Thursday, July 24, 2008

So do you reread your favorite books?

Charlotte had an interesting post up last week about rereading her mother's books and wondered if her sons will someday be rereaders as well:

I doubt my sons will ever want to read my collection of British Girls Books (although if they do, more power to them). But they will be reading their mother’s books, because I have cunningly put lots of them in their rooms already—all my Rosemary Sutcliffe, E. Nesbit, Edward Eager, Jean Craighead George, and many, many, more. I am a bit anxious, however, about the boys seizing my books through eminent domain and disappearing into their own adulthoods with them. But perhaps boys are different, and don’t take their childhood comfort reading off to college with them?

Which in turn leads me to wonder—do boys/men do the comfort re-reading thing in the same way that avid female readers do? My husband, the only male reader whose habits I know, does not. Certainly at this point in their young lives my sons have books that they want over and over again--will that stop?

I've been a rereader all my life but I don't know if my brother is. It's an interesting topic for all you males out there: do you return to favorite titles again and again?

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Sean Ashby said...

I do if they're particularly special. For example, I re-read Douglas Adams' "Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy" books over and over as a teen, and then again years later as an adult.

But typically, I have a short attention span (that may be a guy thing) and am always looking for the next exciting read!

Brian said...

I read THE WESTING GAME at least once a year.

I used to revisit THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS until I got older and realized that, aside from the creepy premise, the writing wasn't very good.

It's getting harder to revisit, though, when my "to be read" pile threatens to take up a room of its own.

Erin said...

My 19-yr-old bro rereads books all the time. Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, books by John Buchan, Tom Clancy, and Michael Crichton - he's read all of those MULTIPLE times.

Cailin Sanders said...

My younger brother (now 16) has constantly listened and re-listened to Brian Jacques' Redwall series on tape/cd for several years. He has most of them memorized by now. He also re-listens to Harry Potter and LOTR. I think they are very much "comfort listening" for him.(He also has a large collection of Walter Brooks' Freddy series, but has admitted that he doesn't read them, just likes to see them on the shelf.)

Colleen said...

"He also has a large collection of Walter Brooks' Freddy series, but has admitted that he doesn't read them, just likes to see them on the shelf"

That is exactly how I feel about Little Women - just seeing it and knowing it is still here with me makes me happy. (My edition was a gift from my Aunt Irene about 30 years ago - I must have read it a dozen times in the years since.)

Little Willow said...

Brian: Turtle Wexler for president! :)

A little switcheroo: I am female, but most of the books I re-read are written by men - The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, and various works by Christopher Golden.

Mrs.Robertson said...

I don't think I've ever reread a book in my entire life except through my son. As he is reading for the first time, I'll ask him what part he's at, and sometimes he'll read a section to me, and I recall how much I enjoyed the story the first time. Although I don't reread books, there are certain books that I will always have on my shelves in the hopes that my son, and someday his children, will read them.

gonovice said...

Yes. Orwell's 1984, Lord of the Rings, Catch-22, Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, Penrod, by Booth Tarkington, Tao Te Ching, I Ching, many by Daniel Pinkwater, Lord of the Flies.

Special cases: 1) Finnegans Wake, by James Joyce: I read the whole thing once. Now I occasionally open it at random and read (It's to be read aloud.) 'til my brain freaks out. 2) R. Buckminster Fuller: I'll reread his shorter works - And it Came to Pass, Not to Stay, or Intuition, or No More Secondhand God, maybe Humans in Universe. His longer ones, I'll dip into for inspiration, especially the two volumes of Synergetics, or Critical Path. Fuller wrote that "the larger the number for whom I work, the more positively effective I become. Thus, it is obvious that if I work always and only for all humanity, I will be optimally effective."