Thursday, July 22, 2010

Great books. What makes you read a book more than once?

I am one of those people who goes thru brief periods where I read a half a dozen good books back-to-back, then take a break and get sucked back into my studio or to the computer, then cycle back to investing some time in a good read.  A few months ago I read "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" and have been looking forward to reading the sequel, "The Girl who Played with Fire", (TGWPWF) both by Steig Larsson
(BTW...read about the author.  A very interesting life..an death!)
Well I was not disappointed with the second book.  Perhaps even better than the first, "TGWPWF" kept me awake at night, trying to solve the crimes and connect the characters in my head.  While I occasionally felt overwhelmed by the number of characters in the book, Larson gives you a variety of interesting, fleshed-out figures to become interested in.

I don't like to give too much info about any book - I love discovering every nuance without pre-meditated thoughts from anyone else clouding my judgment, so I'll stop the book review there.  However, I do want to get to my question- how often, if ever, do you read a book more than once? What makes a god book great, and worthy of a second read?

There are several books on my short list of books that I really loved, that kept me thinking about the characters long after I shut the cover.  Most of the time, and my apologies to the authors, I am in such a hurry to keep reading, that I tend to gloss over areas in my pursuit of the next "big moment".   Then I am finished with the book, and I am left wondering...do I want to read this again?  Now that I know the answers/ending, were there parts that I want to re-discover?

In many ways, I think that a great book, or a great painting, or a great movie, are all great because they keep you wanting more.  You keep coming back because it engages you in some way even long after you are finished looking, watching, or reading.  The characters become so real that you worry about them, you want to visit them, check in and see how they are doing. 

Are there books that you have read more than once - and why?  I'm always looking for my next great read.

9 comments:

AmyC ~ said...

Im 'one of those people' I have read the Twilight saga several times. I love Everything about it. Its a drama, romantic, suspense, adventure...they are just really good books.
Ive read The Host a few times too. Stephanie Meyers has a way to draw you into her books...almost as if you are there, seeing, saying, feeling all the characters feel, say, see.

I used to not be able to read a book more than once...when I read Twilight...all that went out the window.

joanna's foto said...

I have heard all great things about these book. Isn't there three of them? My sister, who read at least the two highly recommended and I cannot wait to start. Maybe I will put my reading of Narnia aside. Again. But if it's worth? why not!

There is maybe only couple of book I have read more than once.
The first, that comes to my mind is The Alchemist. First I read it in Polish, when I was just beginning my college... and it was very symbolic at that time. Than I read it again in English. Not sure if different languages had changed anything about this books content, but the situations I was at the times of reading it were so different, that the symbolism of the book made me find different applications in my life.

And even though some books leave the feeling of regret, that it's the end of the story I usually don't read books twice...

pegi said...

I agree about the Twilight series. I work in a bookstore and when all these people came in looking for them I decided to read the first one. I thought Bella was wimpy and depressing, at first but soon I was hooked! And , yes, I've read them twice and probably will again. I just read a book called THe Physic Book of Deliverance Dane which blew me away. I can't remember the Authors name but she's a decendent of to of the women accused of witchcraft in the Salem trials. One survived, one didn't. A very good read!

krystyna81 said...

Well up until now I was avoiding the Twilligt seres..only because I don't want to be tainted by all of the movies! But you are all making me re-consider...

thank you for the great book suggestions. I'm adding them to mu "must read" list!

krystyna81 said...

joanna...yes! there is a third book, which I did not realize until I got to the last page of the second book! urgh and delight at the same time :)

Lauren Maurer said...

I really need to re-read the Tana French book, In the Woods and The Likeness- really bad endings but amazing characters- and I love the Harry otter books, too- I've re-read them a ton, great imagination! I am the same as you- I speed read to get to the end and to find out "what's next" and then I am left wondering about the details.

Anonymous said...

I've reread "The Portrait of Mrs. Charbuque" several times. It's a horror/fantasy about a painter with a twist at the end, but still enjoyable even when the ending, ambiguous though it may be, is known.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/0060936177/

bed frames said...
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krystyna81 said...

anonymous...that book sounds VERY interesting! I will have to check it out!