So, what is my problem??
If it had to do with a loss of surprise (i.e.: I already know the whole plot, including the ending), then I wouldn't like to re-watch movies for the same reason. There are movies I've seen a gazillion times (give or take a time or two), and I still love them, despite the fact that I can quote them almost word-for-word (and annoy the people I'm watching with).
Perhaps part of it has to do with the time commitment. When I sit down to watch a movie, generally I'm devoting an hour and a half to two hours of my time. But when I sit down to read a book, it takes a lot longer, especially if I have to read between other commitments (we're talking days).
Another big part of it has to do with greediness and the book-reviewer syndrome. You know what I'm talking about, right?? There are so many great, new books coming out all the time!! And my TBR stack just keeps getting bigger and bigger... Why re-read books when you have so many new ones you haven't even read once?
*Sigh* I sound so spoiled! I mean, how blessed am I to have so much reading material??
I think if I took the time to consider what would cause me to re-read a book - and if I reminded myself how many wonderful books I have read - maybe I would be encouraged to re-read more and not be so enamored with the new. (Not that there's anything wrong with enjoying new, unread books! I just want to understand the pleasures of re-reading more.) Worth a try, I hope!
Re-watching and Re-reading
- The Favorite Scenes - You know those scenes that make you sigh with delight, or feel warm and fuzzy inside, or make you cry, or make you gasp? It's fun to re-watch and re-read scenes like those! Unfortunately, that kind of makes up most of my re-reading - going back and just re-living those favorite scenes. So while they're great and can inspire return visits to the story, I think this is one I have to beware of, because in and of themselves those scenes don't always help me re-read the whole book. The favorite scenes have to be combined with other qualities...
- The Music - In a movie, the music really can make a big difference. And it's not just the soundtracks with lyrics (although I enjoy those, too!). Consider the BBC Sherlock series, or Kate & Leopold, or Tuck Everlasting, or How to Train Your Dragon. The music sets the scene and draws you in emotionally. I think the books that I would be more inspired to re-read are the ones that have a certain "music" to them - those books that are well-written and have their own unique, engaging style that makes me feel involved in the story and intrigued by the way the author strings words together.
- The Setting - It's the place you want to re-visit. Like beautiful Ireland in Leap Year or New Orleans in The Princess and the Frog or Radiator Springs in Cars.
- The Dialogue - My family and I kind of have our own language, and you'd have to have seen a lot of random movies in order to get it. You see, we quote movies all the time. I'm not sure this comes off quite the same in books (after all, you're reading it, not hearing it). But still - some great dialogue can make you want to re-live the wit or the zingers or what-have-you.
- The Characters - When characters become so dear that they're like family, or so similar to yourself that they're like your best friends, or so intriguing that you just want to try harder to understand them...that's when you want to spend more time with them.
- The Theme - Sometimes you need to reminded of something important. That's one thing I love about Hallmark movies and ones like them (the tear-jerkers) - they often help me put things in perspective. Even though it isn't always fun to watch or read about things like war and losing a loved one, those sorts of stories remind us of how precious life is, and how much we need to cling to hope.
At least, that's why I like watching certain movies over and over again. And I hope that this exercise will show me that some books are worth the time investment of a re-visit!