12 June 2011

Read it again, for the first time.

The A.V. Club posted a call for the books people have most re-read as adults. My knee-jerk reaction was to start naming off the paperbacks I read over and over when I was young, before I noticed the phrase in the original question, "not counting books read in childhood" -- and honestly I don't know how books in my adulthood will ever catch up to those anyway.

I wish I had time to do more re-reading than I do. It's sort of like eating out: You eat at a restaurant, and it's really good -- the kind of place where you would like to be a regular and be friends with the waiters and everything, sort of a kitchen-away-from-home. But hey, look at that new cafe over there -- don't you want to know how it is? Maybe you'll like it better than your regular place! In the end, though, there are a limited amount of meals you can eat out a week even if you are a billionaire or Adam Richman of "Man vs. Food."

I find this metaphor appropriate because in writing reviews I sometimes think of not just reading the latest and greatest but, in a gut sense, of digesting them. (Definition 3, not 5.) I love getting through the stack of "What We're Reading This Summer" and being able to see the big picture; it's why I am generally obsessed with best-of-year lists, even the kind that come out in October and include books that aren't even out yet (ahem, PW). I have no regrets about this, but I have to balance some other stuff in order to keep current.

That said, here are a few books I find myself reading over and over again recently, maybe because I think they will make me wiser, but we'll see where that goes: 
  • Margaret Atwood, LADY ORACLE
  • Rona Jaffe, THE BEST OF EVERYTHING (although I haven't in at least a year; I guess it's that time again?)
A few twists on this question which I'm pocketing for future posts:
  1. Adult books you read and re-read when you weren't quite old enough 
  2. First books or book series you remember re-reading (beyond picture books) (again with the limitations)
  3. Books you were forced to re-read in school
  4. Books that fell apart on re-reading (a sad list)
Care to share your re-reads?

1 comment:

Wade Garrett said...

I have re-read A River Runs Through It, The Great Gatsby, and The Things They Carried several times, though I haven't re-read any of them in a while.

I have been meaning to re-read Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Slaughterhouse-Five, and Housekeeping, but haven't gotten around to them yet. Maybe this summer . . .