Up until about a month ago I had always been a big believer that it was not possible for me to obtain any more information out of a book the second time I read it, as opposed to the first. I know exactly why and when this belief started. When I was in the fifth grade, my English teacher assigned us to read A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck. I was a huge reader, even when I was younger, and loved when we would read be assigned to read novels. It was like, having homework, but not having homework, ya know? Anyway, A Day No Pigs Would Die turned out to be the first book that I ever read, and then hated. It was awful. I realize that it is some sort of classic coming-of-age-tale that is “so good” it has been incorporated into curriculum’s across the country. Well- the level to which I disagree with that is so high that I cannot even explain it to you. I think there is a big difference between being a “classic” coming-of-age-tale, and being the first coming-of-age-tale. Just because it was the first of it’s kind, does not make it good to a 5th grader 30 years later. It just doesn’t.
Anyway- apparently the 5th & 6th grade English teacher’s didn’t communicate well, because she assigned it to us as well. That’s not too bad right? I would already know all of the quiz answers and not have to actually have any homework, right? Wrong. Unfortunately, she was one of those “let’s read the whole thing out loud, paragraph by paragraph, until it’s over so I don’t really have to teach much during class” kind of teachers. You can imagine how horrible that was.
Then 7th grade came and was awesome. We got to pick our own books from a reading list to read as homework and I LOVED it. I read Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry and all of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants trilogy. Yeah, I have pretty random taste, I know this.
Then we moved to Utah right at the start of 8th grade, and to my dismay were assigned the horrible pig book again. How in the world can you be assigned the same book in 5th, 6th, AND 8th grad you ask. I have no idea. I do know all my classes when I moved were on the same level as ones I had previously take at my old school, which I guess is normal? States and curriculum’s get all twisty and confusing.
ANYWAY- now that that long-winded explanation is over, we can get to what this post is really about. Like I said, up until about a month ago I had never re-read a book that I was not forced too. Well, Clockwork Princess was coming out, and it had been oh- like a year or so since I had read Clockwork Prince. That’s the trouble with series that are still in progress, you have to wait so long for the next one to come out, and in the meantime you read other books. Well, the issue with The Infernal Devices trilogy is that it is set in the same world as The Mortal Instruments series, which had also had a book come out in between Clockwork Princess and Clockwork Prince, so it gets all jumbled in my brain. So I thought, maybe I should re-read Clockwork Angel and Clockwork Prince before Princess comes out, so I don’t miss any connections that might be important. So I did, and good thing too. There were so many little things that I had not caught in my excitement to read each book as it came out, and I made so many more connections between the TMI and TID that I hadn’t know about before.
And so began my re-reading binge. Since, I have re-read the first 3 books in the TMI series, and am halfway through Prisoner of Azkaban on my journey back through Harry Potter which I am LOVING. I hadn’t read Sorcerer’s Stone since I first read it when I was like, 10.
I haven’t been writing reviews for all of these re-reads because writing a review for any of the Harry Potter books seems pretty silly. Instead, I have been jotting down my favorite quotes from them and posting them all once I finish a book in the Quotes section of this blog. I love quotes, I’m actually a bit of a quote junkie, so I am sure this is something I will continue to do even for books that I review.
Moral of the story- re-reading is fun! Don’t let a bad experience deter you from diving back into worlds that you love. Just do it!