Jenna left a comment recently, saying: “It amazes me how many times you can re-read a book…I must be missing some quality bookish genes. I have like one book that I’ve reread more than once.”  Which made me think that I ought to write something about rereading – but then I realized that I did, in January, write a post called “on rereading.”  In addition to all the reasons I mentioned there, here’s one more – I have a terrible memory.  I might recall the author, title, and a few random details, but I often forget the finer points of a plot or exactly how things resolved themselves.  Which is why I can happily reread mysteries like the Vicky Bliss books – until I get into the story, all I know is “that’s the one set in Egypt.”  Then I get a ways in and remember, “that’s one of the bad guys!” or “doesn’t she end up escaping from some house?”

But despite all those reasons to reread, I completely understand the impulse to never reread.  There’s more than enough to keep us busy without revisiting older titles.  There’s something to be said for novelty – especially when you’re checking books out of a well-stocked library.

The whole issue reminds me of how much I love and believe in the Reader’s Bill of Rights:

  1. The right to not read.
  2. The right to skip pages.
  3. The right to not finish.
  4. The right to reread.
  5. The right to read anything.
  6. The right to escapism.
  7. The right to read anywhere.
  8. The right to browse.
  9. The right to read out loud.
  10. The right not to defend your tastes.

(from Daniel Pennac’s Better Than Life)

Funny, I’d forgotten that it includes the right to reread – perhaps it should also include the right to not reread?

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