Rereading favorite books...

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Rereading favorite books...

Postby spacecat » Tue Sep 30, 2008 12:27 pm

Rereading, is it a function of age?

I have always done a bit of rereading of favorite books. But lately, I find myself drawn more to rereading than in the past. Not that I am ignoring new books or authors, on the contrary, most of what I read is new to me.

Yet lately, whenever I see a book that I enjoyed mentioned I get a real urge to find the time to reread that book.
I did turn 55 this year, and I'm wondering if I can expect this to be a trend?
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Re: Rereading favorite books...

Postby slaven41 » Tue Sep 30, 2008 6:54 pm

I would expect this to be a trend. It almost has to be. After all, when you're 25 there's not that much you can reread, and the stuff you've read hasn't been that long ago.

I'd say don't worry about it. (Not that you sound like you're going to.) After all, why do we buy a book and read it once, but we buy a CD and listen to it over and over? One could argue that a book's not nearly as good the second time around because we know what's going to happen, but I'm not convinced. Music becomes more enjoyable (at least for me) with familiarity, so why not books?

Anyway, that's my thought.

--Dave
"It's only Neutron. We call him that because he's so positive." --from This Island Earth
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Re: Rereading favorite books...

Postby admin » Wed Oct 01, 2008 4:11 pm

I reread much more when I was young than I do now. I think I read every one of the first thirty Hardy Boys books at least four times. Part of my reason for rereading was that books were hard to come by. I would get one book for my birthday, and read it over and over. Now, I have at least ten thousand books, and yet rarely reread. I am rereading Isaac Asimov's Earth is Room Enough, and before that I reread Ellery Queen's Inspector Queen's Own Case. And I reread Dante's Inferno as a prelude to reading Pergatorio, which I have not read. I guess about one book in ten that I read I've read before. Often, I find I've totally forgotten the plot, or only remember one or two key moments.
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Re: Rereading favorite books...

Postby Brightonian » Sat Dec 13, 2008 3:57 am

Rick, which translation of Dante did you read? I just got the Oxford World's Classics edition by Charless Sisson and am finding it annoyingly pedestrian and clunky. Here's a verse picked at random:

"There is a woman, born but not past her youth"
He began, "who will give you reason to like
My city, although everybody complains about it".

Poetry? I don't think so.

On the topic, I do find myself doing a fair bit of re-reading. Sometimes the attraction is that you know you enjoyed the book before, but you've forgotten enough of the detail that it will still have a freshness to it. There's a small core of books which I can read over and over: Tolkien, Lewis, the Sherlock Holmes stories, and Kim pretty much covers it.
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Re: Rereading favorite books...

Postby admin » Sat Dec 13, 2008 9:33 am

All of the books you mention are on my own rereading list.

After trying some translations that are as appalling as the one you quote, I read the translation by John Ciardi in Mentor paperback. It is funny where Dante is funny, exciting where Dante is exciting, and transcendent where Dante is transcendent. Also, he isn't afraid to make jokes in his copious footnotes. Here's a sample, at random:

And they, too, howl like dogs in the freezing storm,
turning and turning from it as if they thought
one naked side could keep the other warm.

Vivid, easy to read, and to the original, true within reason. The Comedy (the adjective Divine was not added until later) is the best book in a thousand years.
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Re: Rereading favorite books...

Postby admin » Sat Dec 13, 2008 12:02 pm

Let me know which Canto your quote is from, so I can compare.
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Re: Rereading favorite books...

Postby ChrisC » Sun Dec 28, 2008 12:39 pm

spacecat wrote:Rereading, is it a function of age?

I have always done a bit of rereading of favorite books. But lately, I find myself drawn more to rereading than in the past. Not that I am ignoring new books or authors, on the contrary, most of what I read is new to me.

Yet lately, whenever I see a book that I enjoyed mentioned I get a real urge to find the time to reread that book.
I did turn 55 this year, and I'm wondering if I can expect this to be a trend?


I think if I was to re-read a book it would be EON and Eternity by Greg Bear. Excellent book's those.
"We are what we think.
All that we are arises with our thoughts."

Buddha in The Dhammapada.

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Re: Rereading favorite books...

Postby admin » Mon Dec 29, 2008 8:59 am

I did much more rereading when I was young than I do now. So many books, so little time!
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Re: Rereading favorite books...

Postby skythorn » Thu Feb 05, 2009 8:20 am

'Dune' and 'Player of Games' are bi-annual events for me.
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Re: Rereading favorite books...

Postby HAL Jr » Fri Mar 06, 2009 7:03 pm

I very rarely re read. There's just too much stuff out there that I've not read yet! All those classics and of course there's the new stuff that keeps coming out. The time man,the time!
Would you like a stress pill Dave?
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Re: Rereading favorite books...

Postby kallisti » Sun Mar 15, 2009 3:06 pm

spacecat wrote:Rereading, is it a function of age?

I have always done a bit of rereading of favorite books. But lately, I find myself drawn more to rereading than in the past. Not that I am ignoring new books or authors, on the contrary, most of what I read is new to me.

Yet lately, whenever I see a book that I enjoyed mentioned I get a real urge to find the time to reread that book.
I did turn 55 this year, and I'm wondering if I can expect this to be a trend?



I'm 24, and I've always re-read my books. Well, the ones that I liked, anyway. For me, re-reading is like hanging out with old friends. I know where the story is going, but it's the journey and the dialogue and the love of the characters that has me doing it. I doubt there's any book I own [and like] that I haven't read at least 5 times, if not more. And I've got several hundred books. It's especially important to me to re-read a series when a new book comes out. For example, every time J.D. Robb comes out with a new In Death book, I start at the beginning of the series and read through it [she's at 25+ by now] before getting the newest one, just so I can be sure to remember what's going on.

So..I wouldn't worry about wanting to re-read books. Just sit back and enjoy the pages...
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Re: Rereading favorite books...

Postby admin » Mon Mar 16, 2009 7:47 am

I'm not familiar with J. D. Robb. Tell me something about her.
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Re: Rereading favorite books...

Postby kallisti » Mon Mar 16, 2009 11:17 am

J.D. Robb is Nora Roberts writing under a well-known pseudonym. She does it so that she gets shelved in Mystery instead of Romance. And her J.D. Robb identity writes just the In Death series. Apparently, I miscalculated the # of books in the series--according to Wikipedia, if you include her novellas, she just came out with #34. I do love prolific authors...

The In Death series is Sci-Fi/Mystery with a hint of Romance. The books take place in 2057+, and they have lasers and hover cars and colonies on other planets. The main character is a homicide cop, Eve Dallas, and throughout all the books you've got a murder that she's working on solving. The romance comes into play because Eve gets married, so you get to watch their relationship develop over the course of 30+ stories. And to bring more depth to the supporting cast, some of them have relationships too.

"The series is set in late 2050s New York, following a period of urban warfare sometime in the preceding decades that caused tremendous damage to cities and human populations. Whites are a minority in Eve's futuristic society, where most citizens are of mixed race. Other planets have been discovered and humans have built man-made worlds where they travel for holidays and where the most dangerous prisoners are confined. Androids or "droids" are commonly used as mechanical servants or extra office labor. Food is prepared by machines called "Auto Chefs."" from Wikipedia

It's a great series, hands-down my favorite. And yes, part of that is because she usually comes out with two books and a novella each year. But the writing is good, the mysteries are, well, mysterious, the sci-fi is fleshed out, and I love the characters. The dialogue is especially fun.

If you're interested in reading it, the first one is Naked in Death.
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