Monday, April 18, 2016

The benefits of rereading books

A little over a year ago, I blogged about the benefits of rereading books.  Now a new article has reminded me of this debate:

You Can Go Home Again: The Transformative Joy Of Rereading

This article talks about how your interpretation of books changes as you change.  I certainly have experienced that firsthand.

The time I remember being most impressed with how a book "changed" was when I reread Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH in college for a children's lit class.  I hadn't read the book since elementary school, and I was amazed by how much subtlety I had missed, in both the story and the writing.  There were some very mature ideas tucked away in the pages of that little children's chapter book.

What would I find different about it now if I read it again, more than a decade after graduating college?

There are only a few books that I have read and reread over the years.  The Chronicles of Narnia is one -- and perhaps in that case I've reread those books to return to my childhood, rather than to see how the books have changed for me over the years.  I also have read The Lord of the Rings several times over the years: first during my years off between high school and college, again during college, and a third time about seven years ago.  Since I only ever read those books as an adult (ish), and since I read them both before and after the movies were made, my perception and understanding of them has changed greatly over the years.

For the most part, though, I don't reread many books.  I simply don't feel like I have time to reread, as many new books as there are that I still want to get to experience.  Too many books, too little time is my motto!

What about you?  What books do you like to reread, and why do you reread them?

No comments: