As most people may have guessed by now; I love reading. True, this year I haven’t been as successful with it as I had planned. We’re pretty much halfway through the year and I have only read about a quarter of the books needed for my goal. In all honesty, the difficulty I’ve been having with reading has just made me want to reread the books I know that I enjoy. The ones that I have already read. This is actually a nightmare because my pile of unread books is getting higher and higher. I have had to stop myself from buying any more. It’s a huge struggle.
Some books I only want to read once. The books that I enjoyed, but they didn’t affect me enough to want to read it again, these usually just sit on my bookshelf for all eternity, the hoarder in me won’t let me get rid of them. There are some books that I don’t want to read again because there is something about them that stop me from doing so. The twists in the plot may be too good to want to relive without the suspense you get with a first read, maybe I just don’t feel that I won’t get anything new from it, or that rereading will change my opinion from positive to negative. Sometimes I have to let a book be.
Other books, I can’t let go. Even though I know them so well, that I can dip into a section and know exactly what’s going on. However, when I wrote a little plan for this blog I thought that there were a lot more books on my ‘read over and over’ list, but there are only about ten.
First, which is probably unsurprising, is the Harry Potter Series. I think I have read the series in its entirety six or seven times, but I do have my favourites. The Prisoner of Azkaban, The Goblet of Fire, and The Deathly Hallows are the ones I reread the most, closely followed by The Order of the Phoenix but its 766 pages are a bit much for a casual read. I’ve grouped these together because I would be repeating some points going over each. I know that this is over half of the series, but these books cover the most pivotal points in the series – in my opinion. I know that a lot of people get frustrated with a moody teenage Harry Potter, however, when you know the story so well rereading can give you the chance to focus on the character development. When I reread a book like Harry Potter, I always get something new from it. Whether this is something that is linked to the overall plot later in the series, or it’s a deeper understanding of a character or a situation. A big example of this is the character – Professor Severus Snape – after finishing the series for the first time I was very forgiving of Snape, but after rereading, my opinion changed again, a few times in fact. These books will always be precious to me. They were a big part of my childhood and I grew up as Harry grew up. The fondness I have for them and the fact that I still want to read these particular ones for the ninth or tenth time will keep them on my shelf wherever I live almost certainly for the rest of my life.
Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment was a book recommended to me by friends. It is the first in a series that in my opinion goes downhill after the third book. In fact, I haven’t read the last couple of books. However, I love the first book and went as far as doing an assignment on it (and still liking it afterwards) in University. Like Harry Potter, I read the book when I was close in age to the main character. It was about freedom and being superhuman – everything I wanted. When I go back a read it again now, it is mostly nostalgia I feel. It’s still an escape for me when I read this book. In fact, I think I am due to read it again.
While I’m on the subject of books I read in school, the Twilight series was obviously a part of that. Now, when I think back on how much I was enamoured by that universe I cringe a little. However, I have to argue that the fourth and final book is better than the rest. Part of my problem is the unreliable narrator, it must be why I prefer Breaking Dawn. The change in narrator is refreshing. In any case, when I reread this book – or listen to it – I usually read the last half. The tone is different and less ‘teen angst’ than the rest of the series. I still enjoy it, despite all the negativity it gets.
I first read Tolkien’s The Hobbit about six years ago when some friends were getting excited about the upcoming film adaptations of the book. When they had found out that I hadn’t seen The Lord of the Rings films or read The Hobbit they made their displeasure very clear. So clear, one of them decided to read it to me because it was a crime that I hadn’t read it myself. After this I gave in and read it, I understood why they were so insistent. I have read it again twice and it is firmly in the future rereading pile. It is a classic adventure in which I don’t have to get bogged down with a will they won’t they romance. It’s nice to read something without the drama of romance every once in a while.
On the other hand, Austen’s Pride and Prejudice is also forever in the reread pile. Sometimes you need some clichéd romance to cheer you up or remind you how romance-less your own life is. There is a charm to a book that you know is going to end happily. When you read it again, you look forward the happy ending. You also gain a deeper understanding of the characters. The story is literally about the title. On the first few readings, I sided with Elizabeth almost completely, although the more I read it the more I find myself empathising and siding with other characters. There is so much richness in this novel that it meant that it has fed countless adaptations and continuations and of course fanfiction.
Finally, the last book on my pile is Jane Eyre, although I don’t regularly read the whole book because it is deceptively long, I read sections of it. Jane is such a moral and self-damning narrator that it has a completely different tone to the novels I have read from that time. Even with this, there is a hopeful and romantic feel to the book. I do love some drama and Jane Eyre is a classic example of this. I really do love it.
Since my book collection is ever growing, undoubtedly, more will be added in the future, but for now, I am more than content to go back to these every now and then. Please give me some book suggestions, I am always looking for something new, despite this entire post.