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Question of the Reading Week

October 4, 2013

Name a book you read over and over again or the one you re-read most recently. Is there a seasonal component to your re-reading?

Ron always has to dip into Lord of the Rings around the time of year the hobbits begin their journey, and thinking about where they are on a given day makes me want to dip in, too.


22 Comments leave one →
  1. October 4, 2013 8:09 am

    I used to have many more repeat reads, but perhaps as a function of middle age, I am feeling that time is short and books are long. But I do a lot of rereading at Christmas, most particularly I start LIttle Women every Christmas Eve, an homage to the long nights where I couldn’t sleep with excitement and I would read the longest book in my room in hopes that it would get me through. Outside of Christmas, Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice have both been much reread over the years, but not on any particular schedule. My husband rereads Walker Percy’s The Moviegoer every Mardi Gras, reading a little each day in “real” time as the story unrolls. And we both read Sherlock Holmes every winter because he’s a good friend in the winter.

    • October 6, 2013 9:55 pm

      Little Women was the longest book in your room? That distinction went to Gone With the Wind, in mine.

      • October 6, 2013 10:33 pm

        My annual read of Little Women started, I think, in 3rd or 4th grade. I don’t think I read GWTW until I was in jr. high.

  2. October 4, 2013 8:30 am

    I tend to re-read Pride & Prejudice every few years and then I’ve re-read It by Stephen King in the winter…for some reason I like creepy reads in the winter.

    • October 6, 2013 9:57 pm

      Interesting. I used to never understand why anyone would like anything creepy, but lately so much of the creepy has been saturated with comic that I read and (more rarely) watch some of it.

  3. October 4, 2013 8:45 am

    I reread Jane Eyre every few years. And sometimes go back to my Dorothy Sayers mysteries. Comfort reading more than anything else.

    • October 6, 2013 9:58 pm

      It’s nice to have something that always goes the same way.

  4. October 4, 2013 10:54 am

    I re-read Little Women once a month (at least) for YEARS starting in 3rd grade. I re-read Georgette Heyer, DE Stevenson, and Elizabeth Peters as my regular fall-asleep reading. But other re-reads are no longer seasonal for me; I tend to re-read, say, a Mary Renault book, and the go on to re-read her entire oeuvre (except The Charioteer). 😛

  5. October 4, 2013 12:49 pm

    I used to find myself re-reading books like ‘The Lord of The Rings’ at this time of the year because I would invariably have a student who wanted to use them as the basis for their dissertation and that would give me the perfect excuse to go back to them. You remind me that I haven’t re-read the book since I retired and that I really ought to treat myself this autumn, especially as I live in Tolkien’s Shire and walk beneath one of his two towers almost every day of my life. I have had my copy for over fifty years so I might even treat myself to a new one.

    • October 6, 2013 10:02 pm

      Tonight is the attack on Weathertop. Appropriately, it is a night of wild thunderstorms here.

  6. Jenny permalink
    October 4, 2013 1:43 pm

    The book I re-read most recently was An Old-Fashioned Girl, by Alcott, but Little Women, like many of your readers, is probably the book I’ve re-read most, lifetime. Once, I took Pride and Prejudice and Annie Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek with me on a three-week pilgrimage trip with students through France and Spain. We had to carry everything with us in backpacks and so I could carry very few books. I re-read those two perhaps six or seven times each on that trip.

    Gaudy Night. Rebecca. The Hobbit. The books about the Eliots by Elizabeth Goudge. The Saturdays.

    Re-reading isn’t seasonal, for me; these days it connects with illness or sadness or stress. It is purely a comfort.

    • October 6, 2013 10:03 pm

      Pride and Prejudice is certainly coming in a close second.
      I’m interested that you would reread Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. I feel like most of those images were seared on my brain from first reading.

      • Jenny permalink
        October 7, 2013 3:47 pm

        Well, but, perhaps surprisingly, it really rewards close re-reading. The images are so closely knotted and woven that you can follow them every which way: backward or forward or sideways. I did a lot of chewing that book over on that trip.

        I will say I haven’t felt the urge to read it since.

  7. Joe Murphy permalink
    October 4, 2013 8:15 pm

    A Christmas Carol, every Christmas. And of late, L. Frank Baum’s Life and Adventures of Santa Claus.

    I do like to reread the Chronicles of Prydain every 5-10 years or so.

    Other than that, no, I don’t re-read much.

    • October 6, 2013 10:06 pm

      Of all the series to pick, Prydain is a good one. It interests me that it’s the only one, though–what makes it worth re-reading over, say, the Chronicles of Earthsea?

      • Joe Murphy permalink
        October 9, 2013 12:26 pm

        I simply haven’t found the series with the same emotional attachment for me. In Eliade’s sense, it is a sacred text – it is the liminal object where the timelines converge, and I can see the little boy who wanted to be Taran, and the slightly older boy who wanted to be Fflewdur, and the man who sees he is becoming Coll. I can see my mother and father and wife and son and Mrs. The General and Lloyd Alexander, who have all inscribed various of these books for me, and we are all there together, which is, after all, rather the point of the books.

        I’ll make an argument about what’s so wonderful about it if you like, but it’d be evading the question. Liminality is the only reason I reread.

  8. October 4, 2013 9:11 pm

    Every now and then I reread all of Austen. I have recently reread all the Henning Mankell books. Otherwise, no, I don’t think I reread much. Although I’m realizing now I reread Ian Frazier’s Travels in Siberia because it was on the kindle I inherited. I liked it the first time through and liked it better the second.

    • October 6, 2013 10:07 pm

      Austen and mysteries is turning out to be a theme, here.

  9. October 5, 2013 4:13 am

    I’ve reread World War Z probably four times; it may make it to serially re-read book status. Other books that have already met that status include Snow Crash (although it may have slid off because I haven’t reread it in the last couple of years), and all of Banks’ Culture novels. Now that he’s died, I am being careful in how often I reread them. The supply is strictly limited and I want to always love them the way I do now.

    • October 6, 2013 10:08 pm

      Walker just read Snow Crash this summer and took our copy off to college with him. We had to find another.

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