It’s no secret to those who know me that I love reading books I love over and over again. Ask my parents about Pride and Prejudice, for example. Ask my husband about The Secret Garden (every. single. spring.) and Martin Pippin in the Apple Orchard and all of Tolkien. Oh… and the Moomins.
Some re-readings are a little more measured, thoughtful, perhaps casual: I hadn’t read Haroun and the Sea of Stories in over a decade and couldn’t remember it well, so I read it again. (Just as glorious the second time around. You should all read it, and I plan to write it up eventually.)
Some are more… compulsive, instinctive, and burning with need. This doesn’t make the books better or worse (can’t get much better than Haroun, I wager!) but there’s a form of passion involved that means I’m tearing bookshelves apart to get at the necessary volume.
You’re all thinking, “Uh-oh,” right now, and I don’t blame you. First, I suppose I sound a little crazy. (I own that. I am a little crazy.) Second, I bet you’re all worried about what I’m compulsively reading right now.
The weird thing is, despite my strong belief in the high values of re-reading books, I actually haven’t been compulsively re-reading anything lately, and I miss it.
I miss what you learn from re-reading books. (Craft, nuance, and compelling characters. If it’s not a book which inspires warm re-readings, it probably lacks compelling characters.)
I miss the glorious feeling of reveling in plot. (Again, books without some form of really good plot don’t compel me to re-immerse myself. I do not mean it has to be a rushed plot: Martin Pippin is slow and weird! But it has to have a good, immersive story.)
I miss the feeling of being drawn on by the Pied Piper, whether I will or no.
But just lately I’ve been hearing the beginnings of a tune, and I can’t tell whether I’m being called to one or the other of Cat’s books:
Is this what the Pied Piper wants me to read? Or is this set what the Pied Piper wants me to read?
Right now I’m letting it go, finishing up another book, and letting the piping grow more and more insistent, but I’ve discovered something…
I want friends to read with me! And you know what that means:
Fellow readers, I want you to enjoy and revel in the pleasures of Cat Valente’s worldbuilding with me. Here are the rules:
a) I will send THREE readers each ONE paperback of one of Cat’s books. The usual rules apply. I will ship anywhere in the world, and I will pay for shipping. Seriously. I’ve sent books everywhere. Just ask.
b) Email me at email@example.com with your choice. Don’t apologize if, say, you want The Boy Who Lost Fairyland. Maybe you own the first three, and just need #4. That’s OK! Just be honest.
c) If you need a recommendation? Ask! Maybe you’re new to Cat’s MG fiction and don’t know where to start.
d) Yes, this is (mostly) for Cat’s MG. I adore her adult fiction, too, and would happily talk to you about it. But this is really to promote The Glass Town Game and Fairyland. THAT SAID… I do want you to experience Cat’s fiction and if you’re stumbling over the MG, well, we can talk. You never know. Point is– if you want to read something by Cat and don’t know where to start, email me! firstname.lastname@example.org
e) No deadline, first come, first served. Once I’ve mailed three books, we’re closed. (Probably.) But email me any time in October to check!
So, let’s get reading! Tell me what you want to read, and we’ll all get started. October is Cat Valente season round these parts: Let’s get reading!
2 thoughts on “On the Virtues of Re-Reading, and October Giveaway”
I love rereading–in fact, there are at least two books which I only really began to appreciate on the second reading, Wuthering Heights and The Awakening, the latter of which became one of my favorite books but which I didn’t like much the first time around! So there is definitely something to be said for rereading, even books you didn’t like as much at first but think there may still be something to get out of.
I am one of those readers new to this author, so please, please recommend away!