I’m not a big re-reader. I’m not opposed to the idea–I definitely think you should count your rereads to your Goodreads goal, etc–but I struggle with not beating myself up when rereading a book I’ve already read instead of the bajillion new books I haven’t read yet that I’ve owned for the express intent of reading quickly. Oops. BUT I recently joined a book club (I know…I’m the worst) for mentors in a literacy organization I volunteer with, and their first pick was The Storied Life of AJ Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin, a book I enjoyed and so did my grandmother when I recommended it to her. I remembered like it a lot the first time, but after discussing with my book club about the act of rereading, I’m glad I did reread this and not discuss it from memory.
The Storied Life of AJ Fikry is a charming little book about a grumpy middle-aged bookseller who ends up taking in a child left in his bookstore, changing his small town island life forever. It’s about the love of books, the struggles of parenting, about reading and rereading and good stories and bad authors. It’s short and mostly sweet but also sometimes cynical and fast-moving and there’s life and death and a few twists and turs and some book reviews.
I didn’t write a review of this book the first time I read it–at least not that I can find–but I did say it was my favorite book of the month that I read it, so that’s something right? I remembered the big twist–who stole the book–and how it ended, but rereading was hardly a chore. I wasn’t there for the mystery, I was there for the story and to relax into the world and the characters, and there was something really soothing about that.
The leader of our book club said that one of her goals this year was to reread several books–I think she said one a month–and that really struck me as a great idea. I think I might try and reread a few books this year. In the past few years, I’ve only reread books when necessary (Pride and Prejudice for school and book club, to pull quotes) or out of comfort (Harry Potter, The Westing Game, Avalon High) but there are some books I think I would like more reading as an adult than I did as a teen–especially some classics or more “adult” lit fic. I also LOVE that Liberty Hardy rereads The Secret History every year–goals, am I right?
So tell me…do you reread? Any tips?