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Do you have a re-read shelf?

Discussion in 'Novels & Stories' started by Caged Maiden, Apr 12, 2012.

  1. Caged Maiden

    Caged Maiden Staff Article Team

    Since we're talking about what makes you abandon a book, I was just curious what makes you re-read a book. I have a single shelf in my den which is reserved for those books I love so much that I won't get rid of them just in case I need to give them a re-read. They are books from several genres, not all of them are fantasy related, but I am in love with them all.

    Do you have a special place for books you can't part with? What makes these books so special?
  2. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

    I very, very rarely re-read a book.

    I've read Peake's Gormenghast books more than once.
    I've read The Brothers Karamazov a handful of times.
    I've read Lolita a few times.

    A couple of James Blaylock books as well.

    Not too many.
  3. myrddin173

    myrddin173 Maester

    I'm the oposite of Steerpike, I will end up rereading most of my books. I also end up keeping most of my books but then again my family tend to be pack rats... (though not hoarders, that would just be scary)
  4. Rikilamaro

    Rikilamaro Inkling

    I do. It's the top shelf so my kiddo can't reach it.

    This includes everything ever written by Terry Goodkind, several of Anne McCaffery's novels, some old Star Trek paperbacks, and all of Jim Butcher's writings from the Dresden files to the Codex Alera, Anna Kareina, the Twilight series (insert laughter here, the Chronicles of Narnia, the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and all of the Harry Potter books. I've read all of these at least 5 times, some more than that. There may be more, but I'm making dinner so I haven't had a chance to run upstairs and double check. :)
  5. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

    The books I keep are the ones I consider to be good enough to be worth rereading - and I have probably most of a thousand books. Granted, it has been many years since I last cracked the covers on the majority of them, but every now and again, during the slow part of the year (long cold dark winters in Alaska), I will. Most recently, I reread Kate Elliots entire 'Crown of Shadows' saga, as well as rereading parts of 'Game of Thrones' and three or four other books - this in addition to reading new books, writing a bit, and engaging in non-literary projects.
  6. Shockley

    Shockley Maester

    I have a book shelf with the Complete Western Stories of Elmore Leonard, a book with all of the pulp stories of Robert E. Howard, one with all of Lovecraft's stuff and LotR/Hobbit and Chronicles of Narnia.
  7. Phin Scardaw

    Phin Scardaw Troubadour

    I've read A Wizard of Earthsea so many times that I know the story almost by heart. I can open the book to any page at random and immerse myself in the writing. I think I've gone from really reading it to studying it. The two books that follow in the series have had their pages tickled more than once, but not as often.

    Neuromancer demands at least a second read because the writing is so dense and sophisticated.

    Some books are like dreams - you sort of forget them the instant you're done. So you can reread them again at any time. The English Patient is like that.

    Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and The Rum Diary are always going to threaten to burn down my house if I don't give them what they want.

    These books are mixed in with all the others; I don't like to make them think I play favourites, although I guess they probably know already that I do - collectively, they're much smarter than me.

    i believe that studying the work of your favourite authors is an essential part of honing your craft as a writer; how else can you learn what makes for effective writing? if you're expected to revise your own work numberless times, why wouldn't you do the same with those pieces that inspired you to write in the first place?
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2012
  8. Leif GS Notae

    Leif GS Notae Closed Account

    I'll hold onto my books for memory sake, but I won't reread them. Reference books, I reread them until my eyes bleed. Art of War, Book of Five Rings, Thick Face/Dark Heart are my bibles along with any Norse Mythology/eddas and rune casting readers.

    Fiction belongs in the memory. When you reread them, a little of the magic goes away when you age.
  9. Leif GS Notae

    Leif GS Notae Closed Account

    While that might be true, you are also hindering your voice by analyzing works of others. Eventually, you have to stand on your own and say "This is my voice, and it belong to no one else."

    Trust me, if I did that, I'd still analyze Weis and Hickman from 25 years ago. I'd also never get published since writing and publishing has evolved in the modern age.

    That is no slam against Weis or Hickman, it is just a sign of the times.
  10. Mike Rapino

    Mike Rapino Dreamer

    The Dragonlance Chronicles is a annual reread for me. There is an innocence to those books for me that still carries over after 10 or so rereads.

    I have also reread bits and parts of The Dresden Files. It's such a fun series to reread.

    The other book I reread once every couple of years, one that rarely gets mentioned anywhere is Imajica by Clive Barker. It was for me the first complex and deep fantasy story I have read.

  11. Phin Scardaw

    Phin Scardaw Troubadour

    I agree, but when does one come to that point? I am entirely adept now at using several styles that I have studied - I can even mix and match. I like this versatility and I don't feel pinned down by any obligation to fulfil the needs of any one Voice. I let the stories choose the style in which they want to be told.

    I think that maybe my own Voice, when I feel I have it, will be something distilled from all my influences, exercises, and thoughts. I am willing to let this take years, because let's face it - far too many people in this day and age feel they can master an art in a short time. I think that fooling yourself into thinking you've found your Voice might be more detrimental than allowing yourself to take the time you need to let It find you.

    For me, this is a lifelong apprenticeship, and I hope always to be learning from those who are greater than I am in the field.
  12. I read Susan Cooper's Dark is Rising series over and over and over and over and over again. Then I read it some more. Occasionally I also listen to the audiobooks. I can't speak for how re-reads affect others, but the magic hasn't left for me...
  13. charleshudgen

    charleshudgen Dreamer

    I have re-read the book of George R.R Martin which is A Clash of Kings. It is such a good story that is why I keep on read it for the 2nd time actually, also I can say that all the novels of George R. R Martin are great books to read.
  14. Leif GS Notae

    Leif GS Notae Closed Account

    Eventually, apprentices have to become masters or they must find another line of work. Yes, you should never lose the ability to learn and be open to what is out there. To never call yourself a master, or never want to obtain that level and make a distinctive voice for yourself, that is where it all falls apart.

    I will have to read all of John Marco's works again when his next Lukien novel entry comes out, have to make sure my freezer book is still active.
  15. Kelise

    Kelise Maester

    I'm another who'll often re-read - or at least open randomly and read for a while. If it's a series and it's been a while since the last book came out, I'll probably re-read the entire series for when the next arrives.

    Books such as Harry Potter, Scott Lynch, Patrick Rothfuss, Brandon Sanderson, Tansy Rayner Roberts, Mira Grant.
  16. Phin Scardaw

    Phin Scardaw Troubadour

    I'm of the belief that the Master is one who will never claim mastery over the art. Maybe it is the art that masters us???
  17. ArielFingolfin

    ArielFingolfin Troubadour

    The Dark Is Rising and A Song of Ice and Fire have already been mentioned, and I have to agree. But quite frankly, all of my books are my re-read books. I don't buy a book unless I plan on reading it over and over again. That's why when I go to bookstores, I take photos of the covers of books that look interesting and then go to the library. Other books on my shelf are Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and the Silmarillion, Meghan Whalen Turner's Eddisan books, and Gillian Bradshaw's Arthurian Trilogy.
  18. I re-read most books I read every few years, sometimes longer. I don't like getting books out of the library because I end up wanting to read it again and wishing it was on my shelf.
  19. Will

    Will Scribe

    I've read A Song of Ice and Fire twice. My books are physically a bit worn out now though. Considering buying those nice looking, leather, hardback ones, with the embossed house emblems on them, for any future re-reads. Those books are so nice looking I'd probably just want them for display.
  20. DavidALindsay

    DavidALindsay Scribe

    I will re-read very few books. However, as a fantasy fan, I have re-read Jack Vance's Lyonesse trilogy at least twice and will likely do so again in the future. The same applies to Fritz Leiber's Fafhred and the Gray Mouser novels. The latter are really a series of short stories and novellas so you can dip in and out again quite easily.

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