Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Do Our Old Favorites Still Count?


I'm not a re-reading type of guy. I'd like to believe that it's because I read carefully, savoring each word and I remember the details of the books I love pretty well (Except maybe the Malazan books where one needs to be a computer to process all this complexity in one go). And at the same time there's so many other books to read that my TBR pile is never thin at any given time.

Recently, when I thought about it, a question came to my mind. "Would I love my old favorite books if I read them the first time today?"

The thing with the first impression is that you only get it once, therefore the question above remains hypothetical. Nonetheless, I wonder would books like Herbert's Dune, Jordan's The Eye of the World or even Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings have the same effect on us if they were first published today.


  1. I recently did a reread of Lord of the Rings and it felt just as it did when I first read it, which I wasn't expecting. I felt like I actually enjoyed it more because I was able to appreciate the subtle nuances that I missed in the first read through.

    I know there's no going back to my first impression, but, with some assurance, I can say that I would still love my old faves just as much if they came out today.

  2. I was actually thinking about my changing tastes.

    When you think about it, nothing remains the same: The readers' tastes mature, the authors change styles, our values, as a society, change and the artistic trends change too.

    So, in a way, it's normal that a book that you loved 20 years ago is not a favorite anymore. Now, if you re-read it again today and if you love it as much (or even more), I guess it means that we're talking about a true classic.

  3. Good question. I think I have yet to re-read a book(unless books for children count, I can soon start working as a train expert LOL), I'll have to try one day to find out.

  4. Yagiz,
    Good point. I probably wouldn't enjoy let's say, The Belgariad, as much today as when first read because of my changing tastes. Loved it at first, but might get bored today.

  5. I recently decided to start rereading some of the books that I remember enjoying many years ago to see if I would still like them now. I also find myself recommending to people books that I actually haven't read in years and which in which I can't accurately remember the story line, which is another good reason to reread old favorites.

  6. I'm actually re-reading the first three books in the Game of Thrones series before finally starting on book 4. And surprisingly I still love the books, but I find myself liking different characters more than the first time and vice versa. Though I have to confess I'm a real re-reader, I've read some of my favourites about 10 times. It's just when I feel yucky or sad, they're such a great way to just sink in to a comfortable world that I always enjoy and it always cheers me up.