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Shelf Discovery challenge – March challenge

March 25, 2010

For this month’s Shelf Discovery mini-challenge, Nicole of Linus’s Blanket wants to know:

One of the things that I have been really curious about in reading these books is how I am interacting with re-reads in comparison to my response to books that I am reading for the very first time.  Do I like them more if I  had read them in the past, and do they seem to be as realistic or does nostalgia give them a bit of a boost in that department? Am I harder on books that I am just now reading for the first time?  More critical?  Less accepting of the reality that is presented to me?  How are you finding that the reading experiences of books that you have read for the first time as opposed to re-reads compare to each other?

This is a great question, but it’s kind of tough for me to answer since I don’t re-read many books, and I’m not re-reading any for this challenge.  On the rare occasion when I do re-read a book, it’s usually been years since I last experienced it, so I remember the basic plot, but none of the nuances of the story.

When re-reading a book, I think I pay more attention to the actual writing than the plot, since the plot is familiar to me.  Usually the story isn’t as gripping, so I don’t find myself flipping the pages as quickly, but I do find that re-reading an old favorite like Little Women by Louisa May Alcott can be awfully comforting.

How about you – do you re-read books?  If so, how do you find the experience?

Go to Nicole’s mini-challenge post to get full details or to see what others have said.

21 Comments leave one →
  1. March 25, 2010 8:02 am

    I have never re read a book. Not knowingly at least. I would love to read my old favs but I keep on thinking… maybe they won’t appeal to me the same way they did and I might not like them now… the thought of which somehow is frightening…LOL!

  2. March 25, 2010 8:15 am

    One of the things I’ve enjoyed so much about the Shelf Discovery Challenge is re-reading some of my old favorites. Can’t talk about it too much here because I still need to write my mini-challenge post! LOL!

  3. March 25, 2010 8:51 am

    Please stop by here, have something for you.

  4. March 25, 2010 9:52 am

    I find re reads comforting too, although I don’t do many of them either.

  5. March 25, 2010 10:26 am

    I like re-reading, but sadly a lot of the books I loved as a kid I don’t enjoy much as an adult.

  6. stacybuckeye permalink
    March 25, 2010 10:38 am

    I reread my favorites over and over again as a teen, but as an adult there are just too many good books to read! That’s why I am making it a goal to read at least one of my favorites each year – like the Deadly series. Next year I’m choosing something shorter!

  7. March 25, 2010 10:55 am

    It’s really a terrific question. I only wish I could remember enough! But I often wonder that when I reread books, even adult classics. I do remember “loving” a book that I would read later and wonder why, but not being able to remember why!

  8. March 25, 2010 1:30 pm

    I’m not a re-reader in general, either.

  9. March 25, 2010 2:47 pm

    I’ve done a small bit of re-reading the last year or so. I re-read Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier and loved it the third time as much as the first two. I did notice things that I had missed the previous two times…probably because as you note, I already knew the plot! I also re-read a childhood favorite this year. I loved reconnecting with that little girl (me) who loved the book so much the first time I read it at about the age of 10.

  10. March 25, 2010 4:05 pm

    I’ve done quite a bit of rereading since my retirement (more time). I’ve found it comforting and great fun. I agree with your viewpoint on paying attention to the writing more than the plot. That’s the real value of a reread. Plus, I like revisiting with favorite characters.

  11. March 25, 2010 4:17 pm

    I’m not a big rereader at all…in fact I hardly ever do that. With that being said, I do plan on reading the Harry Potter series over again..this time I can just go from book to book without waiting and in my case forgetting all of the important information!!

  12. March 25, 2010 4:20 pm

    It’s been a long time since I have reread a book, but often, when I do, the book feels almost new to me. I can totally get what you say about the plot not feeling as fresh as it did the first time around, but sometimes when I do reread a book, I pick up something I may have missed the first time around. I am looking forward to reading a couple of books for this challenge, and am struggling through my “keeper” shelf on what to choose! Great answer, Kathy!

  13. March 25, 2010 4:22 pm

    I’m really not much of a re-reader myself. There are so many books to be read in the world, and more piling up every day that I want to read – going back and reading something I’ve already read, even if I *loved* it the first time, just feels like an awful waste of time to me. Most of the books I hope to re-read in the future are books I loved but thought that I could have gotten even *more* out of, so I keep them on hand….just in case. 🙂

  14. March 25, 2010 5:53 pm

    I think my answer would be this: it varies.
    Sometimes I enjoy a book more, sometimes less. While the novelty may be gone, there is comfort and familiarity (sounds like marriage) in books already read. Yes, I am more critical, I suppose, of books I loved as a child, if only because I’m no longer a child. 🙂

  15. March 25, 2010 7:31 pm

    I don’t reread many books – the only ones I have are the Harry Potter books, Little Women and East of Eden. I will probably reread Harry Potter yet again.

  16. March 25, 2010 7:39 pm

    Thanks for playing along Kathy. I re-read very infrequently, but am trying toput aside the time to do much more of it. Right now I am re-reading Gone With The Wind, and though I remember the plot, as , you say. there are so many more details that I am savoring this time that escaped my attention. I also find that I do a comparison of feeling because I want to know whether the story is having the same impact on me as it did before. I love thinking about and comparing the results.

  17. March 25, 2010 10:50 pm

    I wish I reread more. So far I haven’t been doing that but I do have a few books that are in the reread list.

  18. March 25, 2010 10:50 pm

    I love to re-read my favorites though I haven’t done it in a while. Some books I’ve found that I love more every time I re-read them like What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? by Peter Hodges while others don’t live up to the re-read and I realize I no longer even like the book.

  19. March 26, 2010 1:42 am

    I used to re-read a lot more often before I started blogging (and the giant mountain of review copies took up residence in my house). Now I save the re-reads for true favorites. Those I re-read the most often are Harry Potter books and books by Anne McCaffrey, and then it’s all about the experience – hanging out with the characters in the book and relishing the time spent in their worlds.

  20. March 26, 2010 2:43 pm

    I don’t like to re-read books or to see movies a second time. They just don’t have the charm for me the second time around. Besides, I don’t have time – I’ve got all these wonderful books in my TBR pile that I want to get to.

  21. March 26, 2010 2:45 pm

    I don’t reread often either. I would love to join the challenge. I’m just not too good at challenges. This is my second year of trying and I’m not moving fast or quickly enough. I’m glad you told us about this challenge.

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