There are some people who insist that books need to be read multiple times. The first time for pure enjoyment and subsequently to examine different aspects in more detail - the characters, the plot, any subtle meanings the author threw in. Personally, I'm not someone who can re-read most books. I've tried reading through several that I adore a second time, Harry Potter and the Night Circus are two that come to mind right now, and I just can't get into them again. I remember plot lines too clearly and many books lose much of their magic when you already know what's coming. Add in the plethora of new books coming out each month and it takes a lot to draw me back to something I've read before.
Recently, been forced to re-read several books due to various book discussions I'm a part of. Some I've had to force myself through - setting page or chapter per day goals - so that things are fresh in my mind. Others I'll listen too, I find audio books are great for revisiting books you've already read. They let me refresh the story in my mind while allowing me to focus on other things like chores, crafts or driving. And if I have to turn most of my attention away from the book for a few minutes I don't end up feeling like I've missed something and have to go back.
There is an exception to every rule though and the book I just finished makes me feel the exact opposite of all of my previous statements. I first read Graceling by Kristen Cashore when it was published 10 years ago and I loved it. I loved it so much that I've been recommending it to any and every fantasy lover I've met since (and many non-fantasy lovers who were just looking for a good book).
Within the first 30 pages I was just as hooked a second time as I was the first - the descriptions are beautiful, the dialog is exciting and the plot is amazing. And you know what? I did pick up on some things that I hadn't noticed before, mainly the fact that it is an incredibly strong feminist title. The main character is a woman, gifted with the ability to fight, who has spent her entire life under the control of her uncle and is just finding herself in a society where women are protected and sheltered by men. Her love interest - and this is the best part - is also a skilled fighter, but he completely adores her abilities and in fact tells everyone they meet to "always bet on the Lady". Re-reading Graceling also introduced me to what is now my favorite line in literature. When Katsa and Po (our leading Lady and her Prince) are discussing being together Katsa assumes heartbreak is the only outcome since she refuses to give up control of her own life again. Po's response? "I'll give myself to you however you'll take me."
Does my rekindled love of this book mean I'm going to be revisiting more of my old favorites? Probably not. There are very few I can get more than 20 pages into before I just loose interest. But I may give more of them a shot. Maybe.