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When I was a child I devoured every book I could get my hands on. I loved losing myself in colourful and dramatic stories - and my absolute favourite was 'Charlie And The Chocolate Factory.' Everything about it electrified me, and when I re-read Roald Dahl's books as an adult it surprised me.
When you re-read a classic you do not see in the book more than you did before. You see more in you than there was before.
If you re-read your work, you can find on re-reading a great deal of repetition can be avoided by re-reading and editing.
Usually halfway through a book I have a serious depression, so I go on safari on my ranch in South Africa, or fishing off my island in the Seychelles. When I come back and re-read it, I think: 'What was all that about, Smith? It's fine, just get on with it.'
There isn't a book that has changed me, but I have favourites such as 'Pride and Prejudice' which I often re-read.
In re-reading 'Presumed Innocent,' the one thing that struck me - and I re-read the book four different times in writing 'Innocent,' interested in different things each time - but I did think there were a couple of extra loops in the plot that I probably didn't need. The other thing that sort of amazed me was how discursive the book was.
I did keep detailed journals from about fifth grade on, and every so often as I was growing up, I would re-read them and reflect on the previous years of my life.
We become attached to certain characters in novels, mostly because they have some mystery attaching to them. We re-read the books, but we're still left wanting to know more. In my own case, it was 'Great Expectations' and Miss Havisham in particular. Luckily, writers have the option of making up the knowledge that reading doesn't supply.
I always try to avoid looking at the section where my books would be shelved, but I do know that my most reliable neighbor to the right is Kate Chopin's 'The Awakening', which is dispiriting. That's a book I don't want to re-read.
I don't think many people will re-read 'The Da Vinci Code.'
Usually, when I read something, I'm looking for the story first. And then, when I re-read it, I check every part of it to see whether every scene is necessary. You imagine yourself watching the movie, to see whether or not you're losing the through-line of the story.
Gus Van Sant
I'm reading Sebastian Faulks's 'Birdsong' at the moment. I read it when I was younger but decided to re-read it, as I remembered really liking it at the time.
It's always the paragraphs I loved most, the ones I tenderly polished and re-read with pride, that my editor will suggest cutting.
I think most people read and re-read the things that they have liked. That's certainly true in my case. I re-read Pound a great deal, I re-read Williams, I re-read Thomas, I re-read the people whom I cam to love when I was at what you might call a formative stage.
My favourite author as a child and teenager, and who I still re-read now, is K. M. Peyton. She writes very truthfully; sometimes I'm not sure if I've actually done things or just experienced them in her books.
I had this really great amazing thing happen where I almost finished the book and I really needed to come up with an ending and I decided to go back and re-read the book and see if I could come up with an ending.
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