UP!–What Gets You to REREAD a Book?

BookStack_WriterSideUp.com_byDonnaMarieI don’t know about you, but I’m not exactly a fast reader. I’d say I read at a moderate pace. Typically I read novels (or any fiction longer than a picture book) at bedtime, rarely allowing myself to read them during the day. That is, of course, unless the book is one I simply can’t put down, and OH, how I love it when that happens! 🙂 My list of books To Be Read (TBR) is a very lengthy one, and stays that way because it takes me relatively long to read each book, plus new ones are added every day. So, though I may want to REread a book, I nix the idea almost immediately.

Then you have the Harry Potter series. In my opinion, this is a “read” that stands alone. In my “world of novels” these books sit at its pinnacle–not only front and center on the top shelf near the foot of my bed, but in my reader’s mind. And it’s not that I haven’t read other wonderful books that have compelled me and kept me up nights. I have! 🙂 But there was much more to “All Things Harry Potter.” Things that gripped readers of all ages in ways that classified it as a phenomenon. As one of those readers, I “get it.”

All Things Harry Potter-cleaned upWhen I first became aware of the series back when Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was first released in the U.S., I decided I’d be sure to read each book prior to each corresponding movie release. I read them and fell in love with them, but wasn’t analyzing them deeply, having waited ’til the paperbacks were released to purchase and read each one. That changed when I finished the 5th installment: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. There was positively NO WAY I wasn’t going to have Book 6 in my hands the day it was released! And so it was. I proceeded to voraciously gobble up Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince as soon as it was in my hands.

It was then that I saw Barnes & Noble University (BNU, the online free university which has long been shut down and I DO miss it) had a discussion group for the book. I salivated. BUT I really debated on whether or not I should get involved. I KNEW it would likely become a bit of an obsession. Ultimately—I gave in, and yes, it became an obsession, but it turned out to be a fortuitous decision. Not only was it one of the most memorable, enjoyable times of my life (which I cannot attribute to any other obsessions that I can recall! lol), but it turned out to also tremendously benefit me as a writer!

B&N.com logoIn those BNU groups, I was blown away by the depth in which some people had analyzed these books and theorized the possible outcomes of the many subplots; it was more than impressive. I was immediately drawn into the depths of the discussions and, through it all, my appreciation of the brilliance of J. K. Rowling as an author blew wide open. What she accomplished in all aspects of writing was an astounding feat. From world-building to plotting to fleshing out her many “real” characters, she executed arcs throughout  the overall entity of the 7 books, while simultaneously writing each book to stand firm individually, each with their own perfectly plotted arcs. And that’s not including the feat of her worldwide no-generation-gap appeal!

After the BNU discussion groups closed, some of us had bonded as friends and wanted to stay in touch, certainly in anticipation of Book 7, the final installment, so we formed our own “theory mongering” group. Several months prior to the release of the 7th book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, over the course of about 6 months I reread the series and took notes on each book to serve as reference for our group, then also took notes as I read “Hallows” (with a box of tissues at the ready, by the way).

That was back in 2007. It’s hard to believe it’s been over 7 years! Since then there have been many times I’ve had the itch to reread the series again, having only dipped into “Sorcerer’s Stone” a few times more as a writer analyzing, but I never went beyond that. NOW, at a time when I am still struggling to get a handle on life’s many demands, along comes Sheila of “Book Journey” blog fame. She came up with the brilliant idea to host an event: the Harry Potter ReRead/Read-a-long. The many facets of this meme literally made it impossible for someone like me to resist, regardless of my already overextended existence! (And trust me, I deliberated, practically pulling my hair out!) I guess I’ll classify this as my “7-year Harry Potter itch” because, folks, I’M DOING IT! lol I figure this will also help prime me, as my intent is to finally get into the plotting and fleshing out of my own novel series, hopefully in the near future 🙂 And yes, this “chart queen” has done the math and figured out a reading schedule so I know how much to read in order to stay on track with Sheila’s time table. (It’s here for you as a printable pdf, though I have no idea why the conversion from Word removed many of the black outlines.)

HufflepuffThough my favorite House is Gryffindor (as it is for many people), when I signed up for Pottermore, I was sorted into Hufflepuff House. That’s why I decided to join the ReRead as a Hufflepuff, of which J. K. Rowling says we should be proud 🙂 I’m a “7th-year” student since I completed all 7 books—3 times over, mind you! Part of the agreement is for participants to post each time a new book is being discussed, so every few weeks you will be kept abreast of how it’s going.

I also got at least one of my old “Theory-Monger” pals to sign up, too, which has made me even more excited to participate! So, if YOU are a “Potterhead,” or a “Wannabe Potterhead,” this is the perfect opportunity to reread—or read for the first time—this unforgettable series. I hope to see you there!

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So, tell me—what books have you reread, and what is it that compels you?

 

 

74 thoughts on “UP!–What Gets You to REREAD a Book?

  1. Hi Donna Marie, I was sure I had commented on this post when I first read it, but obviously not. I must have read it on my iPad and decided to wait unit I was at my computer to responds, and forgot! Sorry. Never mind. I’m here now. Like you, I am not a re-reader. There’s too much I haven’t yet read to to go back and re-read those I have already read, though I wish I had the time to re-read favourites and wallow in the pleasure they gave at first read. I love to own books, and something I thought I might do, as I gathered my ‘friends’ around me, was to dip into them from time to time to re-read favourite passages, savour the language of the author and reminisce about the characters and story lines. But I haven’t done that and the books sit, admired but mostly abandoned, on my shelves. I am happy, though, knowing they are there waiting patiently for when they will be loved again.
    I admire your dedication to read the HP series three times!! I read the first book and enjoyed it, but feel no need for further reading of the series. I know many others who love it for themselves and appreciate the way it has turned their children onto reading. Power to Harry Potter for that, I say! 🙂

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    • Hey, Norah! So glad you showed up 🙂 And I know, for me, it can sometimes take a week or two to catch up on blog posts. I think it’s that way for many of us, especially if we follow a lot of blogs, right?

      Yes, I, too, have my books surrounding me and generally waiting sigh Many of them never read, which is the biggest reason I don’t reread. This is now my 4th reread of the HP series and since it’s been so long, it’s fresher for me. There are a couple of things I forgot (or had been distorted by the movie depictions sigh) and I’m shocked that a few things are actually clearer to me, which I didn’t think was possible! lol

      There IS such a comfort being surrounded by our books, I think 🙂

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  2. Hallo Ms Donna Marie! 🙂

    Interesting you mentioned which books do you want to re-read because there are quite a few I found as a blog tour hostess where I wished life & time had given me the proper chance to soak inside the books longer than the actual time I had to pause & appreciate their stories! I am always most delighted to find other readers discovering the same novels even if their opinions differ as we all read books intuitively and thus, interpret them on our own level of understanding therein. You were quite blessed with Harry Potter; I could talk about my own Potterhead journey but I’ll refrain because mine is a bit more muddled than yours & longer in it’s trajectory! By your estimate I am a 1st Year Potterhead! lol

    In absolute no order of preference but rather where they show up in my Story Vault :

    Becoming Beauty by Sarah E. Boucher after reading Belle et la Bête by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont; The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo; Proof of Angels by Mary Curran Hackett after reading Proof of Heaven ; The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker IF there is a sequel! (aching for one!); Lemongrass Hope by Amy Impellizzeri; Daughter of the Gods by Stephanie Thornton; The Collector of Dying Breaths by M.J. Rose & reading the other two books that go w/ this one!; Go Away Home by Carol Bodensteiner when reading the sequel when it releases!; Awesome Jones by AshleyRose Sullivan whilst reading the sequel!; Moonflower by EDC Johnson whilst reading the sequel; Sebastian’s Way: The Pathfinder by George Steger; The Ambitious Madame Bonaparte by Ruth Hull Chatien; and To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis by Andra Wakins.

    Each of these stories I am listing held within them something uniquely special & different; something that I want to re-explore and spend more time soaking inside to the fullest measure of where the stories can take me. As readers read my thoughts I left behind on my first readings of the novels, I am quite sure they will see how my mind & my heart were bewitched by the story-tellers but I oft feel there is good practice in finding hours to set aside and return from whence we already came from in literature. It helps to keep our minds sharpened but also, it gives us a breath to re-examine what we first found and re-see what we might have overlooked or missed the first go-around.

    I am simply full of thanksgiving and blessings as a book blogger — to have my path cross such beautiful and talented writers each year! 🙂

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    • Jorie, you being such an avid book reader/blogger/reviewer, your take on what you want to reread speaks very loudly for the books you mentioned. I hope those authors know you hold their work in such high esteem! Thanks for the great comment 🙂

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  3. If I choose to keep a book on my bookshelves, (vs. the new ones that I haven’t gotten to you yet hogging up space), it’s because I consider them good enough that I would read them again. Nowadays, I pass most on after reading them. Generally, though, I rarely read books twice – so many books, (or recipes), so little time. I have read “The Book Thief” twice because it was brilliant, and have read “Because of Winn Dixie” twice, and also “Skellig” by David Almond. I also have quite a few metaphysical books I’ve read twice, but that’s because they’re kind of like reference books on the care of the soul. 🙂 If a novel? I like books that make me feel deeply and have something magical or particularly unusual about them that sets them apart from other books. I like characters that are so real I can talk to them, (even if they scare me), and places the author has me visualizing to a tee. There sure is nothing like a good book!

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    • Oh, I SO agree, Jeanne—there’s nothing like a good book! And wow, reading The Book Thief TWICE! I haven’t even gotten to it ONCE because it’s size is so daunting to me. It stands here, amidst other books I need to read, feeling quite put off, I think 😉

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      • oh, Donna – don’t put off reading The Book Thief – it’s a truly amazing book. And after you read it? Rent the movie; the movie was just stunning and an outstanding interpretation of the book. Mark Zusak, the author, gave the movie high praise. The story is about the love of reading and finding hope. The narrator of the story, taking place in Nazi Germany, is Death himself. Here is the trailer – http: //trailers .apple. com/trailers/ fox/ thebookthief/ – I burst into tears just watching it again. Go look – go on, now. 🙂 And get The Book Thief on the top of your list. You will never have one regret, trust me. It’s become one of my favorite books.

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        • Oh, boy, Jeanne! lol Maybe once I finish the Harry Potter ReRead at the end of March, I’ll consider it. I just know I’ll still feel daunted ’cause it could take me the rest of the year to finish and so many other books still won’t get read sigh I wish I read faster or simply had more time to read fiction! I know I’ll hear your voice ringing in my ear every time I look at it now, though! lol

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