Books I’d Like to Reread

So little time

Over a year ago Cathy shared a list of books she would like to reread. I enjoyed looking at her list and thought I’d make my own some day.

I’ve reread some books multiple times: Little Women and its two sequels by Louisa May Alcott, the Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder, the Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis, Jane Eyre, some of Jane Austen’s and Dickens’ books, the Anne of Green Gables series by L. M. Montgomery, Jan Karon’s Mitford series, biographies like Through Gates of Splendor by Elisabeth Elliot, Goforth of China and Climbing by Rosalind Goforth, Amy Carmichael of Dohnavur by Frank Houghton, By Searching and In the Arena by Isobel Kuhn, Evidence Not Seen by Darlene Deibler Rose, and others. I wrote here about reasons to reread, but the chief reason is that I glean more from the books each time I read them.

Books I want to read

But there are so many new books I’d love to read, I don’t get to reread the old ones as much as I’d like. Maybe I ought to set a goal to reread at least one a year – at least I’d get to some that way.

So here are some that I’d like to reread some day:

A Chance to Die: The Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael by Elisabeth Elliot. I love both of these ladies, but I’ve only gotten to this book once.

Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis. I have read this a couple of times, but there is so much to it, I could probably reread it every year and still learn something new.

Knowing God by J. I. Packer. I just read this for the first time 2 1/2 years ago. Somehow I missed it all the years I heard people raving about it. But I’ve already forgotten so much, I’d like to read it again.

When God Weeps by Joni Eareckson Tada and Stephen Estes is one of the best books on suffering I have read (A Path Through Suffering by Elisabeth Elliot and Rose From Brier by Amy Carmichael are two more). I’ve read the others 2-3 times but somehow hadn’t gotten back to this one. But I’d love to.

Spiritual Depression by Martyn Lloyd-Jones. I’ve also read this a couple of times, but it has been too long. It deeply impacted me on my first reading.

Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin. This one is not as old as the others I have listed, but it was an instant favorite.

The Fruitful Wife: Cultivating a Love Only God Can Produce by Hayley DiMarco. This is also a newish one, discussing the fruit of the Spirit particularly in relation to marriage. But it’s another that I would benefit from rereading regularly.

Mark of the Lion series, Francine Rivers. This fictional trilogy about life just after the time of Christ was riveting.

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. I first read it nine years ago, and at 1440+ pages, it will be a major undertaking if I ever read it again. But it became one of my top three favorite novels (Jane Eyre and A Tale of Two Cities being the other two).

The Lord of the Rings series by J. R. R. Tolkien. This would be another massive undertaking. But they’re so good.

Janette Oke books. Janette started my love for Christian fiction. It’s been ages since I read these, and I’d love to revisit them and see how they come across to me now.

Now that I’ve gotten the ball rolling mentally, several others are coming to mind. But these would be at the top of the list.

How about you? Are there any books you’d love to reread but haven’t gotten to? Or favorites that you’ve read several times?

Keep the ideas

(Sharing with Literary Musing Monday)

Booking Through Thursday: Rereading

btt  button Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme which poses a question or a thought for participants to discuss centering on the subject of books or reading.

Today’s question has to do with rereading:

I’ve asked before if you re-read your books (feel free to recap), but right now I want to know if that habit has changed? Did you, for example, reread more as a child and your access to new books was limited by how often you could convince your mother to take you to the library? Has the economy affected your access so that you’re forced to reread more often now? Have you grown to look at old books as old friends so that you’re happy to spend time with them rather than rushing the next new thing?

I don’t remember whether I reread much as a child, though I imagine I did with a few favorite books. I don’t think the economy has had much effect on rereading: if I couldn’t afford new books, there are hundreds through the library. But I do reread some books, for several reasons:

1. It is like a visit with an old friend, much like listening to the same music, rewatching a movie, telling the same stories at family gatherings. It’s cozy, comfortable, and familiar.

2. It’s hard to get everything from most books the first time through. To me the best books are those I can revisit many times and still gain something from.

3. It’s hard to remember everything we got from the first read, especially (for me) with nonfiction.

4. It reinforces what I learned from the book before.

5. I identify with different characters or parts of the book differently at different stages. Little Women is a classic example: I identified with different ones of the girls as a child and young teenager; as a young wife I identified with Meg; as an older mom I saw Marmee through new eyes (and the girls, too, for that matter, looking on them from a mother’s point of view rather than as friends.)

6. It can be just plain fun to revisit a story.

The problem is that there are so many enticing new books to choose from that it is hard to make the decision to reread an old one. Sometimes with nonfiction I choose to reread because I need those lessons or that information again. But with fiction, audiobooks are a great way to revisit books. Although I do listen to new books that way, I can tend to miss something from them if I can’t hit the replay button (like when I am driving or cooking). But that’s not so much an issue with a familiar book. Plus by listening I don’t feel like the old book, especially if it is an old, longer classic, is monopolizing so much of my reading time. And hearing it read can bring out facets I may have missed in my own reading.

Here is a list I made a few years ago of books I have reread and would like to reread. I’m happy to say I have reread many from the latter list since then, most via audiobook.