Friday, January 10, 2014

Bang For Your Book


Part of my TBRs
By Peg Brantley
Evocative Characters. Intriguing Crime. Compelling Stories.


I've read thousands of books in my lifetime. Probably tens of thousands. But I have never once—at least not on purpose—read one twice. (Except maybe The Stand by Stephen King, but I could be wrong about that.)

People gush over their favorite books and talk about how many times they've read them. People who do this make me feel unfaithful. Why can't I pick a book and stick with it the same way they do? I'm such a cheater. A hussy who's on to the next best thing. A book-slut.

I have a few all-time favorite books. What if I were to read one of them again and be disappointed in some way? I would then have one less all-time favorite book. I would be sad.

For example, what if the word-paintings Arthur Golden created (just for me I'm sure) in Memoirs of a Geisha disappeared the second time around? Missed the canvas? I'd be in mourning. I'd quit believing in anything good and even chocolate wouldn't be able to console me.

It's a good thing I don't reread books.

My reading preference only becomes a problem when it's my own story. By the time the book hits the shelves, literallly or figuratively, I've read the danged thing a gazillion times. It's part of the job, and I suffer through.

What about you? Are you faithful to a few books that you read over and over again? Or does your fear of loss put you in a constant hunt for a new relationship?

And finally, for those of you who reread books, what draws you?




Peg Brantley's newest release, THE SACRIFICE, takes readers from Aspen Falls, Colorado to Monterrey, Mexico and finally to New Orleans, Louisiana in a desperate bid to save a young girl who doesn't know she's in danger.



20 comments:

  1. Peg, I used to constantly look for new authors, worrying that I'd miss one along the way, until I finally decided that life's too short. That's when I trimmed down my stock of books to those I wouldn't mind reading again...and again. I'll add to that group, but they have to be books that I really enjoy. I'll re-read everything written by the late Robert B. Parker, all of Lawrence Block's books, the entire John Grisham collection... And the constant in all that is that I love their writing styles (different though they may be) and know that I'll think "Wow" when I reach the denouement.

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    1. I also emjoy finding a new author, but I don't actively seek them out. To reread and still say "Wow" is quite a testament to those authors!

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  2. I've never reread a book - life's too short! (To use the same reason as Richard Mabry above, for the opposite purpose.) I've got such a stockpile of books I still want to read that who has time to reread the old ones. Although, come to think of it, there are a few classics I just might reread one of these days, like To Kill a Mockingbird or...

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    1. I agree. My TBRs are vast. And my kindle promises even more books that are just waiting for me to find the time. It could become quite stressful if one thought about it too much.

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  3. I don't reread either. There are too many unread books I want to get to. I have looked back at some books for reference or research or to analyze a style, but that's not the same. I also rarely watch the same movie more than one. I make a few exceptions, most notably, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, my favorite.

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    1. I'm gonna have to watch Cuckoo again. It's been years. And yeah, studying a book isn't the same.

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    2. Like the Usual Suspects for me, L.J.!

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  4. Oh, I've reread, many times, more as a child than an adult, but there are books I go back to, even if it's just to reread a passage that I love. Now I reread to study the craft. I'm surprised I can't recite Black Beauty by heart, I read it so often. Lines from The Thurber Carnival often spring into my head. I've gone back to the classics, like The Count of Monte Cristo, as well as "classic pulp" like Edgar Rice Burroughs.

    Sadly, I don't reread as many contemporary books. Perhaps because I'm now reading with a writer's brain, so I find, even when I'm enjoying them, I'm studying them.

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    1. I think it's great that you can reread any book with a writer's brain. I'm pretty sure that's one of the things that scares me off.

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  5. I used to reread books a lot. I've probably read Anne of Green Gables 10 times. Others I've read multiple times include To Kill a Mockingbird, Little Women, and the Jane Austen oeuvre.
    But I don't seem to have the time to do that anymore. Maybe because I tend to read more recent publications for review purposes?

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    1. There seems to be a bit of a theme growing here with the classics... maybe one of these days I'll try rereading one.

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  6. I reread certain books, some of them annually. I'm doing less of it lately as I have very little reading time at all. My TBR pile is teetering electronically over my head and threatening to flatten me any second now.

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    1. I know what you mean, Kathleen. Too many books, too little time.

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  7. I'm not a re-reader. I recall re-reading a book I loved the first time I read it, and I was terribly disappointed the second time. I was probably eight or nine years old, and I've been a determined non-re-reader ever since. Once in a while I come across a short story I want to reread, or a poem, but never a novel. I may try rereading a novel just to see how I feel about it, what I discover about the book and myself, but I have far too many new books to read to spend time on that.

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    1. I love the idea about rereading poems. Yes! That is one of the written word artistic mediums whre I think it could work. Where I could gain as opposed to lose.

      Thanks, Susan.

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  8. I reread. But I don't reread in entirety. I reread selectively. When I want to recall a favored scene, I may only read that bit. Or if I want to know a character again, I will read about him or her for a chapter or so, just like revisiting an old friend. I love to reread.

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    1. Impressive. Not only did the writer touch you, you remembered why and where. That's a win-win!

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  9. I'm a re-reader. As a child I had access to a limited number of books, so I re-read the ones I liked -- not reading wasn't a possibility. Now I return to my favorite books for comfort and sometimes to assess what they are doing that makes me love them, and how I might be able to do that in my writing too.

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    1. I guess I was fortunate to always have a library nearby. It may not have been very big, but it was there and had way more books than I could possibly read. Sort of delicious at the time.

      It sounds as if you began the habit early and it's stayed with you. Power to you, Jan!

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  10. Peg, excellent post. Like a few people here on this post, I find it very difficult to re-read fiction. Every book I read and enjoy is like a first kiss - it's only special once. Welcome back and wishing you a wonderful new year!

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