Sitting Around on a Sunday — The Re-Reading Edition

I am still in a reading slump as I have not completed a single book this week.  But that’s ok, because I am re-reading one of my all-time favorite books and it’s worth taking my time to savor it.

A few weeks ago on Twitter I was contacted by someone who asked me to submit a photo of my favorite books for a project he was creating to apply for a job at Penguin Publishers in the UK (side note — his project – Creased Spines – is awesome and as an HR manager in my daily life I’d totally hire him).  So I took a look at my shelves and pulled down three favorites – The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, and A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry.

It has probably been 15 years since I read A Fine Balance.  My copy is huge — it’s in hardcover and at 748 pages it truly looks like a brick (when I moved here from Canada 13 years ago I only allowed myself to bring 3 boxes of books, so the fact that I picked this one at the expense of several smaller books says something, doesn’t it?).  When I took it down from the shelf for the photo, I “remembered” how much I enjoyed reading it; and when I abandoned yet another book to the DNF pile last weekend I thought that re-reading an old favorite would be just the right thing to get my reading mojo back, hopefully enjoying the book as much as I did the first time.

I am about halfway through the re-read and I am thrilled to say that it is as good as I remembered.  A Fine Balance is not a pretty story – it is set in Bombay (its name at the time) in 1975 with flashbacks to earlier eras – but for me it captures perfectly the sights, smells, and sounds of India.  In fact, despite the harshness of its descriptions, this novel sparked a desire to visit India, though I don’t consider myself brave enough to withstand the reality of the country (yet).

So though I have hundreds (yep) of not-yet-read books sitting on my shelf I think this experience has made me want to re-visit other old favorites sitting on my shelf to see if they still are as good as I remember.  Maybe I’ll seek out a challenge for 2013, or create one if it doesn’t already exist.

Do you re-read books?

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6 Responses to Sitting Around on a Sunday — The Re-Reading Edition

  1. Leeswammes says:

    I love re-reading books but with the pile of unread books nearby, I don’t do it often. I will re-read Before I Go to Sleep (SJ Watson) for a book club this month and similarly, I re-read State of Wonder (Ann Patchett) earlier this year. I love re-reading books!

    Have fun with your re-reads – it’s good that the books are not idling in your book cases, isn’t it?

    • bibliosue says:

      Yes, sometimes my book club picks books I’ve already read so that usually is the only time I’ve re-read books lately (this month is Gone Girl which is a re-read for me). As I’ve mentioned before if only the publishers would stop releasing interesting books I could catch up on the ones I already have and re-read more in the process!

  2. I’m going to be spending December snuggling down with a pile of old favourites. To re-connect with books I say I love but haven’t read in years, ‘come home’ as a reader and just take a bit of a holiday from the clamour of new books. 🙂

  3. Donna says:

    I am re-reading Bleak House this fall for a class I am taking and recently re-read Don Quixote and Middlemarch. I got so much more out of those books the second time around. If only there were more hours in the day for reading. I’d love to re-read more, but that tottering TBR stack calls.

  4. zibilee says:

    I hardly ever reread the same books, but when I do, it’s usually one of my three favorites: The Poisionwood Bible, Self Help ( short stories by Lorrie Moore) or The Red Tent. Even though I rarely reread , I have a ton of books that I would love to reread!

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