Friday, February 6, 2015

Re-loving Books

Friday, February 6, 2015 with 8 comments
Re-reading or listening to old (and new) favorites is about the best way I know to recover from a week from hell. Like the week I've been having. Remember the torture scene from The Princess Bride, where Prince Humperdink and Count Rugen strap Westley to a table and drain his life away? "Do you hear that, Fezzik? That is the sound of ultimate suffering." That's what this week has felt like to me. Well, the last month or so, if I'm being honest. Work is making life unbearable right now. I'll have been with this company for 11 years next month, and I am so over it. I also only just realized that my dad's 60th birthday is next week, so my sisters and I are scrambling to put something together for him. I didn't forget that it was his birthday, only that it was a BIG one, but I still feel like the worst daughter. Luckily, he and my mom were born in the same year, so I now have ten months to plan her celebration. OH, and the book I was listening to yesterday pissed me off because I hate reading a book under the assumption that it's a stand-alone or a duology, only to discover at the end that the story isn't finished but the ending may never see the light of day because the publisher wants to gauge the sales of the book you were just listening to before committing to another book from the author.

But I digress.

Wine and chocolate help, but what really gets me through trying times like this is reverting to a favorite story, one guaranteed to make me forget my troubles. My number one go-to re-listen is The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. It makes me feel all the things but it doesn't leave me in tears, which is the last thing I need after a miserable week like this. (If you're looking for a list of other books that are just as great the second or third time around, April and I have you covered.)

I am a big proponent of re-reading. Even though Katie has a pretty extensive library of her own, she still loves to re-read some of the first books we ever read together. Sure, now she reads them to me, but that just makes them that much better because now she knows the stories well enough to use the little inflections and voices that I used the first time I read them to her. I love that she enjoys revisiting a story as much as I do, if not more.

I just wish I had more time to re-read books myself. I re-listen plenty, but it's not always the same. Though sometimes, it's even better. It depends on the narrator(s) and my ability to speed up the narration. Either way, I love experiencing a story all over again, noticing intricate details and nuances that I never picked up on before. Learning my favorite quotes by heart because I've read or heard them so many times. Getting a keener insight into the characters minds. Finally really being able to visualize the characters…I'm the worst at dream casting a novel because I don't pay as much attention to descriptions of physical appearance as I do a character's actions. But all of it becomes so much clearer with every revisit to the story.

I read so many books in any given year -- and more with each passing year -- that it's hard for me to recall details from the previous books in a series. I really, really dislike that lost feeling I get going into a series finale if I haven't refreshed my memory with the events of the prior installments. But I don't have any extra time to spare re-reading those other books just so I can finally get to the last one. And so I've taken to listening to the previous books just to brush up on the story and familiarize myself once again with the world. It helps immensely. And it makes having that final book on hand so much sweeter. I love being able to read/listen to a series back-to-back. I've already employed this method five times this year, which probably accounts for the reason why I've read almost a book a day, according to my Goodreads challenge. 

And I plan to do oodles and oodles more re-reading and re-listening this year. As I said, I had a terrible week --  and it's not over yet! -- so I started re-listening to The Scorpio Races on my way home from work. It helped to fall back into that world, with Sean and Puck and the deadly capall uisce. The book's not going to save the day or anything, but it definitely helps take my mind off everything else. And that's why I love a good re-listen when I'm down and out. Forgetting, even for a few hours, is sometimes the best kind of medicine.




8 comments:

  1. There's nothing wrong with finding comfort in a good book. My fall back is the Harry Potter series. Here's to hoping next week is better for you!!!

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  2. I love rereading books. I recently finished rereading the harry potter series (again!) and had to try very hard not to just go straight back to book one at the end!

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  3. I would love to re-read books that I have loved in the past. I feel like I don't have the time though. There are so many great books out there that I want to read, so I usually don't re-read. I do re-listen a lot though. Especially the Harry Potter series... Countless times I have listened to that one.

    Cucie @ Cucie reads

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  4. I LOVE re-reading and listening to old (and new) favorites! I'm so sorry to hear that you were having such a bad week o.o. I haven't watched/read Princess Bride, but that description sounds so so so painful. Is there anything I can do to help??! :/ I wish work would go better, and you are not a bad daughter! At least your dad's birthday will pass soon and then you'll have lots of time to plan your mom's birthday and then you'll have more time for reading!

    "OH, and the book I was listening to yesterday pissed me off because I hate reading a book under the assumption that it's a stand-alone or a duology, only to discover at the end that the story isn't finished but the ending may never see the light of day because the publisher wants to gauge the sales of the book you were just listening to before committing to another book from the author." -- YES. YES. I HATE THAT. People commented recently on my blog on my interview with Lena Coakley of Witchlanders, and that book ended in such a way where it's sort of a stand-alone, but definitely could've had a sequel if the publisher was willing to invest money. Dudes. MAKE UP YOUR MIND!

    "Wine and chocolate help, but what really gets me through trying times like this is reverting to a favorite story, one guaranteed to make me forget my troubles. My number one go-to re-listen is The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater." -- yessssssssss. So I still need to follow your recommendation and listen to this one (since winter started, I've been listening to less audiobooks because I used to listen while exercising/walking but TOO COLD).

    "well enough to use the little inflections and voices that I used the first time I read them to her." -- seriously the best. Probably the most telling sign too of rereading a book umpteenth times ;).

    "I just wish I had more time to re-read books myself." -- Me too. Sometimes I feel guilty despite wanting that comfortable reassurance of a good old tale, because I'm reminded of the other stuff I should be reading/doing.

    "Learning my favorite quotes by heart because I've read or heard them so many times. Getting a keener insight into the characters minds. Finally really being able to visualize the characters…I'm the worst at dream casting a novel because I don't pay as much attention to descriptions of physical appearance as I do a character's actions. But all of it becomes so much clearer with every revisit to the story." -- INTERESTING. I too am TERRIBLE at visualizing characters, but I've never thought about how rereading could help me with that too! I've always mostly had that "quote" stuff down, memorizing certain scenes, seeing them play out...

    "I read so many books in any given year -- and more with each passing year -- that it's hard for me to recall details from the previous books in a series. I really, really dislike that lost feeling I get going into a series finale if I haven't refreshed my memory with the events of the prior installments." -- yeah... I want to listen to Seraphina because I've heard good things about the audiobook, but I also don't feel like I'm going to have time before reading Shadow Scale. And I'll probably end up going into the book, not truly 100% aware of what had happened in the previous book :/. I admire your ability to listen to the previous books before reading sequels/more.

    FORGETTING IS THE BEST MEDICINE AND ANY OF MAGGIE'S STIEFVATER'S EXCELLENT WORLDS works!!

    Oh, Jen. I hope your month gets better soon!

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  5. شركة نقل عفش بالرياض وجدة والدمام والخبر والجبيل اولقطيف والاحساء والرياض وجدة ومكة المدينة المنورة والخرج والطائف وخميس مشيط وبجدة افضل شركة نقل عفش بجدة نعرضها مجموعة الفا لنقل العفش بمكة والخرج والقصيم والطائف وتبوك وخميس مشيط ونجران وجيزان وبريدة والمدينة المنورة وينبع افضل شركات نقل الاثاث بالجبيل والطائف وخميس مشيط وبريدة وعنيزو وابها ونجران المدينة وينبع تبوك والقصيم الخرج حفر الباطن والظهران
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  6. شركة سكاي لخدمات نقل العفش والاثاث بالمنطقة العربية السعودية نحن نوفر خدمات نقل اثاث بالرياض ونقل عفش بالمدينة المنورة ونقل عفش بمكة ونقل عفش بالطائف نحن نقدم افضل نقل اثاث بخميس مشيط ونقل عفش بجدة
    شركة سكاي نقل العفش
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