So, today’s question on the 30 Days of Books list is:
Day 02 – A book that you’ve read more than 3 times
Well, now that’s interesting because the question assumes that I would read a book – any book – four times or more. Four times? That seems like a lot to me. Maybe this gets to a more insightful question:
Do you multi-read books or are you one-and-done?
Though I enjoy to re-watching movies and tv favorites, for some reason with books I mostly fall into the latter category. There have been very few books that I’ve read more than once – even ones I’ve liked immensely. I read The Lord of the Rings when I was a teenager and then again when I was in my early 30s, just so that I could maybe get a different perspective on such a seminal work (sadly, I didn’t like it as much). Did I read The Stand twice? Maybe, but I’m not sure. Seems to me that I was more likely (maybe everyone is) to have re-read books during my teenage years. I mean, isn’t that always the case – as a teenager you can read, watch and listen to things obsessively and not find it strange at all?
All that said, I don’t think that there is any book that I’ve read more than three times, but I’m pretty sure that I read The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant three times (twice as a teenager and once as an adult). For those that don’t know it, Stephen Donaldson wrote (in the 1970s) pretty much the antithesis of the LoTR series. In it Covenant, a man from the “real” world, is thrust into another world and essentially has the Ring of Power. The problem is that he doesn’t know how to use it, or even if he wants to since he considers acknowledging that world a step into mental illness. These books are not for people that like raucous dwarves and happy elves — or happy endings for that matter.
By today’s mammoth fantasy book standards, these books are practically novellas. Of them, I think that The Illearth War is the one that I will occasionally still reach for to read parts of.
Man, it’s probably been 15 or 20 years, maybe it’s time to re-read them again.