The Writer's Life

The Joys of Rereading

My mother is a speed reader, and she has this uncanny habit of rereading her favorite books over and over again. She enjoys reading a couple of favorite authors, and she would often venture out of her comfort zone to read new and exciting books, periodically landing her a new favorite author.

When I was young, I could not understand why she reread books. She had explained that her ability to speed read would give her a great story in such a short time frame, but she missed details that she would find in a reread. These details gave her a new perspective each time she reread her favorite books, and it gave her a sense of a new story on a familiar playground.

I have always bulked about rereading books. My excuses were many. One reason was that if I were to reread a book, I would miss out on new adventures waiting for me in millions of unopened novels. Another reason not to reread was that once I read it, I would always remember what I read. In other words, why bother rereading it if I knew what would happen?

It has been about seven years since I read Garden Spells and over fifteen years since I read The Oath, but I consider them my favorites. I discovered during the reread of these books that there were many details I had forgotten. And it was like revisiting a much-loved place but experiencing a brand new adventure all over again.

Now, I am finding the joy of rereading my favorite novels. And I can’t wait to pick up my other favorite reads. It’s like home is calling for me to experience what I once loved and to stay awhile to revisit old haunts and cherished romances.

If you are in a slump or just tired of reading one bad novel after another (especially my Kindle/Nook friends), I encourage you to pick up your favorite books, dust off the covers, and crack open the spine once again. There are treasures waiting for you to reclaim!