Do you re-read old favourites?

My thanks to Audrey Driscoll for her post about re-reading The Lord of the Rings and the magnificent song that went with it:

I have re-read The Lord of the Rings, about three times. I’ve also re-read the entire Dune series about eight times and the Death Gate cycle at least three times, the most recent being just a couple of years ago. But… I’ve never re-read any of the books on my Kindle.

Is that because there are so many new books available to read?

In her hugely successful blog posts about the TBR [To Be Read] list, D. Wallace Peach brought a touch of humour to the phenomenon of buying and downloading hundreds of books that people never end up reading. I didn’t contribute because I don’t actually have a TBR. I’m a voracious reader and get seriously anxious if I don’t have something new lined up to read, but now I have to wonder: why does my reading have to be ‘new’? Why don’t I re-read any of the books on my Kindle when I do re-read at least some of my paperbacks?

I know the answer doesn’t lie in the quality of books on my Kindle; a lot of them are as good as The Lord of the Rings, Dune, or any of my other favourite paperbacks. The answer can’t be readability either because my eyesight is not great any more so paperbacks are actually harder for me to read. So what is it?

I have no answers on this one so I’ll throw the question out to all of you:

Do you re-read books and if so, are they print books or ebooks?

Puzzled,
Meeks

About acflory

I am the kind of person who always has to know why things are the way they are so my interests range from genetics and biology to politics and what makes people tick. For fun I play online mmorpgs, read, listen to a music, dance when I get the chance and landscape my rather large block. Work is writing. When a story I am working on is going well I'm on cloud nine. On bad days I go out and dig big holes... View all posts by acflory

79 responses to “Do you re-read old favourites?

  • Jacqui Murray

    How funny you posted this. I’m about to re-read two of yours!

    Liked by 1 person

  • Matthew Wright

    I used to re-read books – Lord Of The Rings especially. But I don’t really have time these days. I do mean to get around to re-reading LOTR and The Hobbit soon, I haven’t read either for 20 years.

    Liked by 1 person

    • acflory

      Time…yes. Time seems to be coming up again and again. One thing about the internet age is that there is always something to ‘fill’ that time. I can’t say I mind as I hate being bored, but ‘making time’ is becoming harder.
      I actually binge watched the last two of the LoTR movies last night, and I loved them all over again, but…part of me was also thinking about the other things I’d normally be doing with my time. It almost felt ‘naughty’ to spend four hours watching movies.

      Like

  • Bette A. Stevens

    I have in the past (print)! Will likely do so with a few of my favorite eBooks as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  • D. Wallace Peach

    Thanks for the kind shout-out, Andrea, for the TBR challenge. It was fun to learn that having a stuffed Kindle is pretty common. I don’t reread books, because I’m just afraid that they won’t be as awesome as my first time through. I like to remember them in their first magical unfolding. And there are so many great books I haven’t read. With limited time on this planet, I want to enjoy as many of those as I can. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • acflory

      lmao – so very welcome, Diana! And I have to agree with your ‘limited time on this planet, I want to enjoy as many of those as I can’.
      I’ve always read a lot but when books were expense items – $15 to $30 here in Australia – I’d have to choose carefully. Often I’d fill the droughts between new books by re-reading old ones or scouring the local secondhand book shops. Now? I don’t think I’ve ever read this much in my life, simply because I /can/.
      The other thing that’s changed – for the better – is that there is now so much more diversity and innovation in what I can read, thanks to the Indie revolution.
      That said, chatting to Candy brought to mind another favourite book that I now desperately want to re-read. lol

      Liked by 1 person

  • Widdershins

    Yep, a re-reader here … and they’re all print books too. πŸ˜€ … if I like a book sufficiently, I’ll buy a print copy, because of the whole ‘you only pay for an ebook licence’ thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Candy+Korman

    My late father reread The Great Gatsby every few years for decades. He could recite passages. He said it was different and better as he grew older. Me? I’ve had mixed experiences rereading old favorites. So much of rereading is a dance between the perspective of the current reader and their past self.

    Last year I reread a Ruth Rendell (writing as Barbara Vine) that had been important to me as a mystery reader and writer when I read it read it the first time in 1988. Rereading The Fatal Inversion was a mistake. The charactersβ€”always mean spirited and selfishβ€”were more so. The prickly language they used to show off their educations and social status as they played at being free spirits for a time was so sharp and mean that I hated every single one of them. The racism, the sexism, the limitations of class… were so forward! Since I often read, and enjoy, vintage works of fiction that often come with a cartload of antiquated issues, it was surprising how hard I was hit by the Rendell book.

    I advise a bit of caution. Not every favorite book stays a favorite.

    Liked by 1 person

    • acflory

      Aaaah. Yes. I’ve had a couple of Ruth Rendell moments. One was ‘More Than Human’ by Theodore Sturgeon. I can no longer remember what alchemy it was that made me remember it for so many years, but by the time I re-read it a few years ago…zip, nada. The magic was gone. Thank god Dune never disappoints.

      Like

      • Candy+Korman

        It’s true that some re-reading nets a NEW perspective. Still I haven’t found the ritual of return that brought my father back to the Gatsby so often.

        Liked by 1 person

        • acflory

          I guess that stirring ‘something’ that brings you back, time and again, will be different for everyone. Dune is one of the books that does it for me, perhaps because it’s such an odd mix of scifi, fantasy, politics, and philosophy.
          Oh! I just remembered another book that brings me back – The Blindman of Seville by Robert Wilson. Technically it’s a police procedural set in Spain, nothing scifi or fantasy about it at all, but it is one of the best explorations of the dark side of the human psyche that I’ve ever read. Up there with Crime and Punishment. Now I’m going to have to go dig it out. πŸ˜€

          Like

  • Berthold Gambrel

    I re-read quite often, both on Kindle and in physical book form. I have a paperback collection of Lovecraft stories, and I re-read favorites from that annually. I have a beat-up copy of “1984” I’ve had since I was 14 that I’ve reread entirely twice and sometimes just pick up and start reading at a random spot. I also have a few Noah Goats books that I’ve re-read a couple times each. Oh, and I have pretty much all of P.G. Wodehouse’s “Jeeves and Wooster” books in paperback, and I’ve read all of them more times than I can count.

    As for ebooks, I’ve reread “The King in Yellow” by Robert W. Chambers many, many times, and I regularly reread a lot of my favorite Indies on my Kindle app. I’ll probably be rereading “Vokhtah” before too long. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • acflory

      lol – bless you for that mention. You are definitely on my xmas list. πŸ˜‰
      You’ve mentioned Noah Goats a couple of times [haven’t read] but Robert W. Chambers is new. He/his work is clearly important to you, would you recommend it?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Berthold Gambrel

        His work is definitely niche, so I won’t go so far as to say “everyone should read it,” but… his short story “The Repairer of Reputations” is probably my favorite short story, ever. I read it in college and it absolutely blew my mind. And, it was written in 1895, so it’s public domain.

        And for what it’s worth, Audrey Driscoll likes it too. Her work reminds me quite a bit of Chambers, if that helps give you an idea of what it’s like.

        Liked by 1 person

  • Books & Bonsai

    I think I am actually becoming the white rabbit, as there is not much time for anything anymore…

    Liked by 1 person

  • Mick Canning

    Re-read? definitely. You always get more from a book the second time around. And physical books, every time.

    Liked by 2 people

  • petespringerauthor

    I rarely reread a book or watch a movie a second time. There are too many books waiting to be read the first time.

    Liked by 2 people

    • acflory

      -nods- I know what you mean, especially with regards to books. Back before the Kindle, the Offspring and I would wait and wait and wait for a favourite author to bring out a new book. Now there are so many favourite authors someone always has a new book out. Not complaining, mind you, but a part of me misses the slower pace.

      Liked by 1 person

  • Ellen Buikema

    I re-read now and then, especially when I’m feeling a great need to escape. Then I binge read The Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher.

    As for print or eBook, I use whatever I can get my hands on. I’m not picky.

    Cheers!

    Liked by 2 people

    • acflory

      lol – welcome, Ellen. Is that the Dresden Files like the movie? Ugh, that sounded bad. I haven’t read the books but I think I watched the movie.
      I do understand the need to escape. I love those worlds of the mind. πŸ™‚

      Like

  • Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt

    Don’t read many books right now, mostly those I read are re-reads, and on paper because I’m looking for old comfort reads – quite old.

    I don’t want to be pulled out of the very slow forward progress for the WIP, so I have to be able to put the book down instantly, and leave it down… forever if necessary.

    I’m not your ordinary reader or writer, so that is a sample of 1.

    Liked by 2 people

    • acflory

      lol – I can kind of relate. Every now and then I’m actually pleased that a book is too boring to binge but not boring enough to stop reading. Books like that make it easy to read for 5 minutes then turn off the light and go to sleep. I just finished one like that 2 days ago. Not sure what it was about the story that left me yawning, but it worked wonders for my sleep. πŸ˜‰

      Like

  • Audrey Driscoll

    Thanks for the link and the mention, Meeka!
    I reread less than I used to. When I do, it’s mostly print books because that’s all there were “back then.” But there are books (yours among them) I intend to reread via ereader, because that’s the form I bought. And as Cage said, it all depends on mood; I get a hankering for the flavour of a book, sort of like a food craving.

    Liked by 2 people

    • acflory

      lol lol lol!!!! I love that analogy about the ‘flavour’ of a book. I would never have thought of that any yet, it’s so true.
      I’m tempted to go through my ebooks and get rid of the ones I can’t remember, but…it’s too much like work. I wish the Kindle had an option for putting super good books into a special folder or something so they’re easier to re-read.

      Like

  • CarolCooks2

    So do I its been out of stock since before Xmas..they keep sending buy this reminder and when I click on it …it tells me out of stock-sigh-

    Liked by 2 people

    • acflory

      Meh…the supply chain problems are biting in every corner of life. You’d think the clever people would realise that pandemics…I don’t know…disrupt /everything/? Why didn’t said clever people factor it into their decisions, political and otherwise. Sorry, that was rhetorical. I know exactly how short-time political attention spans are.

      Liked by 1 person

  • cagedunn

    I reread every book, whether physical or eBook. Why? Because the first time is for pure pleasure, the second time may be to learn from it – whether things work or not, how the emotion was built over a period, etc. – and if there are further readings, it’s either enjoyment I’m returning to, or to dig a little deeper into something. There are books I’ve read dozens of times, and mostly enjoyed each time. Of course, it all depends on mood.

    Liked by 2 people

  • davidprosser

    I have re-read my old favourites many times but for me I’m happiest with a physical book in my hands. I found it difficult to hold and to read on a kindle. Though Gollum’s song is nice I much prefer the work someone did to put Magna Carta’s Lord Of The Ages on to the battle scene in LOTR.

    Liked by 1 person

  • CarolCooks2

    I rarely reread but when I do it’s a book with pages of paper…Like you I tend not to reread anything on my kindle (although) atm it dead and am waiting and waiting for Amazon to get more stock of the one I want πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

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