Monday, December 26, 2011

Rereading and Rereading Rituals

Revisiting old favourites and other compulsive quirks that accompany...
Book Bloggers are always going on about what's new. Every now and then they compare a new book to something older or they mention their favourites in a 'Top ten Tuesday' post, but many of their favourites change once another great book comes onto the scene. This is all very normal for people who read a lot of books I guess, but while we say that we have these "favourites" how often do we go back and read them again? And, When do we make time to revisit these books?

There are some people out there that simply don't believe in rereading books. They want to reach their goodreads goal for reading and can't include their reread books in their goal. They also don't think that they have time to reread books. What would be so wrong with having a smaller goal? If we love these "Favourites" so much then why don't we make time for them? I think reading favourites is a great way to get out of a reading funk, to enjoy reading after the reading goal is accomplished and to see how well these favourites go the second time round.

I know a person on Shelfari that rereads 'Jane Eyre' at Christmas. She says it is her favourite book and that is when she has time to read it. I've also hear of other people reserving certain favourites for birthdays and public holidays. Also if you had a lot of favourites or even other books you owned that you wanted to revisit  in a year you could divide your yearly reading goal into months and once you've finished your reading goal for that month you could reread a book each month. But that plan also has it's downfall because if you were to have a busy month at work or home you may not have time to even finish your goal.

I know of a lot of people that also choose certain themed books for certain holidays. They reread 'A Christmas Carol' simply because it is Christmas. They pick weather specific books for vacations or school breaks. Books like 'The Great Gatsby' get chosen for summer reading, while the 'Harry potter' series is often reserved for winter. Or when people get into certain moods they are known to discard what they are currently reading and head for something more familiar like say 'The Bell Jar' which Kat Stratford's character does in the movie 'Ten things I hate about you'.

Not only do people often have  their own specific times to read specific books, but they generally have some other form of reading ritual that goes along with it. They might use certain book marks only with that particular book, the book may be accompanied by certain foods or music and in most cases particular movies may be watched afterwards. I know that when I reread 'The Bell Jar' by Sylvia Plath I will often watch the movies 'Sylvia' and 'Ten things I hate about you' sometime afterwards. Also every time I finish a Jane Austen book I find my self in front of the screen watching 'The Jane Austen Book Club'. When/if I read one of the 'Twilight' books I will often read with the movie soundtrack playing in the background.

If you want to keep track of your rereading you can use shelfari. This site allows you to include books you've reread in your goal and you can go back and find out how many times you have reread it as well as how long it has been since you reread it. I have two accounts (one goodreads and one shelfari) so that I can see how progressed I am with my reading goal both with and without rereading. If you don't fancy joining up for another online account you can keep track in a reading log book. I find that keeping one of these books helps me stay accurate in case I have any trouble with technology.
So How does rereading affect your view of the actual book? Rereading can either increase your love for a book and have you seeing things that you missed the first time you read it Or, it can have you seeing the book in a different light. sometimes you start to consider the book from other characters perspective or you start to pick faults with it. I have seen this happen with a lot of cult paranormal romances like 'Hush Hush', 'Fallen' and 'Twilight'.

I think one thing that people should think about when rereading a book is that once they have made up their own mind about a book that they don't listen too much to other reviewers. There is a whole culture of 'Hush Hush'/'Twilight'/'Fallen' haters out there and while they may not be my favourite books I think the complete disregard for any positive feedback for the books by these haters is not great for those people reading paranormal romances the second time around. While you probably will care less about the romance and notice more faults in the story. Some facts though will be less clear in the readers mind. For example a blogger the other day did a 'Hush Hush' review 2nd time around and complained that "There was no way a teacher would allow one student to antagonise another like that". However, in the book the character Patch does say that he used his mind control thing on the coach to allow them to sit together. When you think about it doesn't that mean that he could have used is mind control to allow the antagonising to occur? If you had been reading the book the second time around the whole mind control thing wouldn't be as fresh in your mind and the whole "hater" culture probably changed your mind before you even reopened the book anyway. I do agree that these books are somewhat flawed, but they aren't as bad as people make them out to be.

Tips for creating your own reading rituals or getting the most out of a favourite book the second time around:
-Don't pay too much attention to negative reviews and if you do don't take the reviewer's word as gospel.
-Read in a comfortable setting
-If you play music ensure it is of a similar tone (eg. Listening to Louis Armstrong's 'What a Wonderful world' while your detective hero is looking for the killer in your story is quite laughable)
-Try and get out of your  "Reviewer" state of mind.
-Are there any other movies or other books that relate to the book you are reading?
-People have all sorts of crazy rituals when it comes to reading certain books. Some light ccandles, where a specific fragrance, eat certain foods...

I like to take the approach to rereading as reading for enjoyment. Forget that you are a reviewer and just have fun. The books that I favourite are books that set the bar for me as far as reading goes. Rereading them just reminds me of the standard that they set and lets me revisit the characters, atmosphere, storyline and writing style that I enjoy so much. Rereading rituals are just a reading comfort that take the reader to that familiar place.

Do you believe in Rereading Books?

Or have any rereading Rituals?

Feel free to comment below or you can write your own post about either rereading books or Rereading rituals and link it below...

Your Favourite Blogger,

No comments: