On Rereading and Writing

What makes a book worth rereading? Why do I reread? This question has been on my mind this past week. (I’ve been doing a lot of rereading lately.)

There are a few books I reread over and over again. This past week, I have reread the whole Belgariad series by David Eddings. Almost the whole Malloreon series, too. I reread quite a few of Joey W. Hill’s books over and over again, too. I am not sure why.

David Eddings books are good, but they are not that good. They really aren’t. In terms of characters, of plot, of writing, there are lots of other books that are better. I read them for the for the first time in high school and they amazed me. But other books amazed me at 14 and that don’t hold up nearly so well to a reread now. I think that means I’ve grown more critical as a reader.

I am not sure what magic the Belgariad series holds, but whatever it is, I would like to learn it. If I knew it, I could put that  little bit of that magic on my own writing.

(It is easier to figure out why I reread Joey W. Hill books – she is the best erotica writer I’ve ever read.)

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4 thoughts on “On Rereading and Writing

  1. I’ve not read Eddings yet, simply because everyone has something different to say about his books and I’m not sure it’s something I want to invest in at this point. I feel you on the rereading, though. My first ever fantasy was when I was 14, the Deathgate Cycle by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. Hungry for more, I moved on to Dragonlance, which I loved at the time. Looking back at it now, I just don’t feel like Dragonlance would earn a spot on any “favorite” list of mine. The writing isn’t bad, the story isn’t bad, but nothing specifically sticks out for me.

    My re-readable author is Jonathan Stroud, with his Bartimaeus Trilogy (Middle Grade Fantasy). In contrast to Dragonlance, I can read Bartimaeus over and over and enjoy it as much as the first read, every time.

    • It might be the clichés (the prophecies, the rural boy who is supposed to be a king, etc) that turn people off Eddings. Well, they are clichés now, but I am not sure they were clichés when he wrote them. I didn’t know they were clichés when I first read Eddings – I hadn’t read enough fantasy at 14 to know that.

      LOL I understand about Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman – I them that too at about the same time. Then the Forgotten Realms and Dragonlance after that. I can’t read them anymore.

      I haven’t read Jonathan Stroud, but I’ve heard he’s good.

  2. I’ll admit it. I hate rereading. I can only reread if I didn’t read it very well the first time (most books I was forced to read for school) but otherwise, I know what’s going to happen and the surprise of learning what’s to come is wasted.

    I DO think I’ll be able to reread some of my more favorite series in a few years, once I’ve really totally forgotten their plots… (it’ll happen. I’ve got horrible retention.)

    • Yeah, reading for school can be like that.

      I think my memory is worse than yours; I can’t remember plot from month to month. lol

      But books you reread need something other than plot and wanting to know what happens next. You can’t forget all of it after all and there has to be another reason why you are rereading.

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