Saturday, June 14, 2014

Thoughts on Rereading

How often do you reread?
The other night I was thinking about a trip my friend and I took to a local used bookstore, where she came across some books that she remembered really enjoying as a kid. She bought them and reread them, and she said they were great.
 Her experience got me thinking about how I don't reread books that much anymore, but that I used to constantly. I have a vivid memory of being in my 4th grade classroom, reading a book called Love, Ruby Lavender, and having a conversation with my teacher about how I had already read it and was reading it again. She said, "That's my girl."
My habit of rereading continued until probably sophomore or junior year of high school. There was a definite correlation between me rereading less and me discovering the bookternet. Since I've actively been searching for books to read, my 600+ list of books to read on Goodreads has stopped me from rereading, and I'm not sure that this is a good thing. Yes, it's great to read more books, get more experiences. But I'm also only 20 years old, and hopefully I have some years left on earth. Which means I should grant myself some time to revisit my favorites. That's why I keep them, right?
However, I also wonder if my habit of rereading was shaped by the fact that I didn't have a large access to books when I was younger. As a kid, I lived in an area that had voted not to pay taxes for library service, so I couldn't go to the library as a kid. So my reading was limited to the books we had at home, be them hand-me-downs, birthday presents, or scholastic book orders (those were the BEST!). I think that may have had a big impact on the formation of my rereading habit, and that was broken once I got my own job, my own car, and the ability to order things on the internet. That's really when my rereading stopped.
I think I should make it a goal to reread at least one book a year. It may not seem like much, but I have a feeling if I don't make it a stated goal, this practice, which I think is very valuable, may disappear from my reading life. Coming back to a book that makes you happy, that makes you smile, that gives you that giddy book feeling, can only be a positive addition to your life. So, I need to consciously include it in my reading regimen, and I think every reader should follow suit.

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