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! ๐Ÿ™‚ My list of books To Be Read (TBR) is a very lengthyย one, and stays that wayย 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 booksย sit at its pinnacle–not onlyย 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! ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 Iย really debated on whether or not I should get involved. I KNEW it would likely become a bit of an obsession. Ultimatelyโ€”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 someย 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 ofย 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 ย 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 bookย 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 stillย struggling to get a handle on life’sย 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ And yes, this “chart queen” has done the math and figured out a reading scheduleย 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m a “7th-year” student since I completed all 7 booksโ€”3 times over, mind you! Part of the agreement is for participants to postย 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 rereadโ€”or read for the first timeโ€”this unforgettable series. I hope to see you there!

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So, tell meโ€”what books have you reread, and what is it that compels you?

 

 

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

  1. I re-read all the Harry Potter books twice now. When I was a kid, I read Nancy Drew at least 5 times each book. The books become like old friends. I like going back and seeing them occasionally. โค

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    • You know, I wasn’t a reader as a teenager which is probably when I would’ve read “Nancy Drew.” I’ve read one as an adult so I would “know” what the series was like. There is that “old friend” thing. I know, for me, I want to re-enjoy the experience, at least as much as one can once one already knows the outcome! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  2. Sweet! IN answer to your question, “what gets you to reread a book,” I would have to say the people, the excitement.. but of course above all THE BOOK. There are not many books I would read again, but the Potter books struck a cord in me the first time, and again in audio, and again in the movies. I have randomly read one of the books again here and there- but never the whole series stat to finish after the first time…. until now ๐Ÿ™‚ SO glad I will be doing it with fun people ๐Ÿ˜‰

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    • After deciding to dive into it, I’m now looking forward to the reread, Sheila. Glad you’re doing it and REALLY appreciate all the work you’re putting in. You ARE a passionate soul and you will LOVE rereading the entire series again. It’s really something when you read them back-to-back. I think it’s going to really help jump start me working on my own series ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • I’ve never read Jane Eyre and don’t think I’ll ever get to it ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I think you’re right, that we enjoy a reread more ’cause we’re able to notice more, already being familiar, so it opens us to see it ๐Ÿ™‚

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  3. I have a re-reading problem. I reread so many books over and over – sometimes to learn the art from them, sometimes to relax in the familiarity of them, sometimes to share them with my children, sometimes because they are my fiends and I know they feel neglected if I don’t give them enough of my time. Definitely a problem. Some of my favorites to reread: Cynthia Voight’s Dicey’s Song, Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next novels, Mary Doria Russell’s The Sparrow, and the reread for all times, Pride and Prejudice.

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    • Oh, wow, well, Katey–I’m not so sure it’s a problem if you read fast enough ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve accepted that I’m going to be spending the next 5 months rereading the HP series, although I have SO many books I still want to read. The way I’m looking at it is I hope it helps me figure out a way to fit in more fiction-reading time even after I’m finished with HP again. I also know that it should help me with my own writing, the HP series being fresher in my mind. I know I’ll get lost in the story again (it’s the joy of reading the books!), but I’m hoping I can try to get my “writer brain” active during the read and try to note things as I go ๐Ÿ™‚ To me, do what you enjoy and if you enjoy rereading—do it! ๐Ÿ™‚ I know I’ve watched (well, more listened to) movies repeatedly. The books take me a lot longer which is why I don’t do it as easily.

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  4. There’s not many I’ve reread as my TO READ pile is quite large and, well, who has time. I AM rereading a lot of childhood favorites though and the Harry Potter series because I homeschool – so read aloud time is also reread time for me and I do love that aspect of it!! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  5. Hello fellow Hufflepuff! I actually chose my house based on my Myers-Briggs personality type. Lol. INFJ’s are often Hufflepuff but they can also be Ravenclaw. I’m looking forward to earning House Points with you!

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  6. Thank you for being part of this ReRead! I’ve saved your notes on Harry Potter , I hope you don’t mind. I plan to utilize them to help me be more organized. I find writing to be horribly challenging so I need all the help I can get.
    Happy Halloween!

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    • Hey, Jackie! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m glad you’re involved, too! It looks like we’ll have quite the nice little group for this ๐Ÿ˜€ I’m also glad you even FOUND my notes on Harry Potter. That post was weeks ago, but that’s why they’re there—for you and anyone who wants them to download. It’s over 70 pages, too! And I don’t know if you also looked at the reading schedule I made up for Sheila’s ReReadathon. The link is up there in this post somewhere ๐Ÿ™‚ I made it so I can be sure to keep on track and ahead. I don’t like to read under pressure and fitting in at least 28 pages per day is a lot for me, but I’m hoping to create the habit even AFTER the ReRead. ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • You, too, Jennifer, though I don’t know if I’ll be able to read the first day. Will be at our NJ SCBWI Craft Day all day and will be home late. If I don’t fall asleep, I’ll get my first read in at bedtime. We’ll see! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  7. Most of my reading is nonfiction. I just looove a true story that naturally contains a compelling narrative arc on par with the best fiction. Dramatic three act structures so rarely occur in the real world, so when they do, I get giddy. Hellhound on His Trail, The Whiskey Robber, and Charlatan, are a few of my highly recommended re-readables.

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  8. I have read Harry Potter multiple times. I think the main reason for that is that they where among the first books I read when I really got into reading. They are good, and they feel like home. They where such a big part of my younger days for so many years.
    There are a few other books to, but not many. They have to be really good to be read again. I read the first Song of Ice and Fire (game of thrones) books again before the last book was published. I have also read the Farseer trilogy twice.

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  9. I tend to re-read the Classics: Edith Wharton, Lewis Carroll, the Bronte sisters, Flaubert, Balzac; but I will also read a seminal work by a more contemporary writer (e.g. Margaratet Atwood) as well. Sometimes I re-read knowing that the work is the foundation of a later book that I want to read (e.g. Mark Twain’s Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn before reading Jon Clinch’s Finn.) Other times I re-read for the fun of participating in a challenge or feature like the #hpreadathon! ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • Hey, Tanya! ๐Ÿ™‚ I have to say I am always impressed by people who read so many of the classics, and certainly those that are meatier in content and length, then to REread them, I’m twice as impressed! lol And it’s been AGES since I read Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer! Totally looking forward to discussing Harry Potter again. Just today I was at one of our SCBWI events and Harry Potter came into one of the conversations. You bet I enjoyed singing J.K.’s praises! ๐Ÿ˜€

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  10. I actually love rereading books, but since I’ve started blogging I reread a lot less because my TBR got A LOT bigger. Now when I’m in the mood to reread a particular favorite I end up just skimming to my favorite passages rather than read the whole thing due to the many other books I want to read! I won’t be doing that with Harry Potter though, it’s been too long since I’ve read them!

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    • Hi, Kimberly! ๐Ÿ™‚ You know, I never considered rereading favorite passages, probably ’cause it’s never crossed my mind, but I think mostly ’cause I don’t think I’d remember well enough where those passages would be, but I’m glad you mentioned it since now it will be a consideration! Of course, now, with Sheila’s ReReadathon, I’ll be reading every page ๐Ÿ™‚

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  11. I don’t reread often, but Harry Potter is the one BIG exception. I’ve reread them many times, but never as s readalong with fellow Potterheads. I’m super excited to connect with others who love this series as much as I do!

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    • I know, Jenna! This will DEfinitely be fun. It’s been 7 years for me (well, except for occasional dips into SS or random hunting of information that’s come up in discussions over the years), so I think it’s about to time to revisit these treasured books! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  12. With my gigantic TBR list, I, too, refrain from re-reading books most of the time. But, the Harry Potter series is different, and I am so excited to re-read this one with everyone. I hope you enjoy your re-read!

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  13. I remember going to buy the fifth Harry Potter book, I did a blog post on because it was that clear! I tend not to reread yet, I feel I am too young to reread when there are so many amazing books I haven’t experienced yet. It is maddening to know I will never be able to read all these wonderful reads.

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    • Yes! THIS is our plight! There’s that part of me, now that I’m rereading HP, that is again questioning the sensibility of it, but I do know it will have a positive effect on my novel writing. Every time I finished one of these books (my first read of each one), I was totally charged to write—and did! Granted, that novel from back then is going nowhere. I now see it more as “practice” and I will only use elements from it. It will be completely rewritten since so much has changed about it since then. Anyway, rereading this stellarly-written series will ultimately benefit me in that way, I think ๐Ÿ™‚ Meanwhile, the many other books that surround me are quite miffed at this unexpected turn of events. They thought they were further up in the queue!

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  14. I always feel like there are so many new books to read, I don’t do much rereading. A few exceptions: (1) favorite picture books which get read 100s of times, (2) Books I read when I was little that I want to experience as an adult (like Charlotte’s Web and A Wrinkle in Time), (3) Looking toward the future I am only about 3 years away from getting to reread Potter with my oldest daughter.

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    • That’s just the thing…all the NEW books! I have Charlotte’s Web near my bedside on a shelf, waiting to be reread ’cause I haven’t read it since childhood–and it STILL waits sigh How wonderful you’ll get to enjoy the books with your daughter! One of my fondest memories during my original “Harry Potter” years was sharing the excitement with my daughter-in-law, Suzanne (well, she wasn’t my official daughter-in-law at the time! lol) ๐Ÿ™‚

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  15. I don’t re-read a lot of books, but the Harry Potter series is one of the few! I love books that bring something new to the table every single time you read it but still maintain that excitement like the first time and the HP series definitely does that. I’ve read the first four books about 5 or 6 times now, the 5th about 3, and the 6th and 7th only once (because they cause me pain, lol). I hope you have fun in your re-read!

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    • Thanks, Michelle ๐Ÿ™‚ I think we’ll all enjoy it. I’m reading it according to my 28-page-per-day schedule,give or take a few pages depending on chapter breaks or my timing. What I’m always impressed by is that her writing is so good, I already know what’s coming, but can still feel tension when I’m meant to! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  16. I am such a huge fan of Harry Potter and can’t even remember how many times I have read these books! In fact, I am currently in the middle of the third one with my kids (a reread for the older one and the first read of the younger one). I even taught a class on the sixth one the spring before the final one was released. So much fun!

    I really like to re-read books and typically re-read a handful every year. Some of the other books that I have re-read frequently are The Hobbit, Wicked, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. There are so many more that I want to re-read again too, especially ones that are part of a series that I have not yet finished and I need to refresh my memory!

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    • Hey, Tif ๐Ÿ™‚ So nice to see you here! I have to tell you, I’m always blown away by the amount of reading you (and quite a few other book bloggers online) get done. You read SO many books and actually REread some?! lol Amazing. And how much fun you must be having reading them with your kids. I’m wondering if it’s difficult to keep the older one from accidentally giving something away while reading to the younger one! lol

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  17. This sounds like a fun read-a-long! I think re-reading is especially fun when you have a community to discuss the book with. For example, The Midnight Garden is doing a read-along of Farmer Boy in November, and I love the Little House books because they were such favorites when I was a girl! So, I’m excited about that and seeing what the ladies over there have to say about it! I think many of the books I loved as a young person are ones I re-read, like the Anne of Green Gables series. Or, if a book has a complex plot and/or a mystery, I often want to re-read those types of books to look for more details about where the plot went. If a book has themes I find meaningful or characters I love, like The Time Traveler’s Wife, I’ll want to re-read. But I’ve had the problem lately of having way too many books to read and review, so some re-reading has fallen by the wayside! ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • Well, Katey, you are definitely one of those bloggers that knows how to talk about books, that’s for sure! ๐Ÿ™‚ You read quite the variety and I’m amazed you find time to reread anything! lol I was told The Time Traveler’s Wife was an excellent read, but it’s so long, I hesitate! I read the first of Anne of Green Gables and LOVED the PBS movies! ๐Ÿ˜€ Have you ever seen them? Talk about spirituality (your focus) in fiction ๐Ÿ˜€

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    • Hi, Stacy! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m not big on rereading, but I’m glad I gave in to reread HP. It’s been so long there are a couple of things I’m having a hard time remembering (and I knew these books like you wouldn’t believe), AND I’m seeing a few things more clearly. Didn’t think that was possible! lol I love fantasy, too ๐Ÿ™‚

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