Re-Reading & Re-viewing

Pradeep Sebastian writes in his column End Paper about re-readings of a book and what maketh a book lover.

I HAVE always thought a true book lover is one who rereads. To know one book well than to know many peripherally. It can take the form of revisiting a favourite book or just rereading a favourite passage.

When people make train journeys I’ve noticed they seem to prefer taking along a book they’ve already read. Like a known companion. Increasingly, it seems to me that what a committed reader has with a book is a relationship. And that it’s like most relationships sustaining, volatile, vulnerable.

The question is does the book remain the same book the second time around? Are we even the same readers when we revisit these books? I am sure many of you have marvelled at how the same book expands before you, surprising and humbling you with how much you missed seeing on the first reading.

Wise words. The same could be applied to movies as well. Just wanted to add, if I watch all the movies that release, I am not a good movie lover.

12 thoughts on “Re-Reading & Re-viewing

  1. Like mentioned in the article, re-reading a book definitely uncovers several things that could have been missed out in the first reading. This is also true in the case of few movies that just don’t make sense in the first viewing. In fact, I have seen some movies more than one just to make sure that I understood the movie 🙂 Memento is a fine example.


  2. I feel fictional books lend themselves better to be interesting even when re-read. Such books makes the reader visualize his own version of the story, the characters, the settings etc and thus end up having his/her own ‘book’ of the original book. So as the reader grows/changes so does his/her imaginated version of the book. And nothing’s interesting than one’s own imagination!


  3. I have the same feeling when I re-visit Chennai after a long time. Streets have changed, new shops have come up, houses have turned into apartments, people have become old.. When will i be young again?


  4. Al, The answer to what you had asked is on the passage what is quoted from Pradeep’s column. I reads, “To know one book well than to know many peripherally”. I agree to this view.


  5. Very true LG, especially your last comment….each timeI watch Hey Ram i get a different perspective…..same for Chaplin’s and Eisenstein’s movies too……
    Regards books, i remember a review about the book version of Yes Minister..the reviewer claimed that the book passed the acid test of becoming funnier with each re-read. One could probably extrapolate it to a more general definition as: a good book is one which becomes more interesting and gives a different perspective with each re-read, provided the number of re-reads is finite…..


  6. Hey Guru I actually read that a famous movie critic once said “No two people ever watch the same movie”
    I think this essentially refers to what you are saying as well. I like Ullam Ketkume but I had friends who absolutely detested it…I wonder why though 🙂


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