As I've mentioned in previous posts, I'm going to be teaching a Popular Young Adult Fiction class this fall, which I'm super "psyched" about! It's a lot of work pulling a brand new curriculum together, but it will be such a fun class to teach that I can't wait. As I've been preparing, I'm re-reading the AMAZING Harry Potter novels, and just can't tear myself away. I have other things I need to be reading, TBR books I packed with me, other books I'll be teaching this fall, and so forth, but I just can't pull myself away. Who knew that a RE-read could be so delightful?
I have to admit that I really enjoy re-reading novels, which is why I have a collection of books that I own. If I really love them, I will absolutely return to them again, even if it's a fast skim read. (You know, the one where you skim the descriptions and head to your favorite scenes?) There are, on the other hand, books I just don't want to read again, or know I'll never make time for again. In thinking about why this is, here are some of the reasons or criteria I use in reading a book...again:
- I will sometimes immediately skim back over the book one last time, because I just can't part with it.
- Some books need to "settle" before I read them again. I have a lot of books that I like to put away for a year, two, ten, and then pull them back out to enjoy them again. They are like movies you've seen one too many times that begin to lose their impact. If I set them aside, they gain back some of their pizazz!
- I have to teach it. Honestly, I read books differently when I know I'll be teaching them. I annotate them differently, I question them differently, and I see things differently than the first time I read them. Generally, I enjoy that extra reading so much more than I would have expected.
- In some cases, I have a favorite scene I want to read again. For instance, in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, I love the scene where Voldermort and Harry's wands lock and he sees those Voldermort killed. I have probably read that scene ten or twelve times (and I probably cried 90% of those times). I also feel that way about the "flooded road" crossing scene in Tess of the D'Urbervilles when Angel carries the four girls over the water. Sigh. They both are just SO good.
- It's a tradition! I used to read the Little House of the Prairie novels every year, starting during the summer, ending by Christmas. For eleven years, I did that, and it was because I knew every scene, they were comforting to me, and felt like family. Strange? Nah. There are just some books that fit a season, or a tradition that I can't get away from and want to get into more by reading the book again.
- I love it and am totally obsessed. What else is there to say. There are some books that I love and am probably a bit obsessive about, and could read a million times and not care. You know...like Pride and Prejudice? Some books just make you feel better.