Do You Reread?

Hello everyone! I hope you’ve been well during this unsettling and strangely consistent madness. I’ve been hit with low-grade loneliness and boredom, but am otherwise fine. I am still working at the library. We did shut down for two months back in the spring, but we have been open in some form since mid May. Currently, we are open for hold pickups and 45 minute appointment blocks for patrons who need to use the computers, fax, scan or study at a table. This set up is working quite well and I’ve heard it might continue through September, but we never know for sure (which has been one of the hardest parts of working through a pandemic).

Has your reading been affected by Covid? Mine certainly has. I have read more than I thought I would, but not as much as I could have. As we enter into our sixth month of the pandemic I am really craving good books and that has meant returning to reads I have already visited – and know I am guaranteed to like. I recently reread Excellent Women by Barbara Pym. Pure delight and enjoyment. And now I am rereading Someone at a Distance by Dorothy Whipple. Yes, it is a sad and devastating look at infidelity and betrayal. But it is so good on the dynamics of families and women’s sacrifices. It is so well written. After I finish the Whipple I think I will move on to One Fine Day by Mollie Panter-Downes, a novel I absolutely adored when I read it about 6 years ago. I am pretty sure I will still adore it and am going to savor my reread. After that? I might revisit a Marghanita Laski or return to At Mrs. Lippincote’s by Elizabeth Taylor. We shall see.

Have you reread anything in the last few months?

17 thoughts on “Do You Reread?

  1. I’ve come to the conclusion that life is too short to experience your favourites only once. Plus there are probably books that you may not have loved the first time, but deserve a second chance. You may appreciate the journey of the story more the second time when you no longer have to wonder about how it ends. Last year I reread my favourite (Catch-22) and found it is still my favourite. This year I am rereading a book I thought I ought to give a second chance (A Tale of Two Cities) but finding it is still not going to be a favourite of mine.


    1. I am really starting to agree. I used to be so against rereading because I always wanted a new experience. But I have found that there is a new experience even reading the same book twice! Since we change and grow, the book changes and grows too. So interesting!


  2. My call to return to work came yesterday! Seeing my colleagues and customers again after all these months will be wonderful. As for rereading, I have done it but not for a couple of years….there are so many unread titles to discover. But, the other day I had to rework some bookcases and had a few moments of sighing over a previously enjoyed book. They’ll be read again another day….


    1. Yay for going back to work! I do miss many of our patrons who haven’t been coming to even pick up holds because they feel nervous. I’m sure it will be a happy reunion for you!
      I usually don’t reread but it has been so comforting lately!


  3. Uck, my reading has definitely been affected. I keep going through periods of not reading nearly as much as I used to and then reading a ton and feeling like “hooray, I’m back to normal!” and then slipping back into the not-reading. But yes, I have been rereading! Mostly I haven’t been reading books cover to cover, but just dipping in and out of them. I’ve done that with like, ten of my books.


    1. I’ve done that too! I have been dipping into Virginia Woolf’s diaries and browsing other volumes of letters and diaries when I am in my not-reading phase. I think we have all been affected!


  4. Lisa May

    It’s lovely to see a post from you, and one with all the Persephones as well 🙂

    I have done some re-reading of comfort books lately, but in general I find myself re-reading less. Part of that is my determination to really tackle the TBR stacks, and also to read new books as I acquire them. But I also feel more curious about discovering new books than in re-reading, maybe partly because I’ve re-read some books so often it almost feels like I’ve worn them out.

    I did finally read Because of the Lockwoods last month, and loved it. I also have Young Anne on the TBR lists. And I confess reading the Lockwoods really tempted me to visit the Persephone site to order They Knew Mr. Knight – but I managed to resist.

    I am so grateful that our libraries are doing curbside pickup.


    1. Have you made a dent in the TBR stacks at all? I think my rereading will probably fall by the wayside in September when all the exciting new fall books start arriving – a new Elena Ferrante, Ali Smith, Marilynne Robinson…. can’t resist!


  5. piningforthewest

    It’s great to hear from you again. I don’t often re-read books, but sometimes I do opt for a comfort re-read as I know I won’t be disappointed. During the pandemic I’ve been reading a lot, for months we weren’t allowed to travel any further than five miles, unless it was to get food, things are better now – for the moment. I’ve polished off so many of my own books, I was afraid I might run out of reading material! A few weeks ago we managed to visit a secondhand bookshop, it felt like such a luxury!


    1. I’m so glad to hear you were able to visit a bookshop again! The lockdown in the UK was so much stricter than it was here, that is for sure. I haven’t visited any bookshops or many stores by my own choice – but they have been open.


  6. Karen K.

    One of my libraries just reopened on a limited basis, most of the others are just doing curbside. I went last week and it was so nice to be inside again!

    I do reread, but I have so many unread books on my shelves I’m trying to work through those. I mostly reread on audiobooks while I’m walking the dog or driving, or for a book group. I’ve been rereading all of Jane Austen this year, well, listening. When I get through them I’ll probably go back to Trollope.


  7. During the ‘pandemic-that-shall-not-be-named’ I have indulged in a re-read of the spectacular, Gothic modern-classic, Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. I wish I had done more with the time we’ve had though, because re-reading an old favourite is a great comfort in troubling times like these. I hope you continue to enjoy your re-reading 🙂


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