The whys and wherefores of re-reading.
06 March 2012
For the past year I have been more in the mood to re-read books I have already read than to pick up new ones.
This is a wee bit of a problem, particularly when one writes a blog purporting to offer opinions on new and different nonfiction books. Let's face it: most of my pithy thoughts on titles I'm reading for the first time aren't really all that pithy, so I really don't want to bore you with second and third posts on books I'm re-reading.
But I will today anyway.
When I look back on books I'm re-reading--Norman Maclean's A River Runs Through It (the movie was on TV last night and of course I got sucked in--particularly since it starred Brad Pitt in pre-Angelina Jolie times and I could still enjoy him then), Agatha Christies of all sorts, Anne of Green Gables, John Green's Looking for Alaska*, it strikes me that when I re-read I am mainly seeking comfort. Books I have known and loved and that spoke to me particularly for one reason or another. When re-reading (and watching) A River Runs through It, for instance, I cannot NOT break down when Norman and his father talk about Norman's brother Paul (I can't give you the full context because I don't want to give the spoiler) and realize the age-old truth: "But you can love completely without complete understanding."
Christ. It still gets me every time.
Anyway. It strikes me that I re-read almost exclusively for comfort. Is there any other reason to re-read? Are there any other reasons why you re-read books, or certain times when you do?
*More on this one later.