Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by blankdraft, Nov 13, 2008.
favorite novel, and how many times have you read it so far?
Took me a second to parse out the thread tag line....
Xenogenesis by Octavia Butler. I've easily read it over twenty times. Next in line would come Dune by Frank Herbert.
I stopped counting full reads of The Lord of the Rings in the mid-30s, and that includes two complete passes reading it aloud to my kids as they were growing up.
I wouldn't claim it was my favorite novel, but obviously it was up there. There are others I have read many, many times as well, but there was almost a cult quality to LotR when I began reading it.
The Vampire Lestat and Pandora. Both vampires, both I read twice.
I don't really see the point in reading a novel more than once, to be quite honest, unless you were -completely- in love with it. There's so many good books out there that going through something you've already read before would detract your time and attention from discovering new material.
Oh, I believe there are excellent reasons for reading a novel twice if you are a writer. Read it the first time for the experience and the pleasure.
Then go back and read it a second time, with an eye to the author's techniques. Look for what works for you, what parts are confusing, what parts bore you into a coma, and try to figure out why. There is no better way to learn new writing strategies, in my opinion. It's closely related to critiquing, of which I am also a dedicated advocate.
A truly good book is many layered. Every read is different and new.
Some of the Clive Cussler novels, like Inca Gold, Atlantis Found, and Shock Wave, I've read five times or so and I've read Map Of Bones by James Rollins another four or five. If you were just measuring the number of times I've read a sizeable section of a book over, than I'd have some that would be in the 20-30 times range.
Transall Saga by Gary Paulsen. I think the storyline is just so cool and it grabs and keeps your attention the whole way through. I've read it a bunch of times, and like people have already said it is like a new read everytime because I realize things I didn't see before and I see different connections each time. There are other books that I have read over and over but that one sticks in my mind because it is my favorite.
Wow, more than thirty times! That's nuts. I read LotR about eight times, I think. The other book I've read more than three times (there are several of those because I couldn't buy them and had no time for the library for a while) is Deenie, by Judy Blume.
Probably most of the Harry Potter books, when I was little. Like 10 times each, say.
And I love The Thornbirds. I've read that about four times in four years, but you should double it because it's very long ^^
I must have read On A Pale Horse about six times. A close second might (I'm not entirely sure) be Halo: The Fall of Reach.
Dark Tower Series - maybe 10 times
Sucker for Dune as well, not sure, but a MANY TIMES
I've been doing my annual reread of LOTR since I was 15, so we'll say 10 times there. I also try to squeeze in The Wheel of Time series at least once a year (Mostly to keep myself abreast of the series) but I know I've skipped a time or two. On account of a very limited library as a child, I've also reread some pretty bad books far more than they deserve, like Dragonlance and it's many children.
Little Women 7 and a half (I say half cuz the first time ever was the children's version) times. And Doll People with 3 re-readings. Both are AMAZING by the way!!
Probably 7 or 8 times - the book was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I've also read Pride & Prejudice repeatedly as well as The Truth About Forever. Those are kind of my "comfort books".
The Catcher in the Rye. Sadly, I've only read it once, as it was assigned to me by the English curriculum. I haven't been able to buy my own copy as of yet.
I don't reread novels, because I'd rather read something new. That said, I do read some things more than once- I try to read The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell and The Birth of Tragedy by Frederich Nietzsche at least once a year. When my memory starts to get fuzzy I'll reread some of my favourite works- The Divine Comedy, The Aeneid, the works of Euripides and various myths.
I often read novels twice. The second time, I'm more likely to focus on the writing, ti see what works well and what doesn't, and why.
I've also occasionally read novels several times for sheer pleasure. Most of all was probably the Lord of the Rings series. I lost count after thirty-some-odd times. The first dozen or so times were in high school. I have also read the series aloud twice to my children (twice because of the age difference). I wore out two separate sets, but my third is in decent condition.
I generally read a book once. Two or three books I've read twice, for the reasons Cognito stated.
The book that I read many times (like Cog's "Lord of Rings") back in high school was Richard Bach's "Illusions."
I'd probably read more books more than once, if I didn't have such a backlog of books I want to read. Part of my problem is that I read a wide variety: Fiction of many genres, non-fiction of many types, classics, religion... Every time someone mentions an book that sounds good, I add it to my list...
Right now, my "want to read, don't have" list is two pages (and that's only because I stopped, I could easily expand it) I have a stack of about books at home and a drawer full of paperbacks at work. By the time I finish a book, I've gone to another yard sale and bought two more. Considering how many books exist, I'll catch up in a few thousand years if I become immortal, and if they stop publishing new books.
May be if I'm caught in a bank vault when there's a nuclear explosion like Burgess Meridith in that Twilight Zone episode when he finally had plenty of time to read...
Gulliver's Travels, 6 or 7 times....first few times for high school, last few for university...
Same for Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (its a play though), 4 or so times at high school, then a few times just because its amazing....
As for rereading for fun....I've read Lolita 2 or 3 times, American Psycho and Rules of Attraction twice each, Watchmen like 5...most I just read once, and the ones I repeat most are things I can finish in a day or two and don't need to think about....it's like a rebound after I read something extremely complex or involving...some trashy novel that doesn't make you think at all...
The Divine Comedy - Dante Alighieri.
I have read it over 20 times easily. It is brilliant and I google it pretty much everyday!
I've reread most of my books two or three times, and there are a great many I've read closer to 5 or 10 times, although by that point I usually just read the parts that I like and skip over the ones that I don't. I try and reread series right before a new book comes out.
But the book I've reread the most is probably All Creatures Great and Small. I still laugh out loud every time I read it.
I think my most-read book has to be Life, the Universe and Everything, by Douglas Adams. I must have read it 30+ times, partly because it is something I can enjoy, partly because it is short and makes a great filler to read while deciding what to read next.
I re-read loads. Partially because I'm wanted in five council areas for 'outstanding fines of an astonomical amount, plus book theft' so my access to libraries is somewhat limited. (I apologise if this offends the sensitivities of any reader of this post, I have a terrible memory and a penenche for just packing up and leaving at the drop of a hat, which meant some collateral library books).
I must have read all of the Christopher Brookmyere's about five times each, with the exception of the last two, which are currently queued up on my 'to read' pile, behind the new Harlen Coben and the 'classic-i've-never-read' Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
I read The Hitchhikers Guide (all five parts of the trilogy) at least once a year. I still laugh out loud at it, so there must be something to it.
I read Les Miserables at least once a year as well (it is also in my to read pile, after the two C.Brookmyere's- I found it after cleaning my flat).
I also am a huge fan of James Herriot- you can't beat it for rural charm and funny writing style.
My other favourite re-read, which I've just finished is 'My Legendary Girlfriend' by Mike Gayle. It's always been a favourite, but particularly poignant at the moment because my circumstances are very similar to the main character.
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