I’ve been dipping into the collected Tor.com essays of Jo Walton, What Makes This Book So Great and wondering why I don’t re-read more. When I had limited choice I used to do it quite a lot. In fact the ‘keeping rules’ for my shelves are that a book has to be unread (a lot shelf space), special (mostly signed, part of a collection, favourite author or proofs) or I have to want to re-read them, which is why I still have The Great Game trilogy by Dave Duncan (as I want to re-read it) but not Lord of the Rings (I didn’t even finish the last book). I have re-read The Hobbit a few times though that went to charity not so recently.
A friend just re-read The Song of Achilles, which resulted in a flood of tears for the third time. Another finds comfort in the Harry Potter series and is on their 30th re-read. For me re-reading Pratchett is always a pleasure. I’ve re-read The Hogfather as a Christmas tradition for quite a few years though I think I’ve re-read Sourcery the most out of the Discworld series. I’ve been re-reading very very very slowly the City Watch thread but I think The Witches will always be my favourite. I’m need to crack on and read Jingo – goodness it’s been over a year since I read Feet of Clay!!
I’ve re-read The Old Kingdom books by Garth Nix and wanted to re-read them before reading Clariel. I’d also love to re-read the Polity books by Neal Asher as the more I read the more I see how clever he is at using the universe he’s created. Then there is a duology by James Stoddard, called The High House and The False House, which I wish had chance to become a trilogy and I’d love to be more widely read.
I guess what I’m convincing myself of is that I actually do enjoy re-reading. And I used to do it more but over the last several years I’ve not indulged – last year wasn’t a good reading year for me anyway. As seen in my previous post I’ve got a pile of first reads that I want to explore. So why do I feel a big urge to re-read Harry Potter?
Jo Walton re-reads a lot but as she points out in her introduction she needs to read forward so she has new things to re-read but I think for me I need to re-read more in order to enjoy reading more.