Re-Reading Books

“If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.”-Oscar Wilde

How do you feel about re-reading books? I firmly agree with Mr. Wilde. I’ve read most of the volumes in my large collection at least twice. There are a handful that are on a more-or-less yearly rotation.

Here are three that I cannot get enough of, no matter how much time I spend with them.

THE RAZOR’S EDGE BY W. SOMERSET MAUGHAM (1944)

My favourite Maugham book, and definitely the novel that I’ve read more than any other. It’s a part of my literary psyche.

The fact that a great many people believe something it no guarantee of its truth.”-The Razor’s Edge

W. Somerset Maugham. Bain Collection.

W. Somerset Maugham. Bain Collection.

Read it if: You’re always chasing after the meaning of life. You won’t find it here, of course, but you’ll likely feel less alone on your Herculean quest.

A GLASTONBURY ROMANCE BY JOHN COWPER POWYS (1932)

A brilliant, magical masterwork that always has more to give to the dedicated reader.

“It is strange how few people make more than a casual cult of enjoying Nature. And yet the earth is actually and literally the mother of us all. One needs no strange spiritual faith to worship the earth.”-A Glastonbury Romance

John Cowper Powys, circa 1930

John Cowper Powys, circa 1930.

Read it if: You like looong books about the nature of the world and our place in it; mysticism; politics; and human relationships.

The Outermost House by Henry Beston (1928)

Anyone who reads this blog knows how I feel about The Outermost House. If you’re new, just type the title into the search bar. You’ll figure it out soon enough.

No other book is closer to my heart.

“Nature is a part of our humanity, and without some awareness and experience of that divine mystery man ceases to be man.”-The Outermost House

My copy of The Outermost House

My copy of The Outermost House

Read it if: You are enamored with the small mysteries of nature, and of humankind’s wee place in the universe.

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Now it’s your turn! Please head to the comments to share your top books to re-read!

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14 thoughts on “Re-Reading Books

  1. Yeah, you’ve put all three on my booklist already, thank you for that! I practically stopped reading books when I went online and started to live a book of my own but I guess time has come to start reading again, or at least writing. I’m hungry for new ones so I don’t think I’ll be rereading any just yet, but when I did it tended to be “Shame” by Salman Rushdie, or “In the Skin of a Lion” by Michael Ondaatje, or of course “Sexing the Cherry” by Jeanette Winterson, the favourite. The thing I love the most about the books I love is that often I don’t remember many details, just the feeling each gives me. In this case I can always reread, the feeling is always there, and yet experience the plot, the characters and sometimes even the ending as if new.

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    • You’re welcome!

      I am the same way…When a book sticks with me after reading it for the first time, I’ll remember its vibe or how it made me feel or snatches of its visuals more than the finer details. I always remember the endings, though.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Any book I’ve loved will be re-read…and read again over the years. Some I know almost by heart. It is like meeting up with old friends… it may be the same story over and over, but you loe them just the same.

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  3. Never reread. Too many new books waiting. The exception…The Secret Garden, The Velveteen Rabbit and The Little Prince. I barely remembered them but knew I loved them so I just read all of them and I still love them. Other than those, I just keep reading new books.

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    • I definitely agree that there are too many books waiting in the wings, but I still love re-reading books. It’s been a life-long habit. Fortunately, I started reading young AND I’m a fast reader.

      Those three books are great ones to re-read, though.

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  4. I’m not a huge re-reader of books, although I often re-read certain passages in books.

    But when it comes to Anne of Green Gables, I re-read it every couple of years. I adore that book, and have since I was a kid. It’s like comfort food.

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  5. I rarely re-read books, even those I really loved like “Poisonwood Bible” or “To Kill a Mockingbird”. A couple of times I have found myself reading a book I had read before. I feel there are just so many books out there, and my lifetime is so limited, I don’t have time to reread. A couple of exceptions have been “Animal Farm” and Camus’ “L’etranger”.

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    • I agree that there are too many books in the world to reread *most* of them. I definitely have a hardcore group of exceptions, though. There is also something nice about the ritual of reading a book every year or two.

      I, too, have read “Animal Farm” more than once. I think I read it for the first time when I was about 14. I still have the same copy, too. Never read that particular Camus, though (I know, I know!).

      Liked by 1 person

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