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Do you reread books?

A recent article in the UK online paper The Mail Online suggests that reading is a better experience the second time you read that particular book. When I was younger, I often reread books. The icon for this post is the cover of The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgeson Burnett (still available as a hardback and free as an ebook, if you don't need the pictures) I must have read that book at least a dozen times, two of them out loud to my children. Of course, kids do like to reread their favorite books. Part of that may be that children learn by repeating. I remember watching a friend's toddler climb in and of an armchair, over and over. He seemed focused but not especially entertained, and I think really he was learning how to climb into the chair to overcome the challenge more than he was having fun. But with a book, kids derive a lot of comfort from the familiar, which often means they want the same story over and over.  

The article in the Mail Online says that rereading offers the chance to get more from the story. And according to a report of an experiment reported last year on Wired, that might be because knowing the ending, far from being a "spoiler," actually made people enjoy reading the story more than learning it as the read. As a writer, that frustrates me! The whole point of building tension is to make the reader want to keep reading. At the same time, I know I still enjoy stories when I now the ending, so maybe there's something in it.  Ergo, I have devised a poll! You need an LJ account to answer it, but please do if you have one. I'd especially like to know which book(s) you like to reread most, so be sure to leave a comment about that.


 
Poll #1820418 Reading versus Rereading

Do you ever reread books?

No, never. What's the point if you know how it comes out?
0(0.0%)
Rarely.
2(25.0%)
Occassionally
3(37.5%)
Often
3(37.5%)
Only certain types of books I'll mention in a comment
0(0.0%)

Do you ever watch movies more than once?

Never
0(0.0%)
Rarely
0(0.0%)
Occassionally
5(62.5%)
Often
3(37.5%)
Only certain types of movies that I'll describe in a comment
0(0.0%)

Do you ever jump ahead to read the end of the book before finishing it?

(Gasp!) No, that would be sacrilege!
4(50.0%)
Only when I don't plan to actually read the rest of the book
3(37.5%)
Only when I just can't stay awake to read it and I have to know how it comes out!
0(0.0%)
All the time. What's the big deal?
1(12.5%)





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Comments

karen_w_newton
Feb. 22nd, 2012 11:32 pm (UTC)
That's very true. I think a huge number of people went to see THE SIXTH SENSE a second time just to be sure the writer and director didn't cheat. But some people really, really don't like the idea that you can jump ahead in a book or movie. Personally, I consider NAPOLEON DYNAMITE was the reason the fast forward button was invented.

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