Monday, July 20, 2009

How Many Times Can You Reread A Book?

I'm in a little quandary right now. I've been reading one of my favorite fantasy books of all time. I fell in love with The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks as a kid and my love affair has continued since then. I recently started to read it again, probably for the 15th time, for the SciFi/Fantasy board on Barnes & Nobles book club site.

My problem is this. I start to read the book and will read from anywhere between 10-45 minutes. Then I end up putting the book down. I'm still loving the book and the characters. I still find myself getting excited when one of the characters is in danger. My heart still beats a little faster when Menion rescues Shirl.

So I'm a little unsure of my lack of interest this go around. I'm not sure that's even the right word for it. Maybe inattentiveness would be a better choice. I find myself getting distracted by everything else to the point that I'm not giving this great book the attention it deserves.

I'm not sure if it's the fact I've read the book so many times that the tension of what's going to happen next isn't there. If that is the case, I have to ask myself how many times reading a book is too many times? Is it more of how much time lapses between reads? Or is it something else that really doesn't have a defined explanation?

Whatever the reason, I'm finding myself bothered by the whole problem. I really love this book and want to finish reading it. As a matter of fact we are reading the other two books in the trilogy for the board. So hopefully I can figure out what is causing my lack of motivation, get over it, and enjoy one of my favorite books.


Krista said...

Me and my friend were actually talking about this the other day, and he said "He wished he could have selective memory so when he rereads a book he wouldn't remember all that much about it, namely the ending"...LOL! 15 times is quite a lot of times to reread a book. I have never read a book that many times personally, though I have read a few books a few times before and I really still enjoy them. Maybe putting more time in between reading it will help, but I hope you can finish this book and enjoy it, so far for me it's a world of fantastic characters, so good luck!

bookmagic said...

Sometimes books that we reread frequently fill a need. Like when you are between books and don't know what to read, need comfort- I always reread when i'm down or sick. Sometimes if i hit a dry reading spell, I start back up with soemthing familiar. So I don't think there is a limit to how many times you can read a book. It just might not be the right time for that book now, but it will be later.