“If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.”~Oscar Wilde
Sometimes, a book is too good for you to read it once and be done. Like a good movie, you want to experience that book again and again. You may catch something new in the plot, or gain a better understanding of the characters, or maybe you just want to feel that rush of adrenaline at the exciting climax. Whatever the reason, we all have books that we re-read. This week, MPL's librarians are sharing their favorite reread book. From magic to psychosis, we have varied interests here, so hopefully one of them catches your eye enough for it to be your reread as well.
I reread Magic's Pawn (the first book of The Last Herald Mage Trilogy) by Mercedes Lackey every couple of years. I first read this book in high school and it touched me. Even now, after years and years (and years and years) of rereads, I still tear up every time I read it. Magic's Pawn is one of the books that launched my life-long love of the Fantasy genre. It's one of my top 10 favorite reads of all time. I think I will go reread it today.
The Awakening by Kate Chopin is a book I had to read in high school as a summer reading book. I loved it then because the main character was so different than any other character and I defended her and the ending heatedly against classmates. I reread the title because it is a great piece of literature that went against the norms of what late 19th century American women were supposed to act like. The independence and struggles of the main character resonated with me. It is a beautiful piece about a woman who becomes listless with the life that was chosen for her and seeks a life of her own.
I’m endlessly fascinated with authors who attempt to capture consciousness on the page, so I’m not surprised that Susanna Kaysen’s Girl, Interrupted is the book I’ve reread the most. Girl is Kaysen’s memoir of her 18 month stay at McLean Hospital following a suicide attempt. She recounts her experiences being treated for Borderline Personality Disorder while also grappling with the nature of mental illness. It’s the book I always kept in my car’s glove compartment and the narrative’s non-linear style made it easy to pick up and read from any random page whenever I had a few minutes to kill.
I reread a lot of books. Like, a lot. This is also why I own so many books. My favorite reread book is probably Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine. I have sung it’s praises on here before, and I shall reiterate it now. Although this is a children’s book, there is much to be learned from it. The story of Ella, who is cursed with obedience and overcomes it while fighting ogres and wicked stepsisters, is timeless. I first read this book in fifth grade, when I was about ten years old, and it is the first book I remember loving. The book is a retelling of Cinderella, but I see it as much more than that and read it at least once a year. It makes me laugh, cry, and smile, which to me, after innumerable reads, is a total winner. (It’s not just for kids!)
I actually do a lot of re-reading, which turns out to be a lot of fun because you catch things you didn’t notice before, or because something happened in real life the story reads differently now. Sometimes an author gets to book fourteen and then I have to re-read a dozen books before the next debuts. (Mr. Butcher I am looking in your direction.)
I book I reread the most would have to be Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Yes, I said Philosopher’s, not Sorcerer’s. No, it’s not really a different story, just a variation on the language. It’s my feel good book. Philosopher’s stone takes me away with a heroic trio I can relate to. They aren’t the best people, they do some stupid things, but they are brave and kind. There’s magic and dragons and a school of people who mostly want to be there. It also brings back a lot of good memories, first date with my husband, traveling through England with my sister, reading out loud with my parents.