The Pleasure of Rereading Books

As a child I used to read Black Beauty repeatedly. This book sat open on my lap when I was supposed to be taking a nap with my head on the desk in first and second grade. Each time I reread it, I wanted to get the same sensation I had before. But, it’s actually a difficult book for a first or second grader to read and comprehend all the finer points. So, I learned new things each time. Honestly, I didn’t understand the cab driver’s political comments concerning blackguards until I was much older. However, I was so impressed with this book that I decided to search for more works by the same author. Unfortunately, it is the only book that Anna Sewell wrote.

One of my more enjoyable times as a mother was picking up a book that I enjoyed as a child, and reading it to my children. These were not just short books but lengthy ones like The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien. I felt like I had a legitimate excuse to laze around with my children and reread old favorites.

I read through anthologies for a taste of works by newer authors. I find that I am more demanding when reading a novel by an author with a reputation. I acknowledge that the lesser known ones may be starting out, and there is still the possibility of growth. Finally, I tend to seek out far more stand alone novels than series, having accepted the mournful fact that only one of the series will be my favorite. This sense of disappointment is intensified  after I have discovered that it is the first one in the series.

When I choose an unfamiliar book author, I take the risk of discovering that I ‘m not fond of it. Then, a decision has to be made. Is it good enough to keep reading just to find out what happens? Will I regret the decision as I will never get that time back? So, I teeter back and forth trying to decide if my new venture in reading will pay out or not. Usually, if I find the book not to my liking, I continue to read for a few more chapters. If it still does not interest me within that time, it is added to the did not finish pile. If I am rereading an old favorite book, I don’t have to worry about that. So, now I am rereading To the Lighthouse years after I first encountered Virginia Wolff while attending college.

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