Is Life Too Short for Re-reading?
Friday, September 30, 2011
A couple weeks ago, Kurt Andersen threw out a notion into the Twitter and Facebook universes:
“I'm not 100% sure, but I just realized I don't think I've ever read a book (my own and The Great Gatsby aside) or seen a movie (except for It's A Wonderful Life) more than twice. (Pre–1972 TV episodes are a different story.) I wonder how weird this is.”
Turns out, it’s weirder than he imagined; Kurt was inundated by passionate advocates of the virtues of re–reading.
Kurt called his friend Anne Fadiman (who edited a book of essays called Rereadings) for advice, and instead got a scolding. “Do you hear a Beethoven symphony just once and say, ‘OK, I’ve checked that one off my list … I better go on and do the complete works of Vivaldi now’?” she chides.
But Kurt argues that there are too many great books, new and classic, to be discovered; he can’t ignore them to spend hours with an old favorite.
Are you an avid rereader of books or rewatcher of movies? Or is once enough?
→ Take our survey and tell us — and if you can convince Kurt your pick is worth revisiting, he’ll do it.