Before I started book-blogging, I never even thought about rereading a book as a concept. And when I heard about it the first time, I didn’t even think about it. I just put it out of my mind because there are so many books I still want to read, so why would I want to reread one I’ve already spent time on? You have to understand that I get bored easily. In fact, I only study from a specific textbook once and then I have to find other study material because I’m bored with it.
Last year I reread a book for the first time (that I know of), namely The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. It was so different to what I remembered from when I first read it at age 7. There’s some pretty deep stuff, and the scene with the snake at the end… just, no.
This year I decided I wanted to reread Harry Potter, but time was an issue, so I got the audio books and “reread” it that way, AND I got GeekBoy hooked on it too! I think audio is definitely an option for rereading that I will try more often. Today for Top Ten Tuesday, TBTB asks which ten books we would like to reread, but I’m shaking it up a little and talking about reasons I would (or would not) reread a book.
Reasons to Reread a Book:
Gezina en die Bruin Wind (tr. Gezina and the Brown Wind) by Maretha Maartins – It has been about twelve years since I last read this. It is the narrative of a South African girl (who hates her given name); her dying grandmother, and the story of said grandmother during the Anglo-Boer War in concentration camps. From what I remember it is historically accurate, very well-written and quite sad. I really want to re-read it because it is a high school setwork book at some schools, which means I read it a bit too early and probably missed out on a bit of the deeper meanings.
2. It is important to my heritage
This goes for Gezina above, and also books like Fish Notes and Star Songs by Diane Hofmeyr, another South African book that I read at a young age. I remember very little about it apart that there was a lot of magic and interwoven cultural history, and that I read it in an hour or two. Also A Change of Tongue by Antjie Krog, but that is quite a hefty book and realistically I wouldn’t reread it.
3. It is available in Audio
As in my Harry Potter example, when audio for a book is available I am more likely to “reread” it.
4. I originally read it in one language and it is now available in another
I first read Harry Potter in my native language, Afrikaans. Reading it in English almost felt like reading a brand new book.
5. It is short.
This is important because of finite reading time. Example: The Little Prince!
6. Non-fiction that changed my approach or view on life completely.
7. It was so beautifully written that I can’t NOT read it again.
Example: Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt – so beautifully written I just want to immerse myself in it again and again.
8. It played in important role in my life.
28: Stories of AIDS in Africa by Stephenie Nolen
Well, it was the book that made me decide to go to Med School, so I figure it’s worth a re-read.
Reasons NOT to Reread a Book:
1. It is super long.
I loved The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert, but it was so long that I don’t think I could read it again. I do however page through my favourite passages from time to time.
2. It broke my heart.
Example: Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson – Why would I do that to my heart all over again?!
3. I remember it too well
I find this is especially the case with plot-driven novels with straightforward plots. For example, Matilda by Roald Dahl – I love Roald Dahl’s books, and I will definitely purchase all his books for my collection one day, but I don’t feel the need to reread them. Possibly because they are so ingrained in my mind that I recall most of them. However, I will inevitably reread it when I read it to my kids one day!
4. It has hit the big screen – I don’t feel the need to reread books shortly before watching the film adaptation so that I can gripe about the differences. That’s just me.
So that’s me – I don’t see myself realistically joining a rereading book challenge at any point, but I like that rereading is something I actually consider these days.