Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Reread

Every now and then, I find myself wanting to go back and reread a book I've already read.

When I was a kid, I did this all the time. I can't count how many times I read Ramona and her Father by Beverly Cleary or Just as Long as We're Together by Judy Blume or Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. Sometimes it was because those were the books I owned and at 9:00 on a Friday night, I needed something to read, so I grabbed one from my shelves. Sometimes it was to visit an old friend. And sometimes it was just safe. There's a risk in picking up a book you don't know - you might not like it. Maybe that's one reason kids like series books so much - there's safety in the familiar.

As I got older, I reread less and less. Oh, every time a new Harry Potter book would come out, I'd reread the series (or at least the previous book). And in college, I went back and reread all the Anastasia Krupnik books and all the Ramona books. But I was short on time and discovering just how many great books are out there. More and more, rereading seemed like a waste of time.

Now, as a librarian and blogger, I rarely make time for rereading. So many books are released each year that it would be impossible for one person to read them all. I need to read new books so I know what to recommend to my kids at the library. Now I'm getting review copies and there's a constant pressure to readreadread and review them all (an impossible job, to be sure).

But I think I'm going to make some time and reread some books over the next couple of weeks. Why?

Because I'll discover new details the second time around. On the first reading of a book, I'm trying to keep all the characters straight, trying to figure out the plot and notice beautifully written passages. On a reread, I know the plot and the characters and I can really sink into it and make connections that I didn't make before.

Because it's still great to revisit old friends from beloved books.

And most of all, because it's fun. And reading should be nothing if not fun!

Keep the fun alive, folks. Reread one of your favorite books today.

(And if you really don't think you have the time to reread, consider checking out some of your favorites on audio. It's a whole new way to experience your favorite characters and stories!)

Who's with me? Do you reread books? What are your favorite books to reread? Did you reread books as a kid? Have you reread any of those old favorites as an adult? And did they stand up to the test of time?