while at the library recently, i picked up an interesting set of essays called rereadings. in each essay a writer revisits a book they have loved. having always enjoyed rereading, for the sake of pleasure more than to gain new insight from the text, i am excited to dig into the book. not long after discovering rereadings, i came across an article in newsweek on the pleasures of rereading. in explaining why he finds pleasure in rereading the same books time and again, author David Gates writes: "They fill me with the voices of people I know, thousands of them—many times the number in that old Dickens print—the real and the imagined, the living and the dead. Heaven may be like this eventually, but why wait around when it's right here, right now?"
some might say that rereading is a waste of time, especially when there are so many books out there to still be enjoyed. but Gates states that rereading is tantomount to finding a piece of heaven here on earth. in some ways, i agree with him. for awhile i would reread the nanny diairies each summer. in one way i was reconnecting with characters i had come to love over time... like a little reunion with old friends. at the same time i was also connecting them to my life that summer. a life that had changed since the last time i cracked open those pages. each summer i brought a new perspective to the story, simply because i was in a new place in my life. for me that's just one of the benefits of rereading. i'll be honest though, sometimes rereading fails me. i try to reconnect with a book i loved the first time i read it... but the magic is lost. sometimes you just can't go back.
so do you believe in rereading? if so, what do you reread? i'd love to hear about your favorite books.