Every once in a while, someone will tell me that she or he doesn’t reread books because there are just too many books. Unless you’ve read all that you want to read at least once, isn’t it a waste of time to reread the same book?
I see the logic.
For me, however, pleasure enters in. I reread books because I want to. Because rereading books gives me pleasure. For me, it’s the same as listening to a favorite song over and over or revisiting my favorites in a museum.
Right now, I’m rereading Anna Karenina, on maybe my third or fourth go-round. My husband’s reading it gave me the motivation. It’s fun to refresh my memory and talk to him about it as we progress. It’s interesting to see what I remember (the sweet beauty of the Kitty and Levin relationship) and what I’ve forgotten (the tedium of some of the political arguments). There’s a lot about agriculture in Anna Karenina!
I’ve probably reread The Catcher in the Rye the most, although not for many years. I think the count was around twenty readings when I last estimated. Charlotte’s Web is up there also, as are the two other books pictured above.
During the pandemic quarantine, I craved re-experiencing beloved books rather than encountering new ones. In 2020, I reread (looking at my list) David Copperfield, So Long, See You Tomorrow by William Maxwell, Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Sense and Sensibility (are you picking up a theme?), Wuthering Heights, To the Lighthouse, and others. Locked up at home, stressed and worried, I soaked up comforting, familiar things, and there was a lot of time for reading.
Do you who avoid rereading books also avoid re-watching movies? I suspect so. No surprise: I’m on the re-watching team.
Where do you stand? If you’re a rereader (or rewatcher), what books and movies do you return to? If you’re not, why not?