Ah, reading. It’s like air to the body and food for your brain. Entertaining us with each word and turn of phrase. Making us cry, laugh, or even feel anxious.
But then you finish the book, and suddenly it has lost its glamor. Do you reread the story? Or just set it away on a shelf to collect dust?
I reread the book, but this time I am looking at the book with a critically. I examine thinks like the character arch, descriptions and dialog. I pay close attention to all of the techniques that I have trouble with and see how the author performs them. During this second reread I am no longer a reader, but a student of the author.
If you haven’t started reading this month, take the time to reread something and become the student of the author. Go see if they have something to teach you.
Have you ever had this experience?
2 Replies to “The Power of Rereading”
This is a sensible idea, I’m afraid I’m guilty of re-reading just for the enjoyment of the book again, half remembering what is coming and finding new elements that I missed the first time as I rushed through, anxious to find its conclusion.
Some books I have read and re-read too many times to count:
Susan Cooper – The Dark is Rising sequence (always at Christmas if I can)
Louisa May Alcott – Little Women
Terry Pratchett – The Tiffany Aching Books, beginning with The Wee Free Men
John Wyndham – The Midwich Cuckoos
Bernard Cornwell – The Warlord Chronicles – tales of Arthur as I think they are likely to have happened.
Having said that, I have just re-read both Bridget Jones novels and it’s given me some ideas for something I’m writing (see slightly mental Bridget inspired blog post!) but it’s hard not to fall into Helen Fielding’s style of writing instead of my own.
Ohmigosh! I do the very same thing during my first read through a book. If it really capturers me, I end up running through the pages like a two year old drunk on caffeine. Which is why I go back over the material for a better looksie.