Question: What can be gained by rereading a favorite book?
Answer/Quote: “Perhaps the best way for writers to improve their craft, besides the continual trial-and-error process of writing itself, is to read and reread the kinds of books that excite and inspire us. Reading teaches by osmosis, as would-be writers unconsciously absorb the sentence structures and story elements of the sorts of books they enjoy, and probably want to write. Reading gives writers models to aspire to, and also perhaps something to borrow, even if indirectly.” P. 20.
Quote: “What [Patricia Meyer] Spacks believes most is that rereading is worth it, that no two reading experiences can ever be the same because we are not the same person. ‘We find books that we reread both familiar and forever new partly because they change as we change…the experience we bring alters what we see.’ For those who like to meditate on literature and what it means to reread, On Rereading is definitely worth a first (and maybe a second) reading.”
Comment: These quotes are from a book review of On Rereading [by Patricia Meyer Spacks] in the May 2012 issue of The Writer by Chuck Leddy. I discovered rereading when I bought my Kindle from Amazon.com. I found that the e-book format encourages page-by-page reading and I began rereading all kinds of books, classics, mostly, including books by Hawthorne, James Fenimore Cooper, Sarah Orne Jewett, Mark Twain, Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and so on. The author of On Rereading is right. I’m a different person from the English major I was when I first read them. Rereading is a whole new experience. I find myself analyzing the author’s techniques, sentence structure and style as a writer in addition to bringing to bear my experiences of some sixty years. Try rereading your favorite books. You’ll enjoy them in a whole new way. RayS.
Review of On Rereading by Patricia Meyer Spacks. Belknap Press/Harvard University Press. Reviewed by Chuck Leddy in The Writer (May 2012), 30-31.