Thursday, July 21, 2011

BTT: Re-reading Those Oldies, but Goodies

What’s the first book that you ever read more than once? (I’m assuming there’s at least one.) What book have you read the most times? And–how many?

To be honest, I don't really remember the first book I would have re-read the first time.  I would have to go way back to my formative years and those years are kind of a blurr when it comes to reading.  I do remember my mom and dad telling me they used to read me Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and a few of the other fairy tales every single night until my parents had the books pretty much memorized.  Knowing what it was like reading to my own children, I'm sure they would have liked to have hidden those books at some point during the year, but being loyal and loving, they continued to read the books over and over again.  I am pretty sure my parents were quite ecstatic when I learned to read on my own however. 
The first edition is similar to one I had as a child, while the second one is similar to one I have now for my own children.  Same exciting stories that I continue to enjoy today.

When I could read on my own, some of the books I definitely do remember re-reading are any of the Nancy Drew mysteries, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, the Bobbsey Twin mysteries, Black Beauty, and the Little House on the Prairie series.  While I devoured hundreds of other books, for some reason I always returned to some of my old favourites in between.  It was almost cathartic, like coming home, and I would re-read some of these books so often I could quote from them.  I don't know why I did it, but I did, and that was that.  I still have these books, some of them quite worn down, on my shelf, and I will never part with them. I was in complete awe of Nancy Drew and her lifestyle.  She could do anything, was brave and courageous, had a cool boyfriend and cool girlfriends, and solved some pretty interesting mysteries.  I wanted to be just like her when I grew older, travel everywhere, and meet all of those interesting people.  Today, girls have heroes like Lady Gaga, but Nancy Drew was mine. 

As an adult, there are still several books that I tend to re-read once in a while if I have the time.  Unfortunately, with everything I have to do nowadays, I don't get to re-read the oldies but goodies at all, as I'm barely keeping up with the new reads I have to do.   The Plains of Passage is my favourite of the Earth's Children series.  I just love the dramatic descriptions as Ayla and Jondalar travel across Europe as they return to his people.  It's dramatic and so descriptive and I always feel like I am right there with them as they explore this land they have never seen before.  I enjoy learning the way people would have lived thousands of years ago, and it gives me a better appreciation for what I have today, but also for what those people accomplished all of that time ago.  Anthropology and history are such passions of mine so this book is right up my alley.  And what can I say about Wuthering Heights that hasn't already been said?  This was my introduction into gothic literature and from there I devoured most of the Ann Radcliffe books.  The story of Catherine and Heathcliff haunted me for a long time, not because I thought it was beautiful, but because of the moral ramifications of Heathcliff's actions. 
There are two other books that I used to constantly re-read and they are Magician by Raymond E. Feist and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.  Magician, although not my first introduction into fantasy and science fiction, stands as the novel that really propelled me into my fixation with the genre.  It was because of this series that I went through a long phase where I devoured one fantasy series after another.  I bought it on a flight to France and pretty much devoured it on the plane, hence my search through countless bookstores in Paris to find books 3 and 4.  Didn't happen until I got home.  It was frustrating.  Pug remains one of my favourite characters, even today, for as a child I wanted to be just like him with magical powers, if I couldn't be Nancy Drew, even though I hadn't been introduced to his character as of yet.  And Pride and Prejudice? Love the book, love the mini-series, and could read the book over and over again.  I've got a few hours, I think I'll go watch the BBC mini-series right now.  Oh, yes, I bought it as soon as I could!!!


  1. Oh,yes, Wuthering Heights. Loved it.

    Here's mine:

  2. I wish more young girls had heroins like Nancy Drew! We share a love of Black Beauty, I see. I enjoyed the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books too and was a lover of Marguerite Henry books as well.

    Here's my BTT.

  3. Oh! yes the fairy tales, good answer.

  4. I also realized I left out Anne of Green Gables, which is probably the book is re-read the most as a child. As a Canadian to boot, I should be hanging my head!!!

  5. The Nancy Drew series... seriously, every reader I know have been a fan of those books when they were little. How cool.

  6. Yes! Gotta love fairy tales, particularly the dark ones.

  7. I still reread the Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe.