In my experience, the biggest division among readers isn't genre fiction lovers vs. different genre fiction lovers, or non-fiction vs. fiction fans. It's people who re-read vs. people who don't.
My wife is not a re-reader. She'll read a book, however good, just once, and then is completely uninterested in revisiting it, even years later. This is combined with an amusing tendency to forget whether she has read something or not, resulting in frequent one-chapter forays into books before she realizes she has read them before and throws them aside in disgust.
On the other hand, I love re-reading. I see it as hardly different than listening to favorite music or watching favorite movies again. I often get something different from a book each time I read it, as my experiences change me and lead me to notice different things or appreciate them in new ways. Plus, a good book I've read before is comfort food, like a childhood prayer or a favorite ragged shirt worn to near-threadbare softness and perfection. I have to be in the right mood for it, but when I am, a familiar book transports and engrosses me like no other. The fact that I know what's going to happen doesn't spoil the experience any more than knowing the outcome of a new production of a favorite stage play. I can't imagine not being able to do this. Yet some people look at re-readers like we're crazy. It's odd.
What have I re-read the most? The list is long, but here are a few samples:
The Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follet.
The Glory and the Dream, and both volumes of his unfinished Churchill biography, by the late William Manchester.
The entire Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin.
Most of Michael Connelly's mysteries, particularly the Harry Bosch series.
All of the Sherlock Holmes series.
All of George Bernard Shaw's plays.
And too many more to count.
Are you a re-reader?
Last 5 posts by Ken White
- Department of Justice Uses Search Warrant To Get Data On Visitors to Anti-Trump Site - August 14th, 2017
- America At The End of All Hypotheticals - August 14th, 2017
- Lawsplainer: Why John Oliver Is Anti-Diversity Now - August 11th, 2017
- Anatomy of a Scam, Chapter 15: The Wheels, They Grind - August 10th, 2017
- We Interrupt This Grand Jury Lawsplainer For A Search Warrant Lawsplainer - August 9th, 2017