Monday, November 12, 2007

Rereads

I’ve been doing a lot of rereads lately and I coincidentally found a survey conducted this year in the U.K. on this very topic. I’m sure you won’t be surprised that Harry Potter tops the most rereads books list:


The survey of 2,034 people, conducted to mark the 2007 Costa Book Awards, found 77% of UK readers re-read books. J.K. Rowling’s hit series beat J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice into second and third place respectively.

Other top 20 re-visited reads include Tolkien’s The Hobbit, Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code and the Bible.


I am beyond shocked that people out there have: a) read the whole Bible, let alone reread it, and b) reread The Da Vinci Code... Color me confused; why on earth are people doing any of the two?


The research also showed that 43% admitted to deciding whether they will finish a book after only the first chapter.


Now this, confused me even more. Am I the only one that struggles through books till the very end regardless how bad they are? LOL


The survey also found that almost a fifth of readers read their favorite book more than five times.


As far as rereads go this is the 101 with me: The books I’ve read the most, by far, are the ones in the “Harry Potter” series, and I can happily say they’re the kind that gets better with every reading so it’s always a wonderful experience.

It isn’t always so with all my rereads. There are books I’ve loved to insanity like Susan Elizabeth PhillipsLady Be Good and Heaven, Texas, which didn’t hold up to the second read. It might be because I idealized them in my mind to the point the “greatness” of the book became unreal, or maybe I just “grew out” of them?

I’ve also had the opposite happen, This Heart of Mine by SEP was a meh read for me the first time around and wonderful every other time since. And Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie is my second favorite romance novel ever and I didn’t even like it the first time I read it.

I definitely have a reread books list but they all need to have some basic characteristics:
  • They must surprise me every single time.
  • They have to get better with every reread; they need to have many layers so that every time I read them I find and learn something new.
  • It has to be what I call a Forever Story. Meaning they don’t get old with time or seem outdated a couple of months after I’ve finished them.
This is my list organized by how many times I’ve read the book (as far as I can remember at least):
  • “Harry Potter” series by J.K. Rowling (6)
  • Paradise by Judith McNaught (5)
  • Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery (5)
  • Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie (4)
  • This Heart of Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips (3)
  • Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Crusie (3)
  • Almost Heaven by Judith McNaught (3)
  • Rachel’s Holiday by Marian Keyes (3)
  • Last Chance Saloon by Marian Keyes (3)
I’ll probably remember ten more the minute I post this. Now I have some questions for you lazy commenters:

Do you reread? If so, how many times have you read your favorite(s) book(s)? Do all your rereads hold up to your first thoughts, whether they were fab or bad? And most importantly am I the only one that struggles through books till the very end regardless how bad they are?


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14 comment(s):

Blogger Harlot said...

Do i reread? All the time LOL.

HP (like a gazillion times if i include listening to the audio version)
PARADISE - JM (6)
A KINGDOM OF DREAMS - JM (5)
SOMETHING WONDERFUL - JM (5)
WELCOME TO TEMPTATION - JC (5)
THE PRIZE - Julie Garwood (3)
HONOR'S SPLENDOUR - JG (3)
KISS AN ANGEL - SEP (3)
TTHIS HEART OF MINE - SEP (3)
BEWITCHING - Jill Barnett (3)
THE DUKE AND I - Julia Quinn (3)
PRINCESS - Gaelen Foley (3)
TBH - Paullina Simons (3 my uber fave but i can't read it all the time :/)
TWILIGHT - Stephenie Meyer (3)

I like to reread romance. Stories that me smile and laugh and sigh and cry...

Right now can only remember THE DUKE AND I as the book i didn't like the first time i read it.

11/12/2007 02:40:00 PM  

Blogger Harlot said...

Oh and yes, you're the only one who insists on finishing a bad book, you freak. You like to skip anyway!

11/12/2007 02:41:00 PM  

Anonymous karamia said...

I reread books all the time. Sometimes you just need something dependable. The HP series has been reread a gazillion times, and just gets better. and Pride and Prejudice I've reread many times. Even Twilight, but none others from that series. And I read the Bible every other day at least. I've not read the whole thing, but I often reread my favorite passages.
And The Last Year of Being Single and The Last Year of Being Married by Sarah Tucker have been reread once or twice.
And The Chronicles of Narnia, such fabulous books.

And I cannot waste time finishing books I am just not that into. Life's too short!

11/12/2007 02:53:00 PM  

Anonymous Shosh said...

I re-read and too long to post. I don't even understand why I re-read some of the book I do, but well, it's there.

11/12/2007 03:58:00 PM  

Blogger DumSpiroSpero said...

I should be cramming for a Path test but this is more fun.

First, I *love* Bet Me, and have read it at least 5 times, but I haven't enjoyed any of Jennifer Crusie's other books nearly as much.

I've read all the HP books every time a new book came out, so that's quite a bit.

I was obsessed with Anne Bishop's Black Jewels trilogy for a while and read that until the spines were destroyed.

I'm sure there are more, but I'm so busy with new books that I don't get around to rereading old ones that often right now.

Oh, I also struggle through books no matter how terrible I think they are. I know they're "masterpieces", but it's the only way I got through The Scarlet Letter and The Grapes of Wrath in high school.

Carrie

11/12/2007 03:59:00 PM  

Anonymous Gabrielle said...

I reread Harry Potter over and over again except now I don't have that drive. I'm ashamed to admit it but I think I'm a bit over them at the moment. Give me a year or two and I should be back on track.

Pride and prejudice is another one. Anything by Judith McNaught (except Tender Triumph),SEP books and TBH series =D

I have to struggle through a book thats not that good, to finish it even if its just out of curiosity. I only stop when its really really really really crap.

11/12/2007 05:19:00 PM  

Anonymous Crystal said...

I reread books sometimes If I'm in the modd for a certain author and they don't have anything recent.

As for the bible. My grandfather reads it every night. When he gets to the end he starts at the beginning again. He's really religious. But how boring...

11/12/2007 09:48:00 PM  

Blogger Cassy said...

There are too many books that I have re-read...but I read Gone With The Wind, when I was 11 and read it three times again later.

My grandmother got the book in 1962 and gave it to my mother and then went on to give it to me. It's a little worn around the edges, but you can still turn the pages.

11/12/2007 11:12:00 PM  

Blogger Jolie said...

I love to reread. That is one of the reasons why I buy books instead of just borrow from the library.

Harry Potter is also my most reread book (or series). I reread Julie Garwood's historical all the time. (Can't wait for Shadow Music!) Also, Farewell to Arms and Katherine by Anya Seton.

11/13/2007 03:19:00 AM  

Blogger Jolie said...

"I reread books sometimes If I'm in the modd for a certain author and they don't have anything recent."

I do this too. This is the reason why I keep rereading Time Traveler's Wife. AN needs to write another novel and soon!

11/13/2007 03:24:00 AM  

Blogger ...dance? said...

I re-read books all the time - but I haven't read, let alone re-read, those top however many books on the list.

The Bible is on my TBR pile; I've read parts of it and know some of the major events, but I would like to read all of it, eventually. There is some beautiful stuff in there (partly depending, I suppose, which version one reads), imo, if only from a literary standpoint (not to mention being able to better understand biblical allusions in literature). I'm not very religious, but I've always felt the Bible is something I ought to read.

Some of the books I re-read, I don't re-read the whole way through or from beginning to end, necessarily. Sometimes I start with certain scenes and work my way through the book that way or I'll only read a few chapters here and there. (I tend to re-watch tv shows and movies the same way too, come to think of it.)

Most of the books I re-read all the way through, though. Robin McKinley tends to be my all time comfort read, particularly The Hero and the Crown. I re-read a lot of romance novels, though the titles are escaping me at the moment (or too numerous to list). Lately, I've been going through Lois McMaster Bujold's The Sharing Knife a lot...

I re-read because I don't have anything else to read or want something familiar/comforting or want to revisit the story/characters... I firmly believe that we - the reader - bring something new to the story every time we read it, and more often than not, imo, it causes us to see more things in the story, for good - such as discovering more layers or subtext or whatnot - or bad - such as discovering that the story was perhaps not as good as you had thought.

11/13/2007 07:21:00 AM  

Blogger Jordis Juice said...

I reread all the time. When I have read everything on my TBR pile and have nothing else to read, when I'm on the mood to read a specific story...

I agree that Harry Potter is a "forever story". I think most good fantasy books have this characteristic. Every time you read it, you discover something about it.

11/13/2007 11:09:00 AM  

Blogger Isabella said...

Any historical romance by Judith McNaught. Also, Lisa Kleypas.

Nothing beats the first time you read a book. You still don't know what will happen, you're excited to read on and there is the element of surprise.

Do I struggle through a book till the very end regardless how bad it is? I don't really. I just stop reading and don't finish it. ;)

11/13/2007 12:36:00 PM  

Anonymous Di said...

The Da Vinci Code was mediocre enough the first time around so there will be no reread from me.

The bible I am curious about and hope to get to it one day.

I reread my favorite books and only those I keep. The rest are donated or go to the UBS.

Life is too short, if a book is bad I'll skim through it to see what ends up happening but I don't invest quality time in it.

11/14/2007 08:29:00 AM