Since I’m knitting one repeat a night on what should have been a quick little project I started in April, and then investing any remaining knitting time on my October (hem) cardigan, I don’t have much to show.
Might I distract you with a book discussion? More specifically, a re-reading discusion?
Let’s start with the basics. Do you re-read books, ever?
If so, what makes you reach for the book again?
For me, I generally re-read my favorites, just because like an old friend, sometimes life compells you to reach out for something familiar and comfortable. However, there are noteworthy exceptions.
- The Bible. I don’t wear my faith on my sleeve or my blog, but there you have it. Right now, my favorite part is Ecclesiastes. I read what I feel drawn to, pure and simple.
- Cookbooks. Yeah, I READ cookbooks. I won’t explain or defend too much here, because I know I’m in good company. But when I re-read, I’m generally searching for a hint or tip that I KNOW I saw somewhere…
- Harry Potter. If you’re not a fan at all, I hope you’ll stick with this post anyway. You see, I’ve re-read most of the series more than 3 times, because JKR did a wonderful job of hiding hints, using colors as symbols, and most especially, there are obscure references to mythology and folk lore on nearly every page of some books.
So, now you know where we’re headed, but let’s back up a bit first. I was introduced to Harry Potter by the preacher’s daughter, when I was teaching her 6th grade Sunday School class. (No pressure there, none at all!) Fast-forward several weeks, and my stepmom sent the first three books to my stepson for Christmas. I wasn’t sure they were on his reading level, so I did the responsible thing and picked up HP & The Philosopher’s Stone, better known as … & The Sorcerer’s Stone here in the States, but humor the old Philosophy major, will you?
As I recall, within two days, I’d read the first three books and joined the rest of JKR’s fans, tapping my fingers and toes, waiting on the July release of the next book in the series. While Goblet of Fire is far darker than the first three and has turned off a reader or two, I believe it is also the best book of the series, but I might be biased; I’ve read it at least four times.
Why? Well, because the first time I read her books, I’m all about plot. I just want to know who dies, who lives, and what that snake Snape does to poor Harry and his friends. (No spoilers here, and I don’t hate Snape, for the record.)
Then, I give myself time to remove my emotional reactions, and I re-read for details. After that, I took a notion at some point in the series and re-read, noting when, where, whom the color green was mentioned and other such trivial things that I thought mattered at that moment.
I’m on that second re-read of the last book, Deathly Hallows now. (Do visit Wiki and check out the different cover art for the different countries. I love it!)
Why yes, it’s taken more than three years for me to diffuse enough to re-read, but between time and the very angry, rapid first reading I did in July, 2007, I’m finding that I barely retained the basic plot elements. And you know what? So far, I’m not hating the book at all. Seems it’s much more productive to read with a nearly open mind… I’m even finding some great symbols and myth references, which I claimed were grossly absent from the book. Hem.
…and if you made it through this whole post, you get an A for today. I’d love to know more about your re-reading habits.