Chronicle of a Rereader

As little kids, we all get used to hearing the same stories before bed every night, and most of us love it. Somewhere along the way, when we learn how to read by ourselves, many stop enjoying reading something they’ve already read again. I am not one of those. I love rereading books.

I form an emotional connection with every (good) book that I read and with the characters in said book. I usually become super invested in them and I feel like I know them. My sister will never let me live down the moment when I came downstairs crying because a character in my book died. It’s not the crying she won’t let me forget. It’s my explanation for why it was so horrible: “I’ve known him his whole life!” When I reread a book, I get to spend time with these characters that I loved so much the previous time, and it never seems to bother me that I already know what happens.

Usually when I reread a book I also notice things I didn’t notice before. Be it a comment from a character that seemed insignificant (but isn’t) or a description of a place that I overlooked, every time I read a book the story becomes a little richer for me. The best example for this is, of course, Harry Potter. Don’t look surprised. You all knew this moment was coming.

I have read the entire Harry Potter series (which consists of 7 books), 7 times. That’s 1,084,170 words in the whole series x 7 = 7,589,190 words. I won’t talk about this for too long, because if I let myself get into it this post will be 18 pages long and consist almost entirely of gushiness. BUT, I will just say that every time I read the series I get something new out of it, and with every reread I noticed additional clues JK Rowling strewed throughout (which just means that she’s a genius, not that I’m oblivious). The most recent reread was just a few months ago, and I had thirty pages left of the sixth book, so I was sitting in my school lobby and trying to finish it. But, a character dies right at the end, and I always cry hysterically when any of the characters die. Just picture this scene: I am curled up in a ball with the book held in front of me, sobbing, and the bell goes so the lobby starts to fill up with students. Mainly people just walk by and go “Oh Ella!” but the lovely Beatrice comes to stand in front of me and starts to laugh. “Sixth time?” she says. “Seventh,” I correct her. True friendship.

harry-buona

The reason why I wish my school looked like Hogwarts…

Beyond the emotional connection I form with characters of a book, there is also an element of my own experiences over the period of time that I’m reading it. For instance, when I read “Tell it to the Skies”, a book by Erica James, I would meet a few friends in the morning before school started and update them with the new developments in the storyline. So now, when I reread it, I remember the feeling of them all waiting to hear me speak (which didn’t happen often during that time) and of sharing the excitement with them. I can use books to slip back to different times in my life and revisit them.

But alas, we cannot forget one more important factor here: whether I have any new books I feel like reading. Sometimes, I just want to read a story that I know is good and that I know I like. Like a few weeks ago, when I was worried about something medical that was creeping up and creeping me out, I chose to reread a fairytale book I love because I knew I would be able to take comfort in escaping in my mind to that other place. Sometimes I feel too not well to even read, but most of the time, if I really don’t feel good, I can read a book and just escape. Books are amazingly therapeutic, and rereading them is too. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

 

 

Love,

Ella

 

Song Quote:

Drench yourself in words unspoken. –Unwritten, Natasha Bedingfield

 

Announcement:

A few months ago, Julie Ryan contacted me and interviewed me for her fibro warrior segment. I just wanted to let you all know that for the first time she’s opening it up and inviting you to contact her and share your own story! Don’t miss out on this opportunity, you can find all of the info here: http://countingmyspoons.com/2014/08/fibro-warrior-share-story/

Good luck and enjoy!

Advertisements

24 comments on “Chronicle of a Rereader

  1. marycheshier says:

    Reblogged this on Travels with Mary and commented:
    Ella, I love your site. TY for the great read(s)

    Like

  2. helenj0303 says:

    I love rereading! I can’t imagine reading a book once, loving it, then never going back to it again. I have many favourites I revisit and, like you, find I can take comfort in them when I need to, like slipping back into a familiar world when this one seems too bright and too loud. Your blog is lovely, I’m so glad I found it xx

    Like

  3. You’re not alone. There are way too many books to even think of, but re-reading is a fantastic way to re-connect with characters & events during different points in life. How I might have felt about something 5 years ago, could be a completely different reaction the next time around. I actually haven’t read a book in some time due to scheduling/life/distractions… I need to remedy that asap. ;)

    Like

  4. Timothy Gwyn says:

    I’m not often a rereader. Not because I know how it turns out, but because the fantastic books I read as a youngster might seem more mundane now that I am older. I don’t want to weaken the magic. But I just read Jo Walton’s (Hugo and Nebula winning) Among Others, and her young protagonist Mor is a voracious reader and rereader who uses books to cope with the challenges in her life, including health-related ones. You might like it, especially if you’ve read widely in Mor’s beloved SF. She’s a magic user of a different sort than Harry.

    Like

  5. Carpetbeater says:

    question? You mean the virtuality becomes your reality in stark emotional terms when you read a book, 1st or 20th times? Getting something new out of it each time is the sign of a good writer, and you are reading it at a different time, in a different mood etc. No one can recreate the first read because it will always be interrupted by your life at that reading somehow even the temperature of the room, beach, garden can effect the flashes of electricity in your head as memory kicks in.

    Like

  6. Elouise says:

    Yes to all the above! Rereading is much more rewarding than stopping with one. For all the reasons you give in your post. My favorite is Chronicles of Narnia–read to our children, now to myself. So many nuances get missed. And so much outstanding writing gets threaded through our eyes at warp speed. Every word is important. And yes, not every word will resonate the same way every time. And the tears–when and why they flow is part of the ‘fun.’ How much more wonderful can it get???
    Elouise

    Like

  7. I’ve just started rereading the HP series again. Haven’t in sequential order in quite some time. It’s reliving youth :)

    Like

  8. Patricia says:

    My name is Elsa and I am also a re-reader.. It feels comforting and in the case of Harry Potter I believe that once you reread you rediscover things you though you had forgotten and also new small subtle details that you might have overlooked. For me its therapeutic..Another strong argument I have is that books affect you differently depending on whats going on in your life, so rereading the Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo for example has been a different experience all 3 times.
    Loved the post!

    Like

  9. areaderinsg says:

    Same here, I love rereading some of my books :) The characters feel like old friends.

    Like

  10. Tannia says:

    Great post! My favorite to reread is The Outsiders. Every time I have read it, it has had an entirely new meaning to me because of whatever place I am in my own life.

    Also, I am about to read the Potter series for the first time!!!! I’ve seen the movies, so I know the books are going to be even more magical. Can’t wait!

    Like

  11. marhtins says:

    it has now tickled how thrilling it can be i reread my favourite books,moreso trying to connect with the various situations different characters find themselves in..quite a piece of writing you have.

    Like

  12. cgbalu says:

    That is so nice. I envy your reading capacity. Ha ha….I can relate to this, though I have not read Harry Potter seven times. Nice post.

    Like

  13. starfish says:

    Rereading is unvervalued today. I remember how when I was a kid sometimes the librarian in our local library would tell me that I had borrowed this and that book before, and asked whether it was a mistake or if I really wanted to read these again. Le sigh. There are some books I read again and again. Sometimes as a whole, sometimes I just read a few chapters again to return to that world. One book I read at least once every two years is “The Threefold Garland”, it is so beautiful and full of little things like poems and quotes in different languages. Another one is “Brave New World”, though most of the time I stop reading somewhere in the middle.

    Like

  14. Topaz says:

    I LOVE re-reading my favourite books. I’m a constant re-reader as well – you’re not alone in that! :)

    Like

  15. s_k_84 says:

    Books are totally the best escape and what better escape than into a warm world you already know and love so well! I’m a big re-reader too!

    Like

  16. I’m right with you there on Harry Potter! I absolutely LOVE that series and I plan on rereading it in September!

    Like

  17. demostenes13 says:

    Totally get you. I reread the Ender’s Game books every couple of years and they just get better every time. That’s the magic of a truly great book

    Like

  18. Lynn Lambert says:

    I love re-reading old favourites. My dad thinks I’m crazy cause he feels what’s the bother when you already know what happens. Oh, dad.

    Like

  19. Divya says:

    I read and reread a lot of fairy tales. And every time feels as magical as the first time..

    Like

  20. Julie Ryan says:

    Thank you for sharing my post. On the subject of re-reading, I do it rarely and usually only after a few years have passed. That way it’s like reading it for the first time (almost) again. My favorite to reread – the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde (if you’ve not read it you totally should).

    Like

  21. Aarya says:

    Don’t worry…you aren’t alone…I also love rereading…I have read Atlas Shrugged 9 times…I never get bored :D

    Like

  22. ehbates says:

    I’m the same way! My husband laughs every time he sees me with an old book and asks me if it ends differently this time. Sometimes you just need the solidity of a book you know is good!

    Like

  23. InfiniteZip says:

    my fave was the Thorn Birds, read it 4 times in 3 years. yes, I think it’s time again:)

    Like

  24. I so know what you mean!
    It’s been seven years today that Deathly Hallows came out and I remember not being able to be there at the book shop to grab a copy. I was lucky enough to have won a poetry competition organised by the YMCA, where I won the book!

    Incidentally, the poetry was based on Harry Potter. :’)

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s