Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Way We Are: Rereading Books

Indira Gandhis book shelf
By Vinayaraj [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
The bookshelves in my house were overcrowded. Terribly. I had a yard sale a week or so ago, so I figured it was high time to make some serious choices about all the books on my shelves. With each one, I thought Would I ever read this again? (And, because I'm not the only person in my family, I also thought Would anyone else in my family want to read this someday? but that's not really what this post is about.)

I was a little surprised at how many the answer to that question was NO. It was no on a lot of books I LOVE! Why? Well, because new great books are coming out all the time. I don't even have enough time to read all the ones I want, so I really can't justify re-reading books I've already read!

UNLESS..... They're inspiring. You know the kind-- the ones that even if you read just a part, it's so incredible that it energizes you and makes you want to sit and write and never eat or sleep again?

We're writers. That means we buy lots of books, right? (Or at least it means we like to read lots of books.) So how about you? Do you ever re-read books? And, the bonus question, do you keep tons of books that you liked tons, but you know dang well that you'll probably never re-read it, but you just love it way too much to ever get rid of it? Um, yeah. My guess is that as a whole, we tend to have overflowing bookcases. Oh, come on. There's worse things in the world to horde, right?

24 comments:

Delia Moran said...

I do reread books, but they tend to be the funny ones, not the inspirational ones. They're the ones I can read for a quick boost to the spirit, much like watching a favorite movie. I do keep the others, though. You never know when you might have someone that just HAS to read a particular book RIGHT NOW. How can you foist good books onto people if you have no books? (Not that I'm in danger of having no books. :) )

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I have a handful I re-read; but I at least once a year I re-read Victor Frankl's "Man's Search for Meaning". Powerful book.

Rebecca Belliston said...

I'm like you. I only reread a few books because there are too many on my never-read-before list that I'm anxious to get to. Those on my shelf are either definite rereads, or they're really pretty. Otherwise, I pass them along to someone else.

Jaime Morrow said...

I'm a book collector and really need to cull my shelves too. If I'm being perfectly honest, the answer to the "Will I read this again?" question will be (in most cases) a resounding "No". I've been thinking about doing a massive book giveaway or something. Like sending a great big box o' books to one lucky person. That would be crazy expensive, though. I suppose there's always donating them, and do a massive Rock The Drop when that rolls around. :)

Donna K. Weaver said...

I reread books all the time. My favs are like dear friends that I have to keep up to date with periodically. That's why I'm such a fan of audiobooks because I can listen while I'm doing something else--like exercising, getting ready for work, showering even (have to crank the sound up), mowing the law, doing laundry, dishes, cooking.

Emily R. King said...

I like to reread certain books. It depends on which ones they are. But new books get first pick over them. :)

S.P. Bowers said...

I just posted on this the other day. I do re-read but I re-read less now than I used to. I used to only buy books that I had previously read and knew I would want to read over and over again. The kindle made buying books just too easy.

Joshua said...

I should go through my books to see which ones I want to keep. Take a serious look at it. I have a lot of TBR books still, though.

Shallee said...

There are certain books I re-read quite often (I'm a super fast reader, though). Some I never re-read even though I love them. I have a hard time getting rid of any books, though.

Ruth Josse said...

Give me a year between readings and I can re-read a book and it's almost new. The joy of having a bad memory. But I definitely have my favorites. The ones that I almost have memorized but they're still fun to read. AND I'm getting quite a collection of books by people I know which is pretty cool. I can't get rid of those. :)

J. A. Bennett said...

I know exactly what you mean. I will never let Harry potter go, but there are other books I can do without even though I bought them. Nothing wrong with getting rid of a few books every now and then :)

The Golden Eagle said...

I only reread books I really, really loved or thought stood out from most other fiction. And yes on the overflowing bookcases. :)

Nicole said...

I have to admit...I'm a chronic re-reader. I can't really imagine NOT re-reading a book (unless I didn't like it much on the first time through). I love reading them and admiring the author's craft.

Jessie Humphries said...

That is your book shelf!!! I just realized I've stood at your door step at least twice and I've never crossed the threshold! What's that all about? I am seriously impressed by that book collection. Mine is friggin pathetic in comparison.

Susanna Leonard Hill said...

Guilty as charged. My bookshelves are overflowing all over the house. We have hundreds of books... many hundreds! And I almost never get rid of them, thinking I MIGHT re-read someday, or someone else in the family might want to read or re-read or I might want to study an example of how a certain thing was done. Books are hard to part with. Occasionally it's necessary, and then I donate to kids' book collectors who will distribute to kids who need books.

Richard said...

I hate to get rid of books, but sometimes you've got to do what you've got to do.

Iain said...

There are certain books that I re-read. Although, recently, my book pimp keeps supplying me with a steady new supply.

Writer Pat Newcombe said...

There certainly are worse things to horde!! But I know what you mean... I never re-read fiction - only non fiction and I have to have those books prised out of my hand before I will let anyone throw them out! Not so bothered about hanging onto fiction books. Once it's read the enjoyment has gone, for me.

Annalisa Crawford said...

I love re-reading books. I had a clear out recently. My three piles were charity shop, put in loft, keep on shelves. Only one book ended up in the charity pile - I just couldn't bring myself to part with any of the other books.

Re-reading takes much less time than reading a new book, because I already know the story, so I'm sure I scan a lot more, but it's a lovely comforting feeling, like pulling on your favourite jumper again when winter comes.

Angela Cothran said...

I horde and reread books. One reason I like to keep so many is because I love to lend them out. And if I'm feeling like a certain book I like to have it NOW. I'm impatient like that :)

Coleen Patrick said...

There's only a few books that I've read more than once. I don't have a crazy amount of books in my house, but oddly the ones I do have are the ones that were not necessarily my favorites because those end up getting passed around. :)

Jenny S. Morris said...

I don't reread almost at all. I have a few that I like. Some that I know someday I want to buy.

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

I have quite a few books that I reread because I am studying them. I rarely just reread a book I enjoyed, but I just finished STARTERS and am thinking about reading again. It was really really good. Like Hunger Games good.

Laura Marcella said...

I re-read my favorite books every few years. I'm a fast reader so can re-read the best and read new books! Plus I rarely ever watch TV. It's amazing how much time you can create for reading new books and re-reading old favorites when that annoying box is turned off!