Sunday, October 2, 2011
I don't reread. I guess that's another strike against me as a reader. All the best readers seem to reread.
Of course, given that I am a children's librarian by profession, I make exceptions for children's picture books. Not only do I frequently reread children's picture books, but I have been known to reread them as much as thirty-two times in one week.
I never get tired of rereading children's picture books. I love anticipating the laughter, the sudden solemnity in the children's faces, the thoughtful looks, that ensue from passages read aloud, class after class, during my busy eight-class-a-day schedule. Children seem to love to hear the same books read aloud, too, over and over, year after year. How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? Tadpole's Promise. Madeline. Skippyjon Jones. No, David. Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! Where Is the Green Sheep? Sylvester and the Magic Pebble. We're Going on a Bear Hunt. I have many of these memorized.
So, rereading. I reread a lot of picture books. And I reread poetry. What else? I poured through my old book reviews and found only a handful of rereads. A Wrinkle in Time. My Name is Asher Lev. Gilead. The nonfiction of Anne Lamott. ZAMM. Gone With the Wind. Half Magic. Phantom Tollbooth. That's about it for me and rereading.
The odd thing is that rereading has always been a good experience. An excellent experience, really. The second time through a book I always see things I didn't see before, beautiful language I missed the first time out, deeper insight into characters, nuances, all things easy overlooked during that initial dive into a book.
It's the siren call of the hundreds of books out there I haven't read at all, waiting for me to read them, that keeps me stuck in this life of Re-Read-Less-Ness. It's my American competitive nature, my Texan belief that more is always better.
Every New Year's Day, when I sit down to write my reading resolutions for the next twelve months, I always include a decision to slow down in my reading. I always fail. This year, I'm going to aim once again to slow down and add a new resolution to reread.
Do you often reread? Do you have certain books you like to reread? What helps you choose to reread rather than tackling one of the many unread books you have on hand?