It had been one of those days . . . you know the kind . . . the cat throws up, on the carpet; the teenager’s hair just won’t look right, and she lets everyone know; the dishwasher didn’t get run last night, and dishes are now piled up in the sink; and so on. For me, once I get some semblance of balance back – cat puke cleaned up, teenager hair braided; I will often treat myself to a half an hour with a book and a cup of tea. I mean, what else am I supposed to do while waiting for the dishwasher to finish??
More often than not, I will pick up a book that I have already read. There are two reasons for this. First, if it is a new book or one that I am currently reading, the likelihood that I will get engrossed in it is very good. I’ve allotted myself a half an hour and we all know that the dishwasher isn’t going to unload itself . . . however, wouldn’t that be really nice.
The second reason is that there is something so comforting about revisiting with an old friend. That is how I view my rereading. Sometimes I will reread an entire book but more often I will reread favorite passages or scene. It kind of reminds me of Christmas cards: you receive them once a year and even though you might not have had contact with these friends since last year’s cards, there is something soothing and enduring about that renewed relationship. I find that when I re-read, I am revisiting old friends and renewing old memories.
There is a level of comfort and satisfaction knowing what is going to happen that enables me to reread and simply enjoy the plot, the characters, or the description instead of the anxious anticipation that often occurs during an initial read. I also find that I can better appreciate the author’s prose and language when I already know what is going to happen. The calming effect of beautiful words can be just enough to get me through the day.
How about you? Any other re-readers out there?