I Rarely Read My Favorites More Than Once
By Jeff Salter
This topic was a bit of a ‘stumper’ for me. Like Danica, most of my books seem like adopted children (whom I protect and treasure). But like Jillian, I rarely re-read books … and I’m not really certain WHY.
It doesn’t bother me to re-watch a favorite movie. Heck, when I used to view a lot of television, I’d often re-watch a movie I didn’t even like all that much. [Because it was the ‘best’ thing on at that time.]
Anyway, as I sometimes do, I’m veering off-topic to some tangential issues.
Read More Than Once
I had to strain to come up with even this very small list.
Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird — an excellent, powerful book which I’ve read twice (about 10-12 years apart).
Nathaniel Benchley – father of author Peter Benchley and son of humorist Robert Benchley – wrote the novel which was made into the movie “The Russians are Coming…”. Titled The Off-Islanders, it’s another book I’ve read twice (some 30+ years apart).
Two times, I’ve read Walker Percy’s novel, The Last Gentleman. [Probably about 15 years apart.]
Though I can’t recall which titles, I know I’ve read at least one or two of Ian Fleming’s James Bond books twice (first as a young teen and later as an adult).
Notice that all of these re-readings have been at least 10 years later.
My Favorite Books
Since I’m obviously NOT a chronic ‘re-reader,’ my favorite titles (besides those above) include many books I’ve read only once … though I’d be delighted to read any of these again. [Merely a partial list].
The Eagle Has Landed (Jack Higgins)
Eye of the Needle (Ken Follett)
The Day of the Jackal (Frederick Forsyth)
Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
Band of Brothers (Stephen Ambrose)
My Favorite Authors
In addition to the authors listed in both sections above, I’ve also really enjoyed several by:
Robert Ludlum (mostly his earlier books)
Alistair MacLean (a few, but not all his titles)
Morris West (a few, but not all)
Bill Bryson (but not all)
Donald Hamilton [yep ... the writer of the Matt Helm series]
[Plus others I can’t even think of at the moment]
One area which DOES combine ‘favorite’ books and titles I’ve read more than once … is children’s books! I would strain too hard to remember all the titles / authors, but here are a few.
Being a librarian for some 29 years gave me opportunities to re-examine titles which I had read over and over as a child myself (like Ben and Me by Robert Lawson, several from Dr. Seuss, most of the early Disney titles, and many of the ‘Little Golden’ books) and had the added pleasure of reading multiple times to my own children. Several titles of the Berenstain Bears series arrived in time to read to my kids … as did Harry and the Terrible Whatzit by Dick Gackenbach. Some books (like William Joyce’s George Shrinks and Mercer Mayer’s There’s a Nightmare in my Closet) appeared too late for my kids, but have been viable reads for my grand-children.
A really good children’s story with terrific artwork is something I enjoy reading even where no kids are around!
Miscellaneous Multiple Reads
As a beta reader for my brother, I’ve read some of his books two or three times.
The Bible is not at all a typical ‘book’, but I’ve read each of its Old Testament books at least once … and most of the New Testament books three times or more.
I have read several of Shakespeare’s plays more than once.
I’ve read a few short stories more than once (e.g., O’Henry’s Ransom of Red Chief and Faulkner’s An Odor of Verbena … and probably some of Poe’s).
So, now that I’ve talked AROUND this topic, what are YOUR favorite books … and/or which titles have you read more than once? Does anyone else like to re-read children’s books?
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