The Case for Re-Reading

In which I make the case for re-reading…

Are you a re-reader? Some people are, and some people wonder how on earth there can be time to re-read the same books. I have personally been in both camps. There are some books that I want to re-read but just don’t find the time for. The classics I read in high-school, for example. I am certain that I would enjoy them more and gain more from them if I read them again now. However, when I sit down and think about what I’m going to read next, the list of classics that I still wish to read could pave a path to the moon.

Then there are books that I can’t lay aside forever, because it would be like abandoning an old friend. Harry Potter, Hermione, and Ron. Anne and Gilbert and Diana. Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy. Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy. Shasta and Aravis.
You see, I don’t think books remain stagnant. As we grow and change, the books grow with us, reaching different parts of our understanding with each re-reading, and touching our hearts in different ways. Simply, you notice different characters as an adult, and empathize more deeply with them. In a way, they become more and more real.

Mrs. Weasley

If you know me, you probably know this about me, but I am a huge Harry Potter nerd. As in, I have re-read the series at least once every year since I first started to read them sometime in my mid-teens. I truly get more out of them every time I re-read them. Different scenes make me teary, different remarks strike me, and the character building never fails to impress. But one of the best surprises of re-reading is discovering the amazing qualities of a character that previously seemed to be little more than background noise. I will never forget the first time I re-read Harry Potter after I became a mother, and every time since. Mrs. Weasley moved to the frontline of the story for me. Everything she does, from taking care of her family and taking Harry under her wing, to the ultimate moment when she steps into battle wielding the fury only a mother defending can have… every scene just clicks now. I recognize that! I know how she feels.

Anne Shirley

Anne has been another of my long-time friends. I’ve reread the series (some books more than others) countless times, delighting in different things each time. I grew up with her. I’ve read the books as a teenager, as a newlywed, and as a mother. Most recently, I re-read “Anne’s House of Dreams”. In it, she gives birth to a baby who dies after her first hour of life. I have read that chapter 20 times, but it wasn’t until re-reading it this last time, in the wake of my own miscarriage, that I felt the depth of that chapter and the poignancy of the rest of the book as Anne adjusts to an altered future from the one she imagined. Each grief-riddled sentiment settled right into my own thoughts; before, they had been passing fancies that I experienced in the space of an afternoon and quickly forgot. I never understood how deeply that experience changed Anne through the rest of the book. Now I do. I recognize that. I know how she feels.

I’m not saying that every book should be re-read, but I’m making the case for the stories that have lingered with you through the years. Read them again. Let the characters speak to you in new ways. The main joy of reading is getting to know these other lives, true or imagined. If you get to know them for the space of a book, and love them, give them a chance to return as old friends.

So… do you reread? Who are your fictional besties that you meet up with once a year or so just for coffee and a chat?

We do not enjoy a story fully at the first reading. Not till the curiosity, the sheer narrative lust, has been given its sop and laid asleep, are we at leisure to savour the real beauties. Till then, it is like wasting great wine on a ravenous natural thirst which merely wants cold wetness.”
― C.S. Lewis, On Stories: And Other Essays on Literature

Happy Homemaker Monday ~ September 4th, 2017

Linking up with Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for Happy Homemaker Monday today! If you like this post, be sure to head over to her site and check out what she’s up to today too! I’m not very good about participating regularly, but I love having these snapshots of a moment in time to look back on. And I like seeing what other people are up to. I’m nosy like that 🙂

The weather…

Is absolutely perfect today. Low 80s, but breezy. We’re staying with family for the day (yay for long weekends) and have sat outside basically all day. The kids are running all over the yard and exploring the great outdoors. Makes for a great day!

Right now I am…

Sitting out on the front porch listening to Sophia and Eva play over by a big oak tree, and watching butterflies in the flower gardens! I just finished up looking over my lesson plans for the week for my 1st grader, and planning some crafts/fun for the preschooler too!

On My Reading Pile…

The Prime Minister’s Secret Agent by Susan Elia Macneal (and the rest of the series–I literally have all the books out of the library right now)
Brave New World by Alduous Huxley
The Dictator’s Handbook: Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics by Bruce Bueno De Mesquita and Alistair Smith
The Summer Before the War by Helen Simpson
The Story of Science by Susan Wise Bauer

Movies or Shows I Watched this Weekend…

Just some Chopped at the hotel this weekend. The kids are old enough that I don’t want to just leave it on while I’m doing housework, even though that would be my preference. So… I’ve basically stopped watching tv unless it’s something special my man and I are watching together.

On My TV

We’re watching the latest season of Turn on Netflix in the evenings. I think we’re going to start watching Atypical (sp? not sure what it’s called actually) too. My Superman started it and said it was hilarious!

On the Menu for this week…

Monday: Family Cookout
Tuesday: Greek Salad with Chicken
Wednesday: Grilled Pork with Broccoli Slaw
Thursday: Stirfry Chicken with cauli-rice
Friday: Pizza

On My To-Do List

Just unpack and tidy up when we get home tonight. Going to try to get everything clean and tidy for tomorrow. Tuesday’s after a long weekend are always hard for the kids, so I like to try to have everything that stresses me out pared down to a minimum. If mama’s not happy, everybody’s angrier 😉

What I am creating…

Still editing and writing, and learning to code. Working on Python right now, and tinkering with my Digital Ocean server and website. I need to go ahead and dig into the process of adding another small site to the server, but haven’t felt like I have a good block of time to dedicate to it.

Looking around the house…

Not at my house right now, and haven’t been there since Thursday. A little curious to see how much I have to do tomorrow though. Superman did some cleaning while I was gone, so it shouldn’t be too bad. Will mainly be a lot to put away and tidy up, I think, after we unload the van.

From the camera(phone)

What I’m wearing…

My favorite teeshirt and jeans. The shirt says “Happiness is a cup of coffee and a really good book.” I could basically go my whole life without wearing another shirt. You know, except for the days when I have to wear my Harry Potter ‘Accio Wine’ shirt. Also, I am aware that my style should probably grow up soon. The problem is that my style is too great for my budget. 😛

Simple Pleasures…

Listening to the wind blowing through the woods and across the hill. It’s like the rushing sound of the ocean, to a land-locked state.

Inspirational Quote…

“Education is an atmosphere… a discipline… a life…” ~ Charlotte Mason. My favorite quote to remember when I’m thinking about getting ready for a new school week.

What are you doing this week?