What a person loves at 20 may seem stupid at 35. That doesn't mean the book was stupid, it means that the time when it spoke to the reader is past. So . . . I'm cautious about rereading favorite books. I hate to spoil the good feelings they created. Keeping the good feelings is more important than rereading the book. Moving on is a good thing.
Do not put statements in the negative form. And don't start sentences with a conjunction. If you reread your work, you will find on rereading that a great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing. Never use a long word when a diminutive one will do. Unqualified superlatives are the worst of all. De-accession euphemisms. If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is. Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky. Last, but not least, avoid cliches like the plague.
I would love to meet J.K. Rowling and tell her how much I admire her writing and am amazed by her imagination. I read every 'Harry Potter' book as it came out and looked forward to each new one. I am rereading them now with my kids and enjoying them every bit as much. She made me look at jelly beans in a whole new way.
Usually when I put together a book like this Death-Ray hardcover or that Ghost World special edition, then I have to reread it and see if there is anything I want to change or any re-coloring I want to do. That's when I'm faced with the actual work. When I'm working, I'm too close to it. I'm sort of inside, and I can't see it at all. So when I have that experience of rereading it years later, it's jarring.
I don't think music affects what words I choose to type in what order, within what punctuation, at this point, because I'm rereading and editing each sentence, at this point, in my published books, probably 100-150 times each, on average, and listening to probably 20-60 different songs in that time.
When you are in the final days of your life, what will you want? Will you hug that college degree in the walnut frame? Will you ask to be carried to the garage so you can sit in your car? Will you find comfort in rereading your financial statement? Of course not. What will matter then will be people. If relationships will matter most then, shouldn't they matter most now?
But the act of rereading contains profundities, and challenges, all its own. Going back to a book - sometimes the same physical copy of it - that you fell in love with years ago is a way both of measuring the distance you've traveled in the intervening years and of daring that past self to find new evidence for that old love.
Someone once said that middle age is like rereading a book that you haven't read since you were a callow youth. The first time around you were dazzled by impressions, emotions, and tended to miss the finer points. In middle age you have the equipment to see the subtleties you missed before and you savor it more slowly.
So he lent her books. After all, one of life's best pleasures is reading a book of perfect beauty; more pleasurable still is rereading that book; most pleasurable of all is lending it to the person one loves: Now she is reading or has just read the scene with the mirrors; she who is so lovely is drinking in that loveliness I've drunk.
William T. Vollmann
What we require is not a formal return to tradition and religion, but a rereading, a reinterpretation, of our history that can illuminate the present and pave the way to a better future. For example, if we delve more deeply into ancient Egyptian and African civilisations we will discover the humanistic elements that were prevalent in many areas of life. Women enjoyed a high status and rights, which they later lost when class patriarchal society became the prevalent social system.
Nawal El Saadawi
Roth Unbound is filled with intelligent readings and smart judgments. Because of the author's sympathy and sharp mind, it offers real insight into the creative process itself, and into Philip Roth's high calling as a great American artist. The book is, in some ways, a radical rereading of Roth's life and his work. It is impossible, by the end, not to feel a tender admiration for Roth as a novelist and indeed for Claudia Roth Pierpont as an empathetic and brilliant critic.
He who could write so easily, who could spend a thousand words down along his plunging fingers on the green-rubber keyboard of his machine, had stumbled like a first-grader over this single paragraph. A dozen times he had begun it and written into it a naked desperation; a dozen times he had begun it and written into it the frosted mathematics of logic. Finally he'd written out quickly the sentences that kept cropping up in all the versions. Those must be, to whatever censor there was in him, the most acceptable ones. He sealed it without rereading it and went out to mail it. An hour later he despised himself for having sent it.
Laura Z. Hobson
I, too, feel the need to reread the books I have already read, " a third reader says, "but at every rereading I seem to be reading a new book, for the first time. Is it I who keep changing and seeing new things of which I was not previously aware? Or is reading a construction that assumes form, assembling a great number of variables, and therefore something that cannot be repeated twice according to the same pattern? Every time I seek to relive the emotion of a previous reading, I experience different and unexpected impressions, and do not find again those of before. At certain moments it seems to me that between one reading and the next there is a progression: in the sense, for example, of penetrating further into the spirit of the text, or of increasing my critical detachment. At other moments, on the contrary, I seem to retain the memory of the readings of a single book one next to another, enthusiastic or cold or hostile, scattered in time without a perspective, without a thread that ties them together. The conclusion I have reached is that reading is an operation without object; or that its true object is itself. The book is an accessory aid, or even a pretext.
Not long ago, I advertised for perverse rules of grammar, along the lines of "Remember to never split an infinitive" and "The passive voice should never be used." The notion of making a mistake while laying down rules ("Thimk, " "We Never Make Misteaks") is highly unoriginal, and it turns out that English teachers have been circulating lists of fumblerules for years. As owner of the world's largest collection, and with thanks to scores of readers, let me pass along a bunch of these never-say-neverisms: Avoid run-on sentences they are hard to read. Don't use no double negatives. Use the semicolon properly, always use it where it is appropriate; and never where it isn't. Reserve the apostrophe for it's proper use and omit it when its not needed. Do not put statements in the negative form. Verbs has to agree with their subjects. No sentence fragments. Proofread carefully to see if you any words out. Avoid commas, that are not necessary. If you reread your work, you will find on rereading that a great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing. A writer must not shift your point of view. Eschew dialect, irregardless. And don't start a sentence with a conjunction. Don't overuse exclamation marks!!! Place pronouns as close as possible, especially in long sentences, as of 10 or more words, to their antecedents. Writers should always hyphenate between syllables and avoid un-necessary hyph-ens. Write all adverbial forms correct. Don't use contractions in formal writing. Writing carefully, dangling participles must be avoided. It is incumbent on us to avoid archaisms. If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is. Steer clear of incorrect forms of verbs that have snuck in the language. Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixed metaphors. Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky. Never, ever use repetitive redundancies. Everyone should be careful to use a singular pronoun with singular nouns in their writing. If I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times, resist hyperbole. Also, avoid awkward or affected alliteration. Don't string too many prepositional phrases together unless you are walking through the valley of the shadow of death. Always pick on the correct idiom. "Avoid overuse of 'quotation "marks."'" The adverb always follows the verb. Last but not least, avoid cliches like the plague; seek viable alternatives." (New York Times, November 4, 1979; later also published in book form)
The true reader must be an extension of the author. He is the higher court that receives the case already prepared by the lower court. The feeling by means of which the author has separated out the materials of his work, during reading separates out again the unformed and the formed aspects of the book-and if the reader were to work through the book according to his own idea, a second reader would refine it still more, with the result that, since the mass that had been worked through would constantly be poured into fresh vessels, the mass would finally become an essential component-a part of the active spirit. Through impartial rereading of his book the author can refine his book himself. With strangers the particular character is usually lost, because the talent of fully entering into another person's idea is so rare. Often even in the author himself. It is not a sign of superior education and greater powers to justifiably find fault with a book. When receiving new impressions, greater sharpness of mind is quite natural.