Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Re-reading Books


A bookselling friend of mine recently asked me for a recommendation for something new to read. As we were talking about various books we'd read recently, he mentioned that he'd just re-read Robert R. McCammon's Boy's Life. Man, that took me back. I love that book, and recommend it whenever I can. There was a time a few years back when I would re-read Boy's Life at least once a year.

Now I realize that this is unusual. Most of my friends re-read books rarely if at all. Heck, given the sheer number of books I manage to acquire, I could read a new book every day and never run out. But sometimes something about a book just speaks to me, and instead of picking up something new and exciting, I return to the comfort of old friends: Boy's Life, Dune, The Sparrow, City of Saints and Madmen.

I'm not sure what draws me back time and time again; plot? characters? style? Probably a combination of each. But maybe the more important question isn't why I re-read these books, but how I re-read them: avidly, openly, feeling every high point and despairing in every low. For whatever reason, I can re-experience these books and retain some of whatever magic in them made me love them in the first place.

This made my suggestion for my bookselling friend pretty easy: Have you ever read The Sparrow? No? Well let me tell you about it....

4 comments:

ce5150 said...

Man, The Sparrow is SUCH a good book. Wish she would go back to those characters!

Peggy Hailey said...

Did you read The Children of God? It was interesting, but somehow not as compelling (or devastating) as The Sparrow.

Corey Redekop said...

I love rereading. I've read Dune, The World According to Garp, Fahrenheit 451, and the Hitchhiker's Guide series mroe times than I can remember.

And I liked Children of God, but thought the film, in a rare occasion, was far better.

Peggy Hailey said...

I love it too, Corey, but I have to admit that I feel kind of guilty when I re-read an old favorite and I have lots of shiny, new books staring at me reproachfully.