I’m not one for re-runs. I can probably count the movies I’ve seen twice on one hand (It’s a Wonderful Life, When Harry Met Sally, The Graduate, This is Spinal Tap). And aside from children’s books, I can’t think of many books I’ve read twice.
So even though I signed up for the Woolf in Winter read-along, I’d intended to skip Mrs. Dalloway, having read it in a college class a mere 20 years ago. (I’m still indebted to you, dear Dr. Young.) No need to revisit it so soon, I reasoned.
But I changed my mind and am very glad I did. This was kind of a slow reading week for me, so I’ve been spending most of this slate-gray rainy Sunday in my favorite place – my living room/library, surrounded by books and photos of loved ones – finishing the last 60 pages of Mrs. Dalloway. (I’ll have a post with my thoughts/review up soon. Better late than never to the Woolf in Winter party, right? “We are shockingly late, dear Mrs. Dalloway, we hardly dared to come in,” she [Lady Bradshaw] said.)
In reading some of the other Woolf in Winter posts, several bloggers have commented that this is a book to re-read. Having done just that, I agree.
It made me think: I keep my already-read books because I think that they are ones I might like to reread. (I’m getting much better at giving away books that I won’t.) But even though I want to reread them, I don’t. Why is that? Is it because there are too many other books to get to? Is it that I just like having them around, on days like this when I am sitting in the library with them nearby?
In looking at my shelves, there are several that would lend themselves well to a second go-around. The Complete Stories by Flannery O’Connor, absolutely. (Hmm … maybe I might need to create a Flannery O’Connor Reading Challenge if one doesn’t already exist.) Any of Lorrie Moore’s books, but especially the short story collection, Birds of America, are worth a reread. (I don’t know about her latest, as I haven’t read it.) There’s also Rachel Simon’s first book, a short story collection (are we sensing a theme here?) called Little Nightmares, Little Dreams.
There are also novels by Ursula Hegi that I wouldn’t mind rereading (Stones from the River), classics like A Catcher in the Rye, The Glass Menagerie, The Plague, and The Stranger. Nonfiction like Getting Things Done by David Allen (love him!) and Freakonomics, and oh – the columns by Darrell Sifford, a wonderful Philadelphia Inquirer columnist who passed away all too young.
Too many books to read and reread. Nowhere near enough time.
What are some books you’ve read more than once, and which ones are you longing to take another look at?
copyright 2010, Melissa (Betty and Boo’s Mommy, The Betty and Boo Chronicles) If you are reading this on a blog or website other than The Betty and Boo Chronicles or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.