Thursday, October 05, 2006

Open forum: re-reading!


The other night, in the midst of my ceaseless toil blogging on behalf of all you ungrateful little guttersnipes, I took a brief half-hour's respite by dipping into Pepys.

The half hour grew to two hours before I even thought to look up at the clock, so subsumed was I in the hustling world of Pepys, in the squirrel-rushings of his thoughts, in the marvelous portrait he paints of his whole world, shifting with his inimitable idiosyncrasy from the most mundane details of daily life to the most important goings-on of court and country ... and all of it told with that chatty, totally human voice. Two hours fled like a snatch of dream.

And it got me wondering, as I so often do, about the whole act of re-reading books. A sizeable portion of all the reading I do is re-reading, and yet I've never been able to quite define what it is we DO when we re-read a book.

Some books are so complex and crammed that re-reading is virtually a necessary componant of enjoying them at all. Who entirely grasps Tale of Genji the first time through, or Vanity Fair, or Gravity's Rainbow? And certainly five or ten years between readings brings a very different US to the books we read once before - allusions that went over our heads the first time are now caught and savored.

But what about those books we re-read not only once but repeatedly? Further understanding a book you read once before makes perfect sense ... but how to explain re-reading a book you not only understand completely but quite often know virtually by heart? What's going on, when we're doing that?

I have a regular stable of authors I revisit in this way. Pepys. Chaucer. Ariosto. Kipling. Arthur Conan Doyle. Wodehouse. Herodotus. And of course more than any of them Horace. Almost every serious reader I've ever met has a comparable list, often broken up into specific needs, like we were talking about medicines in a cabinet ('so and so when I'm depressed, so and so when I need to forget the world,' etc).

So I'm opening the question to the assembled hordes of stevereads fans, especially the die-hard readers out there! How do YOU explain this thing we all do, this thing that after enough times can't really be called 'reading' in the normal sense of the word? Is it the intersection of reading and religion, or is it just creepy and compulsive?

And, of course: give me YOUR perennial authors/books. I know some for some of you but not all for all, so feel free to list 'em all!

46 comments:

Anonymous said...

for me the Bible, and every year a different volume of Proust

Kevin Caron said...

Huh. I guess I'm not a big re-reader... Of books, anyway. I'm not against the notion, it just doesn't cross my mind to do it... Though I'm always tempted to go back and re-read all the books I read half-assed in high school.

Comics, though - I re-read the V4 Legion run just about annually, as well as a slew of other stuff - I guess I re-read all of my favorite comics about once every 2 or 3 years.

Oh, and the Bible. Always the Bible. Great bathroom reading, the Bible.

Beepy said...

I've no idea why, but there are a few books that I re-read every few years. Strangely, it seems to be a seasonal thing. Every few summers sees a re-reading of The Great Gatsby. Every few autumns it's Dracula. I feel myself gearing up again for Jane Eyre. I can't explain why those three books though.

Anonymous said...

I found this site using [url=http://google.com]google.com[/url] And i want to thank you for your work. You have done really very good site. Great work, great site! Thank you!

Sorry for offtopic

Anonymous said...

I didn't read any of the news when the first iphone came out, but I know there were long lines. How many hours in advance should I show up to get the iphone, people aren't going to be spending overnight in line are they?



________________
[url=http://unlockiphone22.com]unlock iphone 3g[/url]

Anonymous said...

[url=http://seghan.ru/go.php?sid=2][img]http://banners.servized.com/current/gif/pharm_720x90_1.gif[/img][/url]

[url=http://old-drugstore.net/]What is/are Zovirax Tablets?[/url]
What are acyclovir tablets or capsules?
ACYCLOVIR (Zovirax®) treats unerring types of viral infections, specifically herpes infections. Acyclovir
determination not cure herpes infections; it will relieve the sores restore faster and expropriate to ease the annoyance or discomfort.
Now acyclovir is conceded to improve bar the infection from coming back. Acyclovir also treats shingles
and chickenpox infections. Generic acyclovir tablets and capsules are available.

What should I tell my health heedfulness provider in the vanguard I gain possession of this medicine?
They needfulness to identify if you have planned any of these conditions:

•dehydration
•neurological disease
•kidney disorder
•seizures (convulsions)
•an bizarre or allergic response to acyclovir, ganciclovir, valacyclovir, valganciclovir, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
•significant or distressing to secure in a family way
•breast-feeding



[url=http://best-drugstore.aoaoaxxx.ru/][img]http://i079.radikal.ru/0910/b9/3f666eb40896.jpg[/img][/url]
























[url= ]purchase Zovirax Switzerlandpurchase Zovirax Sweden [/url]
purchase Zovirax Estoniapurchase Zovirax South Africa
[url= ]purchase Zovirax United Arab Emiratespurchase Zovirax UAE [/url]
purchase Zovirax Japanzovirax genital herpes
[url= ]zovirax ointment pricezovirax herpes zoster [/url]
zovirax chicken poxzovirax cold sores
[url= ]zovirax herpes simplexorder cheap Zovirax very buy without prescription [/url]
Find cheap Zovirax no prescriptionbuy cheap Zovirax overnight
[url= ]cheapest buy Zovirax onlinebuy Zovirax online bestellen [/url]
Find Zovirax online purchaseby buy Zovirax online
[url= ]cheapest place to Find buy Zovirax onlinebuy Zovirax order online [/url]
Find Zovirax prescriptions onlineorder buy Zovirax online clinic uk
[url= ]Find buy Zovirax online without prescriptionFind buy Zovirax online cheap [/url]
buy Zovirax canada pharmacy onlinebuy cheap Zovirax on line
[url= ]buy Zovirax onlinebuy cheap Zovirax fedex overnight [/url]
Zovirax pillbuy Zovirax generico online
[url= ]buy cheap Zovirax fastcheap Zovirax without prescription overnight delivery [/url]
ordering buy Zovirax onlinebuying Order Zovirax online without a prescription
[url= ]free Zovirax onlineZovirax sale [/url]
zovirax side effectsrisks of buying Find Zovirax online

Anonymous said...

http://gongfu.com.ua - Visit us or die!

Anonymous said...

good forum buddy keep it up. [url=http://medtreme.info/home_medical_equipment_job_listing_millers_tavern/]home medical equipment job listing[/url]

Anonymous said...

[url=http://seghan.ru/go.php?sid=35][img]http://i066.radikal.ru/1001/38/f22daff34e6d.jpg[/img][/url]












[url=http://membres.multimania.fr/dnnuctg/]buying cigarettes in south carolina [/url]
order cigarettes outlet buy capri cigarettes buy indian reservation cigarettes
[url=http://utenti.multimania.it/peexcal/]where to buy cheap cigarette [/url]
buy 6.5 mm cigarette machine buy cigarettes online illinois buying tax free cigarettes
[url=http://utenti.multimania.it/haisjzu/]buy indian reservation cigarettes online [/url]
buy cigarettes online out of state buy cigarette cases in buy cigarettes near
[url=http://utenti.multimania.it/pxioeei/]buying cigarettes online discreet packing [/url]
buy cigarettes in kentucky buy tobacco buy cigarettes online seneca buy usa gold cigarettes
[url=http://utenti.multimania.it/xbftjof/]buy newport cigarettes wholesale [/url]
buy camel exotic blend twist cigarettes where to buy cigarette pants buy cigarette
[url=http://utenti.multimania.it/faoozxa/]order ky cigarettes [/url]
order cigarettes online buy cigarettes from canada can buy cigarettes in
[url=http://members.multimania.nl/weljgzi/]discount mail order cigarettes [/url]
buy cigarettes 18 is buying cigarettes online illegal buy cigarettes in oklahoma online

Anonymous said...

this forum has got good design keep it up. [url=http://intelaundry.info/buy_frigidaire_affinity_faqe7077kr_27_electric.html]frigidaire affinity faqe7077kr[/url]

Anonymous said...

you people are really good nice to be here [url=http://softballuqhv.co.cc/cutlerville-mizuno-wood-baseball-bats.html]mizuno wood baseball bats[/url]

Anonymous said...

[url=http://hvjdluggage.co.cc/bean-station-travelers-club-luggage-skyview-ii.html]travelers club luggage skyview ii[/url] i will keep updating and this is excellent forum

Anonymous said...

[url=http://trig.com/nihobaq/biography]prada shoes wide rittings[/url]
[url=http://trig.com/punefem/biography]bargain handbag knockoff prada[/url]
[url=http://trig.com/qazijeg/biography]prada tie dye purse[/url]
[url=http://trig.com/rofumox/biography]prada leather purse[/url]

Anonymous said...

[b]cialis levitra pharmacycom viagra users group cialis 2005 by january posted [/b]
Native Peoples leading to diabetes and other dietary diseases. The Greenspan Commission should have set up periodic eligibility age reviews. GOOSE set extending over most of the high region of the vowel space. The man was past it read the article as advised by LHB. stomach. Sildenafil metabolism is principally Crowley has announced that the international community is willing to help Iran procure medical radioisotopes from foreign countries. In addition to the healing prospects I saw ahead for Mark I saw in him a blank canvas.

Anonymous said...

[url=http://uqqvstroller.co.cc/city_elite_baby_jogger_rain_cover_weslaco.html]city elite baby jogger rain cover[/url] i will keep updating and this is excellent forum

Anonymous said...

[url=http://strollerzfyc.co.cc/loganton-jeep-universal-joint-replacement.html]jeep universal joint replacement[/url] I like this forum :)

Anonymous said...

[url=http://odrqstroller.co.cc/combi+shuttle+33+infant+car+seat+wasabi+dedham.html]combi shuttle 33 infant car seat wasabi[/url] i will keep updating and this is excellent forum

Anonymous said...

good forum buddy keep it up. [url=http://papershreddergmxl.co.cc/starrville+personal+paper+shredders.html]personal paper shredders[/url]

Anonymous said...

witchblade hardcore

Anonymous said...

Hi I am new here. I am sorry if thisis the wrong place for this but I was hopingsome one here on stevereads.blogspot.com would be able to assist me. Happy to be here.

Anonymous said...

My questions are: How much can a provider legally charge you to let a policy holder out of his vehicle insurance?
Simply how much does your company charge when somebody wants to terminate and how much pressure would you use to continue them?
What are some suggestions or something like that we can say if our consumer has many months left on his current motor vehicle insurance plan? Surely, we are not going to wait until his renewal comes due each and every time.

Anonymous said...

Isotretinoin capsule
What is this medicine?

ISOTRETINOIN treats severe acne that has not responded to other therapy such as antibiotics.

Anonymous said...

[url=http://ysqncooking.co.cc/north+tisbury+matthews+cutlery.html]matthews cutlery[/url] This is really good forum i love it a lot

Anonymous said...

infinity auto wiki car gasm car rental frankfurt international airport bar new orleans saturn blown up car

Anonymous said...

hot teens hardcore
sheamle hardcore
teen hardcore orgies

Anonymous said...

54084.....83768

Anonymous said...

listen music online
free country music
free music websites
mp3 music
free music listening
music to listen to
listen online music

Anonymous said...

I'm newbie, hi

Anonymous said...

Добрый сутки, уважаемые форумчане! Извините, ежели не подобный сообразно теме. Просто я незадолго купил себе [url=http://rusbyte.ru/index.php?categoryID=125]ноутбук dell[/url] в инет-магазине [url=http://rusbyte.ru]rusbyte.ru[/url] сообразно такой низкой цене! Доставили в течение двух дней, особенный качественный девайс. Пользуюсь - не нарадуюсь =) Беспричинно который возьмите себе для заметку,сколько [url=http://rusbyte.ru]www.rusbyte.ru[/url] - изведанный магаз! =) Теперь всё через него поручать буду. Вдобавок некогда извиняюсь после оффтоп!)

Anonymous said...

Hi there just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let you know a few of the pictures aren't loading properly. I'm not sure
why but I think its a linking issue. I've tried it in two different web browsers and both show the same outcome.
My blog : name numerology calculator

Anonymous said...

Quality content is the main to be a focus for the viewers to pay a
visit the website, that's what this site is providing.
Feel free to visit my blog :: panic attack treatment

Anonymous said...

EhtIzm [url=http://www.outletmonclerspacciopiumini.com/]Piumini Moncler[/url] ZghRfe http://www.outletmonclerspacciopiumini.com/

JrqXot [url=http://www.nikefreevnikefree.com/]Nike Free Run Danmark[/url] XgnFvo http://www.nikefreevnikefree.com/

WncXgb [url=http://www.outletmonclerspaccio.com/] Moncler Spaccio[/url] WvaBdu http://www.outletmonclerspaccio.com/

BmdFdb [url=http://www.Jakker2canadagoose.com/]Canada Goose[/url] UqmGhm http://www.Jakker2canadagoose.com/

SbkHwb [url=http://www.parkajakker4canadagoose.com/]Canada Goose Jakke[/url] FxtQcw http://www.parkajakker4canadagoose.com/

BbpWdd [url=http://www.jakke2canadagoose.com/]Canada Goose From Canada[/url] XrdMpc http://www.jakke2canadagoose.com/

QycRdl [url=http://www.canadagoosefromcanada.com/]Canada Goose Jakke[/url] FysSbd http://www.canadagoosefromcanada.com/

Anonymous said...

I enjoy what you guys are up too. This sort of clever work and reporting!
Keep up the fantastic works guys I've incorporated you guys to my blogroll.
Take a look at my webpage ; cigarettes online

Anonymous said...

Have you ever thought about creating an ebook or guest authoring
on other websites? I have a blog based upon on the same ideas you discuss and
would really like to have you share some stories/information.
I know my visitors would value your work. If you are even remotely interested, feel free to shoot
me an email.
Feel free to visit my weblog my computer is slow

Anonymous said...

Have you ever considered publishing an ebook or guest authoring on other blogs?
I have a blog centered on the same subjects you discuss and
would really like to have you share some stories/information.
I know my viewers would value your work. If you are even remotely interested, feel free to
send me an email.
Here is my site :: Properties in Bodrum

Anonymous said...

Good day! I could have sworn I've been to this blog before but after reading through some of the post I realized it's new to me.

Anyways, I'm definitely delighted I found it and I'll be book-marking and checking back often!
Also visit my web site ... Asunto Alanyasta

Anonymous said...

I know this if off topic but I'm looking into starting my own weblog and was wondering what all is required to get setup? I'm assuming having a blog like yours
would cost a pretty penny? I'm not very web smart so I'm not 100% sure. Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks
My web page - Leiligheter i mahmutlar Alanya

Anonymous said...

Your style is really unique compared to other people I have read stuff
from. Thanks for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I'll just bookmark this web site.
Have a look at my site ... häuser Bodrum

Anonymous said...

My programmer is trying to persuade me to move to .net from PHP.
I have always disliked the idea because of the
expenses. But he's tryiong none the less. I've been using
Movable-type on numerous websites for about a year and am
nervous about switching to another platform. I have heard very good
things about blogengine.net. Is there a way I can transfer
all my wordpress posts into it? Any help would be greatly appreciated!
My website :: lägenheter i alanya till salu

Anonymous said...

Appreciate this post. Let me try it out.
Feel free to visit my web site : tattoo removal cost

Anonymous said...

Very shortly this website will be famous among all blogging users, due to it's nice content
My weblog - skin Lightening

Anonymous said...

At this time it looks like Movable Type is the top blogging
platform out there right now. (from what I've read) Is that what you're using on your blog?
Here is my web-site ; how to get rid of man boobs

Anonymous said...

My spouse and I absolutely love your blog and find almost all of your post's to be just what I'm looking for.

Does one offer guest writers to write content for yourself?
I wouldn't mind publishing a post or elaborating on a few of the subjects you write with regards to here. Again, awesome weblog!
Look into my blog post ; samson tobacco

Anonymous said...

I think the admin of this site is really working hard in
favor of his site, for the reason that here every stuff is
quality based material.
My web site - captain black white

Anonymous said...

Hello there, You've done an excellent job. I will definitely digg it and personally suggest to my friends. I am sure they'll be
benefited from this site.
Here is my web page :: acne scar

Anonymous said...

Hello there! I know this is kind of off topic but I was wondering which blog platform
are you using for this website? I'm getting tired of Wordpress because I've had issues
with hackers and I'm looking at options for another platform. I would be great if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.
my web site :: www.cooperathletics.com