Books, Books, and More Books

I know, I know, enough with the books already, right? Oh, who am I kidding. I love books. Will always love books. And speaking of books, I need more bookshelves because my personal library is ever-growing. Yes, I buy books. I own books. I will also readily admit that I rarely clean out my collection, preferring to keep what I have forever. I. Love. Books.

I’ve talked before about the readers in my book clubs who seem to think that reading is a competition. In this week’s meeting, one woman announced she had read 30 books during the month of April. That’s one a day. Who has that kind of time?? I know, I know, I keep harping on the whole “how many books did you read” thing, having regaled you with other such stories recently… but come on!

These are the members who joined for the sole purpose of showing off their Evelyn Wood Speed Reading ability! No matter what book you bring up, they’ve read it. I mean, of course they have. They’ve seen the movie, and trust us, the book was better. Okay, well, they have a point there.

But you know what these voracious readers won’t do?  Re-read. “There are too many new books out there to read, why would I waste my time on re-reading?”  Ummm… I don’t know Karen, for starters, maybe you’ll catch little details you may have missed the first time during your speed-reading session. I’m no speed reader, but I, and many like me, reread books just for the purpose of enjoying a beloved story all over again, delighting in the subtle plot points we may not have noticed before, or for whatever reason, didn’t “click” in our heads during the first read. It’s like watching a movie more than once and catching the joke or the witty dialogue or the especially meaningful glance that you missed during the first viewing.

Not to mention that some books just get better with age. Maybe upon a second or third read, the story will hold greater meaning – or be interpreted completely differently – because as we age, so does our insight. Re-reading allows us to tap into that maturing mindset to see things differently than we did before.

For me, my most dog-eared books are what I call my “comfort reads.” They are books I’ve read too many times to count just because they bring me joy (as much as Stephen King can bring joy), I love the characters more than a person should ever love fictional characters (I’m looking at you Poirot and Mr. Darcy), or because the story means something to me. And you know what? I’m not ashamed. Re-reading is cool.

So, as I close out my book rants for a while, what are my words to you? Read the book you’ve already read. And then read it again. Drink it in, enjoy it. You won’t regret it. Trust me on this.

10 thoughts on “Books, Books, and More Books

  1. Yep! I will often re-read (quickly) the first or first two novels in a trilogy if the third one just came out and I’m really enjoying the series – just like I’ll re-watch movies on DVD before going to see the trilogy finale when it comes out in theaters.

    “Comfort reads” is a perfect description. Heinlein, Clancy, “Tom Sawyer,” the Sandman Slim novels, Scalzi – they’ve all gotten multiple re-reads.

    Mmmmmm…comfort reads!

  2. I agree… Re-reading is something I do. Of course, there will always be new books out there, but returning to a good story is such a pleasant thing to do. It makes me smile when I hear people bragging about how many books they have read, as if it was a competition…

  3. 30 books really? Great. Sit down and tell me about every. Single. One. No seriously, I want a synopsis of each damn book!
    I hate, no, loathe people who think it’s great to read a lot of books in a small amount of time. Even when I love a book and read quickly to see how it ends, I take my damn time. And re-reads are a freaking MUST. Especially if you read them when you were much younger.
    I would totally make up a book name and see if they’ve read it. I hate when people say they have done something, seen something, eaten something when they haven’t. Worse are the ones who say they have done something and now know all about it.
    I have THOUSANDS of ebooks. Each one collected because I want to eventually read them. I have them separated by year I collected it, the author and if it’s part of a series. I have many lifetimes of reading to get to. Wish I could get paid to read books where ever I feel like reading them. I’d might get through them all.

  4. I never re-read anything. My TBR stacks are way to high for that. I understand that other people love it and I’m happy for them. I did try it and couldn’t do it. I was disappointed and bored because I knew what the book was all about, so I stopped trying immediately and read something new. If she read 30 books…half of them were 25 page long.

  5. They still have the Evelyn Wood speed-reading courses?
    That dates back to the ’70s already!
    I remember that from when I was still a teenager!

      • Well, it’s tennis season, and I think my guy Rafa Nadal might be in the twilight of his game, so I may re-read his biography. Oh yes – and Fried Green Tomatoes!

        • Love, love, love Fried Green Tomatoes! I didn’t know until recently that the Fannie Flagg who wrote it is the same Fannie Flagg I loved watching in The Match Game. LOL I’m a little dense sometimes. I’ve heard wonderful things about her 2014 novel The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion. I’ve ordered it from the library and I’m just waiting for it to get in so I can start on it! Have you read that one?

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