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Let's Procrastinate With Books! Post Nine

The need to procrastinate has passed, but I still have two of these left to answer! This one is for wordsofastory, from this list.



15. The book that you reread over and over again and get new things from every time

Most of the time when I re-read a book I get new things from it, though there are a few re-read favorites where the appeal is that I get the same things – War and Peace is my go-to for the latter, and The Count of Monte Cristo may turn out to be in that category.

The epitome of "something new every time" is probably the Emily of New Moon books by L. M. Montgomery – a lot of LMM's novels have that quality for me, but Emily is closest to my heart right now. I've read them – probably an average of once every two years for the past ten years? Even though there are chapters I know practically by heart, they still manage to be better, funnier, weirder, more complex, and more troubling every single time. Some of this is just learning to appreciate technical things, like LMM's skill with spatial description. A lot of it is your basic aging process: I see more, or differently, as I've grown up with Emily and gotten closer to LMM's age when she wrote it.

18. Do you theme your monthly/yearly/etc reading (eg Year of Reading Women)?

I haven't for most of my life, but I got into the habit a couple of years ago and will probably continue for a while. The theme right now is 99 Novels With Special Guests Detective Fiction. Every now and then I used to make a stab at setting the detectives aside, but for the most part the ratio of entertainment to effort is so high that I keep coming back. The other major recurring themes are Stuff From My Bookshelves I Haven't Read Yet and the latest, Terry Pratchett (currently on hold but likely to pick back up in a month or so).

I'm normally a pretty impulsive reader and also an easily distracted one, so trying to stick to a theme is an interesting challenge. I haven't really succeeded, but I've enjoyed the attempt.

Comments

( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
sue_bursztynski
Oct. 15th, 2016 01:19 am (UTC)
Yes, when I re-read Lord Of The Rings, I look forward to enjoying some of the same things each time. "Oh, it's the chapter where they first meet Aragorn! Oh, that wonderful scene where Eowyn defies the head Nazghul! Hey, they've arrived at Rivendell, I'd love to live there..."
evelyn_b
Oct. 17th, 2016 04:14 am (UTC)
My favorite part when I was a kid was when Pippin meets that kid and gets a tour of Minas Tirith. So much coziness, smack in the middle of all that doomy business.

Now I have a five-year-old niece who LOVES Eowyn and will describe her to me at length without the slightest provocation. <3
lost_spook
Oct. 15th, 2016 07:44 am (UTC)
Yes, there are comfort re-reads and re-reads that, comfort or not, are always changing a little. Although the line between them is not as fixed as that might sound.
evelyn_b
Oct. 17th, 2016 04:16 am (UTC)
That's certainly true!

Sometimes "what I get" hasn't changed, but I've changed enough that it's different anyway.
scripsi
Oct. 15th, 2016 01:23 pm (UTC)
I return to the Emily-books like that too. :)
evelyn_b
Oct. 17th, 2016 04:19 am (UTC)
Emily is evergreen. <3 I might slow down on my re-reading one of these days, but I fully expect to be getting new things out of the Emily books till my eyesight disintegrates and my neurons are dust. With any luck I'll die muttering about italics.
scripsi
Oct. 19th, 2016 11:10 am (UTC)
With any luck I'll die muttering about italics.

LOL!
livejournal
Oct. 15th, 2016 02:29 pm (UTC)
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evelyn_b
Oct. 17th, 2016 04:21 am (UTC)
Thanks, LJ robot! Another slow day on Old LJ Road. Maybe Caderousse can open up an unsuccessful inn.
liadtbunny
Oct. 15th, 2016 03:17 pm (UTC)
Your theme is lots of themes;) The problem of too much interesting stuff!
evelyn_b
Oct. 17th, 2016 04:25 am (UTC)
That's been the problem since that scoundrel Caxton or whoever it was invented the book proliferator, and it's been all downhill from there. Kids these days all think they've got a story to tell and the worst part is, they're right.

Oh, well. I can think of worse problems. :)


Edited at 2016-10-17 04:26 am (UTC)
a_phoenixdragon
Oct. 15th, 2016 06:45 pm (UTC)
*HUGS*
evelyn_b
Oct. 17th, 2016 04:26 am (UTC)
Who appreciates your drive-by hugs more than this dog?
a_phoenixdragon
Oct. 17th, 2016 05:07 am (UTC)
Aww, lol!!

*Gives more hugs for the puppy!*
wordsofastory
Oct. 15th, 2016 08:41 pm (UTC)
I've never read the Emily books, but I feel like I really should! I will have to add them to my own endless to-read list.

Stuff From My Bookshelves I Haven't Read Yet
Ha, yes, this is my own perennial challenge.

evelyn_b
Oct. 17th, 2016 04:39 am (UTC)
I love them a lot. Emily is very much an author stand-in in many ways, albeit with bonus second sight and purple eyes and a father who is dead and good instead of alive and neglectful. LMM was copying out her own girlhood diaries as she wrote them, and a lot of that material is either worked in or pasted in verbatim, so it's kind of in dialogue with itself -- the unhappy, professionally successful fifty-year-old author with the starry-eyed, constitutionally lonely, exultantly ambitious teenager. Emily is a great character, purple eyes and all, and all her relationships are complex (including with her writing and the world in general). If you like other books by LMM, it's got all her usual tendencies, but a little darker, sadder, and more "gothic" than most.

Sorry, I know you already said you were going to read it! I have a hard time passing up an opportunity to blab about Emily.

I got rid of a third of my books this summer, but you'd hardly know it for how crammed the shelves still are. :\
osprey_archer
Oct. 16th, 2016 02:18 pm (UTC)
I should reread the Emily books. Sometime! In my long list of books that I need to reread!

Actually I should add them to my list of Books to Look for in Used Bookstores, because I don't actually own them. Clearly a terrible oversight!
evelyn_b
Oct. 17th, 2016 04:41 am (UTC)
I'll never try to dissuade anyone from buying or reading Emily! Be sure to post about it when you do so I can write 16 more paragraphs about how Dean Priest is the worst.

/will probably end up doing this anyway.
osprey_archer
Oct. 17th, 2016 01:29 pm (UTC)
Dean Priest is the actual worst, in that special way of being the worst where he's so close to actually being a good and helpful friend to her - giving her books, taking her seriously, opening up her mind - that it nearly hides his bad destructive qualities from her. OH DEAN. OH EMILY.
sue_bursztynski
Oct. 17th, 2016 04:41 am (UTC)
Goodness, a five year old who's already into Tolkien! Wow! Yes, that was a nice scene, I agree. Even more so because you tend to think of Merry and Pippin as being teenagers, more or less, even though they're not, and in that one, he's hanging out with children because he's so short, but you are reminded that, in fact, he's a young man.
evelyn_b
Oct. 17th, 2016 05:20 am (UTC)
Well, her parents are Tolkien fans who met during a class on Tolkien, so it was probably inevitable.

It's a good character moment for Pippin. <3 Plus I always liked the parts where people got to know each other -- comparing legends and all that. You've got a big continent where no one really knows what's going on outside a comparatively small range, so there's always plenty of scope for surprise (pleasant or un).
largestmanag
Oct. 17th, 2016 06:02 am (UTC)
excellent
evelyn_b
Oct. 17th, 2016 01:24 pm (UTC)
I wonder what's bringing all the spambots to the yard this week. Hello, my indiscriminate friend.
( 23 comments — Leave a comment )

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