Peripatetic, itinerant, eclectic musings about books, politics, history, language, culture, and anything else that interests me.
Last week, I wrote a post about re-reading. I am not someone who enjoys re-reading; I’ve long been curious about what others find attractive about it.
Just now, I was browsing book blogs, and came across this post at Mark Athitakis’ American Fiction Notes:
For reasons that’ll be clear in a few days, I’ve been spending some time thinking about my rereading habits—or lack thereof. If I’m not reading something I’m reviewing (which is how I spend about half my reading time), I tend to reach for something brand-new to me. Seems like the responsible thing to do. …
David Gates summed up the rereader’s mindset pretty well last year in Newsweek. But his enthusiasm for rereading largely involves an eagerness to experience particular characters again, an attitude I find a little baffling—it sounds a little too much like you’re all excited about hanging out with your imaginary friend. Rereading mainly seems appealing to me if it offers some kind of window into a writer’s process. …
I don’t tend to throw questions directly to readers—I don’t have the “online community manager” gene, and I fear that such appeals come off as a little needy and manipulative. But there’s a first time for everything, and seeing as I’m not sure when I’ll have another opportunity to post at length, now is as good a time as any to invite the commentariat to weigh in. What prompts you to reread, and what do you tend to reach for when you do?
Mark and I have a few things in common (besides the fact that we both like WordPress’s Vigilance theme). I also would rather read a new book than turn to one I have already read and, like Mark, I dislike throwing questions out to my readers (not that I have any yet, on this blog!). But it was exciting to see another litblogger with the same question I had, so I’ll just leave it at that.