10 July 2010

Rinse And Repeat

Warning: this post rambles...more than my usual posts (if that's possible *grin*).

Last week the lovely Kati from Katidom wrote a fantastic post entitled In Which Kati Starts in the Middle (I love Kati's post titles). The post is all about the how behind re-reading. And after thinking about it I realized that for most re-reads I don't actually start at the beginning...or in the middle, but instead just re-read my favourites scenes. And sometimes I don't even read those scenes in order - sometimes I just flit forwards and then backwards to whichever scene I most want to read next...
The bottom line? I rarely re-read a book in its entirety. However, as part of the GoodReads Beyond Reality Group I am about to start re-reading (properly) the War of Light and Shadow series by Janny Wurts, starting with the first book - The Curse of the Mistwraith. And I'm both worried and excited about reading this book. I worry that it won't live up to what I remember, that it won't work for me as well as it did and that it will lose that magical...aura that it has had since I first picked it up. Saying that, I like to think that I've matured in the 17 years since The Curse of the Mistwraith was published , so I'm hoping that I'll not only enjoy it as much as I did, but that I'll also pick up more of the nuances and layers that I missed as a younger reader. And this is definitely a book that has both...in spades!

So, do you re-read and, if so, how do you do it? From the first page to the last? From the middle (like Kati) or do you flit (like me)? And...have you ever re-read a book that was one of your favourites? A book that you haven't read in years but have loved unconditionally? And how did you find it upon re-reading it? (Yes, I'm full of questions tonight. My mother used to joke that my first word was 'Why?'.)


  1. I do reread, but I always read the whole thing!

  2. Oh! I love "Rinse and Repeat" as a title too. Thank you for the shout out, lovely orrania!

  3. I have never reread a book in my life, honest to god! :) Some books I would want to reread, but there are always so many new books that I never get to it.

  4. I reread from beginning to end. To be honest, I rarely have favorite scenes in books--I take the book as a whole or not.

    However, when it comes to books in a series, I definitely flit around when I'm rereading them and skip the ones I didn't like as much.

    My favorite books when I was a teenager was a series called The Vampire Diaries (I'm sure I've mentioned this before). I reread them when I was in my early twenties and enjoyed them just as much! :)

  5. I also reread from beginning to end. I might skim some bits, but it's all or nothing for me. :)

  6. I'm another one who reread from beginning to end. I like how Kris put it, that it's all or nothing.

    I reread a couple of books last year that I was a little nervous about. One in particular is probably the closest thing I have to an all time favourite book. (The Changeling Sea by Patricia A. McKillip so you don't have to ask.)It stood up to a reread beautifully and was just as lovely now as I ever remembered. And considering it's a YA book, it might not have done.

    I think the really good books will stay really good books. The ones that aren't really, well maybe we need to learn that. Or then again, maybe we don't. I don't know.

  7. Chris - sometimes I re-read the whole book, but mostly I flick through my favourite scenes. The flicking happens when I'm moving books - I see a particular book and just have to pick it up :)

    Kati - you're very welcome. Thank you so much for the inspiration :)

    Janna - WOW! Really? But your reason is usually why I end up flicking between scenes - I worry about my TBR list. I'm quite glad through the GoodReads group I'm going to be able to re-read this particular series.

  8. heidenkind - with the number of people admitting to reading from front to back I'm wondering if I should have stayed quiet :) So controversial :) I haven't read The Vampire Diaries, but the series has just started screening here. I'm glad to know upon re-reading them they were just as good!

    Kris - another all or nothing gal. It's like I said to Chris - the re-reading happens when I'm moving books...or I suddenly get a scene in my head and can't rest until I've read it.

    Kerry - LOVE the new avatar! Brilliant :) And I'm glad The Changeling Sea stayed the distance upon re-reading. And very good point. Good books will stand the test of time, others...won't. Plus, we change and so what we like, what speaks to us, changes. And we need to re-evaluate :)

  9. Hi! I re-read a lot... what I re-read depends on the book and my mood. Some I'll re-read the entire book; others just my favorite scenes and yet others I'll start in the middle and get sucked in and read til the end.

    I've rarely re-read a book and not enjoyed it again. I do sometimes wonder why I rated it what I did; so I'll change the ratings in Goodreads. I don't think that happens often though.

  10. I. Loathe. Blogger.


    Trying again--third time in as many days!

    Depending on my mood, I may just read specific scenes, but there are books that I seem incapable of re-reading in any way other than from first to last page (Morning Glory comes to mind, as well as all the Lord Peter Wimsey novels).

  11. I re-read books many many times from beginning to end, or particular scenes. I usually find that I've forgotten a specific scene, or missed a detail or two.

  12. Mariana - so how you re-read depends on the book and your frame of mind? That makes sense :)

    azteclady - so sorry you're having Blogger problems :( And like Mariana it depends on the book. Actually, I think the book I re-read last year - To Ride Hell's Chasm (Janny Wurts) - I have only re-read in full...no scene skipping. Certain books just aren't conducive to that :)

    Rena - good point. It is amazing what you pick up, the nuances of a scene, on a re-read :)

  13. Yes!

    Until I read Kati's post, I never thought about re-reading any other way than re-reading the whole shebang.

    However, what I have done more than 1ce is start a book I really love and, though meaning to re-read the entire book, just re-read or re-listen (from the beginning) for a few chapters. Then, well satisfied, I move on to another book.

    Books I've done this with:

    Kelley Armstrong's Bitten
    Charlaine Harris' Dead Until Dark
    Susan Elizabeth Phillips' Natural Born Charmer
    Lisa Kleypas' Sugar Daddy.

  14. Renee - YAH for finding another way of re-reading. And re-reading those scenes are so satisfying :)