The Power of the Reread
I’ve never really been one to reread books,even when I LOVE them. There are copies of books that have been sitting on my shelves for years. I look at their spines, and the memories of reading them make me smile: Toni Morrison’s Beloved, Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, too many others to name. I’ve just never had the urge to crack the covers of these books again.
This week I found myself rereading a book I read fairly recently, Laurell K. Hamilton’s A Kiss of Shadows. I’d checked it out for my roomie, but she never got to it. I don’t know if it was the looming deadline or the fact that I don’t own the book that made me go there. But I did. Two days before it was due back at the library, I found myself sucked back into Merry Gentry’s world. It was almost as if I hadn’t been there before. The juicy parts were still juicy. The funny parts were still funny. And my mouth still fell open at the jaw-dropping parts. Good times.
Still, there were quite a few new experiences as well. I was able to give the book a much closer reading. Of course, there were things that I completely missed the first time. But I was more intrigued by looking at the writing from a technical standpoint. I got a much better grasp on how LKH weaves description and backstory into her work. I became aware of the subtle, but effective foreshadowing that was lost during the first read. And then there was steady building of characters without slowing the pace of the story. All good lessons. Hmm, I’m thinking I should break open some other oldie-but-goodies and see what I can learn.