Informal survey: The rereading of books, stories, and so forth

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Thursday, 30 July 2009

(00:38:48 CDT)

Informal survey: The rereading of books, stories, and so forth

I am curious about something. I am currently sitting down to reread three books I have already read: Now Wait for Last Year, Anno-Dracula, and Great Expectations. I read the first a couple of years ago, the middle about a decade ago (actually something like fifteen years), and the latter about twenty years ago. I have almost no recollection of the first, good memories of the middle, and bad of the last. I am curious to see how these change.

I reread books. Kind of. I have reread Neverwhere a few times, and Son of Interflux three or four. I have read several Philip K. Dick books twice. The longest work I have read more than once is Lord of the Rings including The Hobbit.

I am asked, though not as often as I used to be, I guess I became "that guy with all the books", why I keep them after reading them: "Who rereads books?" Surely others do, too. Well, I know of more than one person who had reread all of the Harry Potter series and Gaiman is a regular for thumbing through (one friend has read American Gods more than a time, let's say). People do reread books, but how often? Which books? This brings me to the point of the post, a shortish (10 questions, most with kind of quick answer short parts) survey/questionnaire of sorts. Just to see how many respond and how they respond. You can send me an e-mail, drop me a comment, whichever. Feel free to pass it on and whatnot. I am probably going to take what answers I get and use them to codify a slightly more formal version and turn that into research. As for now, though, I will fully respect privacy and such, and might requote, but never by name, per se (probably only initials), any responses I am given. If you would rather eschew the format, you can just let me know the answers to these things in general, but the format will help me to get it better in mind.

The rereading of books

(1a) Have you ever reread a book?

(1b) Do you consider yourself a reader?

(2a) Do you keep books after reading them?

(2b) If not, how do you dispose of them?

(2c) If you do keep them, for what purposes do you keep them besides a chance to reread them?

(2d) What would be the difference between a book you keep, get rid of, trade for another book, or loan out? What factors help you to decide these things?

(3a) How often do you reread books? Or, if this is too vague, how many books have you reread? if "none", skip to #4

(3b) What are some specific books you have read more than once? More than twice? More than three or four times? Why those books? Is there something about them that makes them special above and beyond other books (as in, you reread them but see no urge with other books)?

(4a) If you want to reread a book that you, for some reason, no longer have a copy of, would you rebuy it or try and find some other method of obtaining it?

(4b) If you want to reread a book that you no longer have a copy of, is the library the first place you look? If not, what is?

(5) How often do you stop reading a book in the middle? Do you ever try and pick it back up afterwards? From the beginning or where you left off? How does the time between restarting change these decisions?

(6a) What factors are involved that lead to rereading of a book? What are some of the best reasons to reread books?

(6b) Would fiction or non-fiction make more sense to you to reread? What genres and subgenres are you most likely to read?

(6c) Would you reread a book that had corrected or updated text? Or would you try to just find out the changes?

(6d) Just as an estimation, what would you figure the longest book you would feel comfortable rereading?

(6e) Do you like to reread earlier books in a series before a new one (or new movie attached to one, say) comes out?

(6f) Are you more likely to reread adult level books, or young adult (or children) level books?

(7a) What are some reasons against rereading a book?

(7b) How often does having other books to read interfere with you going back to read earlier ones?

(8a) If you reread books, do you wait until you forget part or all of the story?

(8b) Assuming you remember some of the story when you reread a book, how much does knowing the story change your perception? For instance, if you had the ending of a new book spoiled, would you keep reading it? How is this different than a reread?

(8c) Do you consider having seen an adaptation of the book sufficient to say you have read it? How does seeing a movie before a book change your perception of the book? Do you ever read a book after you seen the movie?

(9a) If you check out a book from the library (or borrow a book in some other way) and like it enough you think you might want to reread it, would you buy a new copy or try and find a used copy first?

(9b) Do you ever check out or borrow (in any way, see 9a) a book to see if you like it? Do you ever spend more than a few seconds looking through books in a bookstore to see if you like it? If so, how far into the book do you have to get before you decide to get your own copy?

(9c) How do you normally go about "shopping" for books? In other words, what are the two most likely ways for you to obtain a book for reading (whether or not you own it or are just borrowing it from someone or some institution)?

(10a) Finally, do you rewatch movies/miniseries?

(10b) Rewatch tv shows?

(10c) Rewatch stage productions?

(10d) Reread shorter works (short stories or novellas or articles or essays)?

I will give my personal answers probably tomorrow or about. Thanks to anyone who helps with this. Either way, let me know if you would like to take part in a more formal version.

Si Vales, Valeo


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Written by Doug Bolden

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