Survey: Are You A Rereader?

Blog: 09.30.11

Friday, September 30, 2011 - 12:00 PM


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Comments [19]

Jessie Henshaw from way uptown

I'm less concerned with how predicting our preferences invades our privacy. I'm more concerned with how it makes us stupid, the same way it makes social networks so stupid, constantly feeding on their own outputs.

The "endless nepotism" or "incestuous feedback" of self-interests inflating self-interests is about the most dangerous set of blinders an organism learning to explore a complex world can become addicted to.

I'd much rather be able to add to my search strings the viewpoint I want to search with today, say with [view:science] or [view:teengirl], etc. than just having my own commercial self-interest fed back to me endlessly to drive me into the central profit stream of my ISP or Google, or whoever.

I want the web to give me goggles that see INTO the channels rather than that drag me into the channel a hidden power wants me to occupy.

Oct. 09 2011 02:48 PM
Lauren from Washington, DC

Just the thought of rereading stresses me out. There aren't enough bus rides or days on the beach to read a fraction of the classic treasures and new gems I have stacked in my to-do list. Rereading feels like a disrespect to the upcoming books, staring at me from the bedside table. Then there's Le Petit Prince. I have all sorts of excuses I make for rereading it at least once a year. "Oh, brushing up on my French!" "It's so short! Merely a picture book!" But if I'm being honest, I miss it when I haven't read it in too long. Lines creep into my head and get stuck in there like a catchy 80s tune. I find myself thinking of Asteroide B-612 when I look at the sky, trees become troops of elephants, and I start wondering which futile "grande personne" I've become. So I'll probably sneak it in for the rest of my life, trying to cling to Saint-Exupery's beautifully constructed lessons I fell in love with years ago.

Oct. 08 2011 03:15 PM
Patty Williams from New Windsor, MD

Besides re-reading the "Lord of the Rings" and "Gone With the Wind" numerous times my favorite reread is Ursula K Le Guin's "The Left Hand of Darkness". I'm not a usual reader of science fiction, but this book just speaks to me about the value of looking at what's considered normal with a critical eye.

But I agree it's hard to devote time to rereading a book when it means not reading a new book. "So many books, so little time".

Oct. 07 2011 01:56 PM
Trish Ponder from St. Augustine, FL

It was such a pleasant surprise to hear Kurt offer that he is a slow reader! And here I thought I was all alone.

I don't often re-read a book, but I have read The Stranger by Albert Camus multiple times, along with On Writing Well by William Zinsser because both inspire me, the first personally, the second professionally.

The movies I own are McCabe & Mrs. Miller and True Stories by the Talking Heads. Both are so complex and perfectly executed - in hugely different ways - they are worth seeing again.

What is more common for me than re-reading or watching is to have the wistful feeling at the end of a really good work that I wish I hadn't already read or seen it, so I could still do so again for the first time.

Oct. 04 2011 10:54 AM

I am not a fast reader. It takes me six to ten hours to read a novel. That being said my Access "books read" list has over 1100 books on it. Of those, I've read only a few twice: "Watchers" by Dean Koontz and "A Clockwork Orange" by Anthony Burgess are two. There are probaly others, but very few.

Oct. 02 2011 09:15 PM
Jon A. Gibson from Orlando, FL

I'll rewatch Dream a Little Dream, Walk Hard, BTTF I & III.

Oct. 02 2011 07:57 PM
marcia from vermont

"Fahrenheit 451" is the book I've read the most often, upwards of a 8 times I should think. And for a long time I would re-read "Fail Safe" at least once a year. As a kid I re-read the "Odyssey " at least twice; how I loved those adventures! I have read the works of Leon Uris at least twice, and in particular "QB VII" 3 times. I actually re-read "Avalon" as soon as I had finished reading it once! In the 60 years since I taught myself to read I have changed and therefore what I "get" from a book has changed. So, I re-read!

Oct. 02 2011 05:01 PM
Toby from Brooklyn, New York

Two books I have loved reading multiple times are Tom Robbins "Another Roadside Attraction" and Ray Bradbury's "Dandelion Wine". Each time I get something new out of each. Highly recommended.

Oct. 02 2011 02:56 PM
Maty Grace Dembeck from Westport, CT

I'm not only a re-reader of books, especially of certain passages, I am also a re-watcher of films. Right now, I'm thoroughly addicted to BBCs film "North and South" starring Richard Armitage. (His character in that series (John Thornton) is my hew all-time favorite hero. He has replaced Darcy in "Pride and Prejudice", and that's saying a LOT!).

I'm absolutely UNapologetic about my re-watchings or re=readings.

The two books I constantly re-read are Bronte's "Jane Eyre" and Austen's "Pride and Prejudice".IMO, there are no contemporary writers I can think of who can equal Austen or Bronte. (Take that, Delafield and Collins! ;)

Oct. 02 2011 12:11 PM
Carl from LES

I'm also a non-re-reader, and a non-re-watcher of movies.

The main reason is that you loose so much of the surprise and ah-ha when I re-read/watch. In addition to the entertainment factor, I grow as a person with many of the books and movies that indulge. I also get a lot out of re-reading/watching, but not as much out of a first pass.

There are some special movies that have almost a musical quality that makes them re-watchable. Beetlejuice, and a couple others come to mind, but not many.

Weighing the choice to read/watch something new vs. re-read/watch

Oct. 02 2011 12:10 PM
Terence from Keansburg NJ

On the Road is essential reread. I devour it at least once every year. Funny thing: I can't really stand any of Kerouac's other novels, though they are gentle ... they are just not On the Road. Also, Brothers Karamazov by Dostoevsky

Oct. 02 2011 11:54 AM

It really depends on the work. I'm 31 and have reread the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy series every summer since junior high. I've also reread The Lord of the Rings multiple times, and the same with the Song of Fire and Ice series.

Oct. 02 2011 10:54 AM
Laurel from minnesota

Re listening to music takes minutes or a few reading might take days.

Oct. 02 2011 07:58 AM
Carmen from NY

Shakespeare rewards re-reading everytime, particularly "Hamlet" and the sonnets. Something new is always discovered, and the full depth and beauty of his language can only be appreciated after many readings. I would say the same of the Bible.

Oct. 01 2011 04:53 PM
Harold Baker from Missouri

I read Huckleberry Finn a couple of timesa year, and watch "The Searchers" every once in a while.

Oct. 01 2011 02:54 PM
Steve Williams from Pipersville, PA

I too consider myself a slow reader. Mostly because I really enjoy the writing itself. Sure, the story is important, but the writer's ability to set the scene and make you really feel the moment is what holds me. I need to absorb every word of those descriptions. So consequently I don't re-read a lot of books. I have however re-read Hemingway's "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" at least 5 times. I know it's considered a short story, but the writing is superb.

Oct. 01 2011 09:01 AM
Perpetua Parker from PA

Normally I don't comment on these shows, but I wanted to respond to the guest--- I see a vast difference between listening to the same piece of music over and over, or watching a movie repeatedly vs. rereading. As a slow reader, committing to a book over again is a huge undertaking. While watching a movie is two hours, and music at the very most, the same, a book is a few weeks, or even months. My best friend is a voracious, fast reader---she calls herself "plot-driven" and skims, as the guest suggested. I cannot skim--in fact I read passages over and over to make sure that I understand the meaning! So while I will reread some books over and over (Geek Love, Memoirs of a Geisha, Anna Karinina), I don't do it all that much because I would rather commit to a new book. But maybe I read books in depth the first time -- just a thought.

Oct. 01 2011 08:00 AM
Torquato Tasso from NJ

Literature is as much art worthy of revisiting as any painting or sculpture. So if you find a book that makes the cut - rereading it is a must.

Sep. 30 2011 05:45 PM
David Huiner from Marietta, GA

No, Kurt, you are not weird. I am like you in that I am a slow reader and re-reading something would deny me the opportunity to read something else that is in my extensive queue. I haven't re-read anything since I was a kid. I remember, in particular, "The Twenty-One Balloons" by
William Pene du Bois. I think my parents probably encouraged me to read other books because they thought I was squandering the opportunity to discover other favorites.

Sep. 30 2011 02:16 AM

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