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Rereading old books 'enhances the experience'...
edited February 2012
Why does this sound like stating the obvious? Whenever you re-read a book, you find bits you missed in the initial visit. You are also meeting with old friends or enemies in the form of characters you think you know, but about whom you may learn more. You are treading familiar ground, but there are holes in your knowledge, just as if you went back to a place you knew well years ago and now find that it is smaller, prettier, uglier, changed in some unexpected way.
There are some authors you can read over and over and still be delighted; others you read once, and that is enough.Either the plot is simple, so you know what will happen, or the characters are one-dimensional, and knowing what happens to them leaves you nothing else to learn.
I recently re-read Persuasion: haven't read it since A level, and I had totally forgotten how it was written, under the sway of TV adaptations I suppose. Nothing like as sparkling as P&P, rather heavy on the tell, don't show! (It would never find an agent today...)
Last autumn I re-read 'Swallows and Amazons' and 'Swallowdale' by Arthur Ransome. I really enjoyed my nostalgic re-acquaintance with Nancy and Peggy et al, but the experience left me with an inexplicable feeling of sadness. I eventually realised that I had originally read these books in the 1940's, not to many years after their publication, and had closely identified with the young characters. This time round the events seemed set in a different world, and the characters, most , I think, based on real people, would now be well in to their 90's and adventuring in their little boats no more
I love rereading books, I've just read a 15 book series i last read prob 10 years ago and it was even better than I remembered.
nothing is ever exactly the same, you always get something different back
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