30 DoB Day 2: Multiple Reads

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.

The Illearth War

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.


14 thoughts on “30 DoB Day 2: Multiple Reads

  1. I am a multi-reader. I’m re-reading the Millenium Trilogy now, and I’ve read each of the Harry Potter books at least four times. Certain books just create a world I enjoy revisiting.

    I shall look for the Thomas Covenant series. They sound interesting.

  2. Interesting. I read the first two Thomas Covenant series when I was in my teens – several times. And several times more. Twice in my early thirties too. I’m just fascinated with them.

    I take it that you haven’t read the third Covenant trilogy? I haven’t dared. I love the first lot so much, I’m too scared to spoil them. As if that could happen.

    • LOM — like you, I don’t want to pick up the last set of books. I don’t want it to be spoiled for me! I loved the first one and really liked the second series too. I’m happy to leave it at that. :)

  3. Sounds like The Greatest American Hero. (that’s a joke)

    I have a problem with today’s mammoth books, too. Some need to be but most look like my fiction rambling about the place and finally taking off again. Puts me off, to be quite honest. That’s probably the main reason I prefer non-fic: I can’t be bothered if I can’t be bothered. Boring, don’t care, what’s the point? Put it down. Non-fic, whether you like the topic or not, typically is always getting to the “point.”

    • Well, I use reading as an escape, so I love a good tale. And I’m so impressed with people that can create wholes worlds and societies out of nothing but their imagination.

      That said, more is definitely not always better and I think in the industry the standard has shifted to more immersion. The problem is that can get in the way of good storytelling — and to me that has to be paramount.

  4. I multiread more as a teenager. I read Anne McCaffery’s Dragon books umpteen-million times. I can’t really stomach them now.

    But the all time record for multireading, and really the only books I’ll go back and re-read these days, are the Jane Austen books. Pride and Prejudice, of course, but as I’ve gotten older, I find that Persuasion is quite a favorite, too.

  5. Pingback: 30 DoB Day 3: Favorite Series | Stevil

  6. I’ve been stymied by day 2 as well, but for a different reason – I read books so many times that it’s hard to pick which one I should blog about! I think I’ve finally narrowed it down – hopefully I have time to post about it today… :-)

  7. I don’t think I have read anything other than children’s books more than 3 times. Watership Down, and the Hobbit are the only two that I have read 3 times.

  8. Sadly, I wasn’t that enchanted with the Covenant book when I (tried to) read it a few years ago. I forget my main complaint, but I think it had to do with demanding gods or a certain destiny or some such, which is a fantasy trope I have little or no patience for any more. But like you, I found LotR to be pretty dull stuff as an adult. Oh well, times change.

    I have to get busy on my DoB list. Although, like you, I’m not sure I have a book I’ve read 4 times.

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