Reading, The Sunday Salon, Whatnot
Comments 8

Reading, and then Rereading

The Sunday Salon - July 9, 2012

This is another slow week for me. I actually thought of ditching all the books that I have planned to read for this month. But don’t be alarmed; it was just a passing thought, something that I didn’t take seriously. Besides, I think I have really good books lined up ahead, so this should be an interesting month.

But before that, let’s wrap up the June books that I just finished this week.

Last Orders by Graham Swift

Date Started: June 24, 2012. 2:00 PM.
Date Finished: July 4, 2012. 9:30 PM.
Book #36 of 2012

The Final Sentence. Finally!

The Final Sentence. Finally!

Oh god, perhaps I shouldn’t have read this along with another book by one of my favorite authors. I was easily annoyed by the characters and practically every little thing about it. I even found myself chucking it off and then settling for that other book, which is the one below.

So it took me ten days to finish this slim book? Oh well. It was really a struggle for me. Write-up to follow.

Ghostwritten by David Mitchell

Date Started: June 24, 2012. 7:40 PM.
Date Finished: July 3, 2012. 10:30 PM.
Book #37 of 2012

The part that completes the Ghostwritten circle.

The part that completes the Ghostwritten circle.

I have already written something about this, which is quite a feat because I usually delay my write-ups. I am trying to do that now, but I am swamped with a number of things to do, not to mention the list of pending write-ups screaming for my attention. There’s just so many books and so little time to read and write about them.

Home by Marilynne Robinson

Date Started: July 7, 2012. 11:00 PM.
Current Page: 108 of 325
Book #38 of 2012

Rev. Boughton, Jack, and Glory: memorable characters from Gilead.

Rev. Boughton, Jack, and Glory: memorable characters from Gilead.

Just a few weeks back, I listened to the audio book of Gilead. I have already read that maybe two years ago, and I am amazed that I found my heart skipping a few beats whenever I come across passages that I love. I was then prompted to read Home, which is a sort of sequel. I was thumbing through my copy with a little apprehension before I started. I was afraid that my appreciation for this would be affected because I am currently reading another book, which is the book below, and it might be the same experience as that of Last Orders.

But after twenty or so pages, I was able to settle comfortably and realized that it doesn’t matter whatever the circumstances are. A good book can still be enjoyed even if other books are competing for your attention. So yes, you can just imagine the joy that I have now, reading two of my favorite authors at the same time and recently finishing one from another.

The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

Current Page: 113 of 245

Oh, Mr Stevens! How could you break my heart again?

Oh, Mr Stevens! How could you break my heart again?

I have already read this last year, and I am rereading it in full for our book club. It’s my first time to do a full reread. Gilead is a different case because the second visit is on audio. With Remains, it’s back to the full text.

Actually, I also listened to the audio book version a couple of weeks back. Now I can say that reading the paper book is better than listening to the audio book. Although listening has its pros and conveniences, I think reading far outweighs the whole experience that it offers.

So yes, I was utterly moved again by Mr Stevens’s dilemma during the conference of March 1923 at Darlington Hall. I would find it hard to understand if nothing in the reader is stirred. Never mind that he is angered by it. At least some emotion should be drawn; otherwise, he is not human, I daresay.

* * * * *

The Sunday Salon

I have thought of writing about what makes a reader reread his books, but I have to reserve that one for a future write-up since I have only half-baked thoughts on it. To give me some ideas or something to perch my thoughts upon, what do you think of the whole rereading thing?

Do you think it’s a waste of time? Do you think it brings new insights or changes your whole view of the book? Is it worth spending time on an already read book that a promising unread one?



  1. Monique says

    I don’t do rereads. I find it a waste of time that could have been well spent on a book that I haven’t read yet. I mean, there’s so many books still waiting to be read!


  2. I rarely if ever reread books, which is sort of a shame — because I know I forget a lot of them if I don’t write reviews of them. I think rereading books serves a good purpose — of reliving great passages etc. but so far — I just haven’t brought myself to do much of it.


    • Hmm, so you think rereading isn’t so bad? It’s just that you haven’t been into the practice of rereading? :)


  3. I re-read, but only those books that I read as a kid which (I think) I have not given really serious thought at the time. For example, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (which I am currently reading). Oh. That is the only example I can think of. :D


    • I’m also thinking of rereading some of the books that I read when I was in college, but that would overwhelm me. I can’t think of any books I read when I was a kid because, well, I was not a big reader then. :D



  4. Remains of the Day is one of my favourites. It’s painful to see how Stevens has repressed his emotions so deeply that he can’t recognise when a woman is attracted to him. The moment when he listens outside her door as she cries, is really painful,


    • Yes, that is indeed a painful moment. But I think the clincher is when Mr Stevens admitted that his heart was breaking (at the near end of the novel). :'(


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