would be fun to share my re-read list for this year with you. I rarely write up to-read lists, because they tend to be ever fluid and changing as the fancy strikes. My re-read list … also tends to be fluid and ever changing as the fancy strikes … but I’m going to share it with you anyway. :)
Yes, all seven of the books, although I only own four of them at the moment, so I will have to remedy that. I have only read the series once so far, and it was about five years ago now, so it is definitely due for a re-read. I am a proud member of Gryffindor, officially sorted (though I do have some Ravenclaw and Slitherin tendencies too) and it’s high time I brushed up my knowledge of all things Hogwarts!
I love this series and haven’t re-read it nearly as much as I have re-read The Chronicles of Narnia or Lewis’s Great Divorce. I remember enjoying Out of the Silent Planet, loving Perelandra, and being absolutely enthralled by That Hideous Strength. So I’m highly looking forward to diving into the story again.
I love this series, so I can’t wait to read it again. That’s the beauty of excellent epic fantasy really … each book deserves at least one, possibly two or three re-reads, because each time you read it again, you pick up on something new.
And since many of Brandon Sanderson’s novels are connected to the overall Cosmere, it’s wise to stay refreshed on the whole thing, because you never know when you’ll discover a new thread that binds it all together.
(Funny story about this. I actually tried to re-read the Mistborn Trilogy last spring only to come to a grinding halt on page 703 of The Well of Ascension when I realized that my copy jumped from page 703 to page 727. Horrors! Thankfully, I was able to get a new copy shipped out so I can now complete the story, for the second [almost third?] time.)
I love so many of Lloyd Alexander’s books. The Prydain Chronicles – beautiful. Vesper Holly’s adventures – so much fun! And the Westmark Trilogy. I only read it once, but I loved it, so I think it’s high time that I give the tale a re-read.
Unfortunately, I don’t have this series on my bookshelf yet … which is why there is no personalized picture. Depending on my budget when it’s time for the re-read, I may wind up picking this one up from the library. But I would love to be able to add it to my shelf someday soon!
Really, I just love this book. I will happily re-read it as many times as I am given the opportunity. An incredible story of brothers and sacrificial love set in England during WWII and written and published before the end of the war? How amazing is that?
Amazing enough that my copy happens to be on the verge of falling apart … What can I say? It’s been well-loved since it was my chosen summer camp read back in 2004. Yes. I was the type of kid who asked for a new book each year to take with me to summer camp. That’s partially why the cover underwent such a beating. I read it by flashlight under my sleeping bag when my camp counselors thought I was asleep. (Such a little rebel …)
There are probably others that I will wind up adding to that list. Like I said, my reading lists always tend to be fluid and ever changing because I frequently stumble across shiny new books and can’t help but pick them up!
Now it’s your turn!
- Do you re-read? Or are you the type that reads a book once and passes it along?
- And, if you do re-read, what are some of the books on your list for this year?