Sunday, 7 September 2008
Have I Read You Somewhere Before?
I think one of the Booking Through Thursday topics in the past has been about re-reading books, but my current re-read of the Mapp and Lucia books by EF Benson has made me think about it again... I always thought I wasn't much of a re-reader. So many books, so little time was my mantra - but... it appears to have all changed this year. Since January began, I've re-read the following:
Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day - Winifred Watson
Year In, Year Out - A.A. Milne
Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
Speaking of Love - Angela Young
The Love Child - Edith Oliver
The L-Shaped Room - Lynne Reid Banks
The Twins at St. Clare's - Enid Blyton
The O'Sullivan Twins - Enid Blyton
Summer Term at St. Clare's - Enid Blyton
Second Form at St. Clare's - Enid Blyton
The Provincial Lady Goes Further - E.M. Delafield
Queen Lucia - E.F. Benson
Miss Mapp - E.F. Benson
Lucia in London - E.F. Benson
Gosh. Last year, as I found out whilst doing this meme, I only re-read six books; this year I'm on sixteen already. I wonder why...
Partly it's because I don't have books to read for university (or haven't, until this point), but on the other hand I have lots of books to review for Stuck-in-a-Book which are neglected whilst I re-read. Perhaps I've come to the point in my reading life, which only really started properly in 2000, where I want to dip back into the past. Maybe I just want a guaranteed good read - but partly it's because I've realised just how subjective an experience with a book can be, and how short. I read a book in, say, four days. It might - like quite a few on the list above - be one of my favourite books. How odd that it should be on a favourites list for years, and have only occupied that amount of time in my life... so a re-read is to test the waters and see if they still make for pleasant paddling.
So much has been said about re-reading; I must get around to reading Anne Fadiman's book on the topic. I don't really know where to throw in my tuppence worthy, other than to say that re-reading this year has brought me more pleasure than almost anything else I've read - but I can't *quite* shake the idea that I should be reading something new. What do you think?