Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about re-reading…Finding myself stuck on a train (the one in front of us has broken down and, by the sound of it, we could be in for a long wait), I decided that the moment to join in with Musing Mondays, at least occasionally, has arrived.
Have you ever finished a book, then turned around and immediately re-read it? Why? What book(s)? (question courtesy of MizB)
It's not unusual for me to re-read a book immediately upon finishing it - sometimes, I just don't want to lose the mood it has evoked. I think the last book where this happened was August Folly by Angela Thirkell. Regular readers of this blog will know that she is a favourite author of mine, and I loved both the humour and characterisation in this Barsetshire novel set in a golden age before was has broken out. Slightly longer ago - before I started writing here - I remember doing the same thing with Dance With Me by Victoria Clayton, an enchanting novel set in the 1970s.
More unusually, perhaps, I have a rather odd habit with authors whose style I particularly enjoy, of re-reading before I have finished the book. This frequently happens with a new William Gibson novel: I read about two-thirds - up to the point where the denouement is signalled but hasn't really begun - and then immediately begin again from the start and read right through to the end. Gibson seems to lend himself to this odd habit, his plots seem deceptively simple, but are often multi-layered, so that I find on the second reading there is much detail that I have missed first time round. Of course, this oddity only really works on a first reading, once I know a book there isn't any point to the practice, though complete re-reads aren't precluded, and I think it would be true to say that I have read most of my books at least twice and many of them far more frequently. It does seem to be rather freakish behaviour, I hardly know anyone else who re-reads as much as I do, and no-one else with the two-thirds habit. If there are kindred spirits out there, I'd love to know!