The Books of My Numberless Dreams

Re-reading is of the debil!

Posted on: July 3, 2007

I’m assuming this post by Jack Thurston on the perils of re-reading is a belated April Fool’s Joke. In case you don’t recognise any of the sort of readers he described let me be the first person of your internet acquaintance to “boast” about re-reading easy books. When Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince was released I re-read the books from The Prisoner of Azkaban onwards. (I try to pretend the first books don’t exist. The first is brain numbingly written, the second one not better enough to get one excited.) Look at me, I’m smart and have read all the classics in the world!


9 Responses to "Re-reading is of the debil!"

I love to re-read! There are some books, like Possesion by Byatt, that I think actually benefit from a re-read. I loved that book the first time but, oh my God, it was SO much…more…the second and even third time. Personally I think NOT re-reading is a crime. New things jump out at you in the text, different nuances, new life experience affects the whole reaction to the book.

“Now hear this: anyone who talks about re-reading a book is arrogant, narrow-minded or dim.”

I rather think he is arrogant, narrow-minded, AND dim. 🙂

Some books one simply has to re-read!

Heather I agree with you. My Name is Red is also a good candidate for that description but really, any worthwhile novel deserves another re-read.

He is a bit cracked isn’t he?

balkan I don’t think that anyone here would disagree with you.

Surely he’s trying to be funny with his own insecurities about all the books he hasn’t read. When I taught, there were a bunch of strategies we used to help students be better readers. Re-reading was a biggie.

Yet, I do see the point he makes about the person whose summer reading includes war histories, the Koran, and Anna Karenina. Those people are tedious since there’s nothing wrong with mind-numbing pulp every once in a while. It gives the brain a rest.

I’m sure you’re right about him “trying” to be funny because — and I did hope someone would catch it — the hyperlink of the “arrogant, narrow minded and dim” bit points to an article praising the merits of re-reading.

The problem is that that’s the only bit that kinda makes one crack a smile. The rest of the delivery is pretty lame.

I don’t see the point he’s making about people who don’t pick a lighter read for the summer or whatever. Suppose they just don’t like pulp books or any other light weight read? Who’s to say they don’t find their fluffy pleasure elsewhere? I don’t buy that any more than the the idea that someone whose shelves are filled with romances must be a bit weak upstairs. (Probably why I find his humour ineffective.)

Re-reading fan here. I wonder at what I might be missing out on but life is too short to pressure myself into reading other books when I might really just savour a re-read of The Hobbit (for the 5th time).


I’ve reread, rewatched, and relistened to my favorites numerous times, and they aren’t all literary, film and music classics, though I think some should be labeled as that but are underrated instead.

Don’t know what I’d do without my favorites; they comfort me when I’m really way-far-down in the dumps. I do a lot of comfort art-experiencing. On my old message board I started a thread about comfort-reading; other people responded that they do it too. Isn’t that one of the best things about really connecting with something: feeling better afterward?

What an odd post that was. And how funny reading all the comments where everyone tells him off!

Heather I actually feel the opposite kind of pressure — how can I re-read something I’ve already experienced and leave so many other new books neglected? The dilemma.

Fran I’ve re-read my favourite romance books tons of times so my re-reads aren’t all classics either. (Most aren’t I’d say.)

Dewey it was odd, wasn’t it? I see what he was going for but it wasn’t…it just wasn’t funny.

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