Originally Posted by HarryT
I'm curious. A question for those who never re-read: do you also never listen to a piece of music more than once? If you do, what's the difference with a book?
It's quite simple really: effort/commitment vs. reward.
Revisiting, and enjoying, a three-minute favorite song requires almost no tangible effort on the part of the listener. It's (nearly) all reward and zero commitment. The music just happens
to me. Conversely, I can't really kick back, close my eyes, blank my mind and simply allow the contents of a narrative to wash over my senses. I must hold it, I must move my eyes across it's pages for hours/days—concentrate intensely to comprehend—all to experience a reward I've previously claimed. I'm not saying both experiences can't be worthwhile
, only that there's no real comparison between them for me. They use (and tickle) vastly different areas of my brain.
I tend not to re-read because the effort required in the attempt to re-capture the "magic," degrades
that magic (for me). I feel my time is much better spent seeking out brand-new
literary experiences. Mileage will vary here.
I'm not saying I've never
re-read in the past, or that I never will re-read again, but it's going to have to be something pretty special—damn near epiphanic, more likely—to get me to take that
long of a break from my usual "Never straight, but ever forward
" reading philosophy.
And to answer the OP:
yes. Even though I rarely re-read, it's still important to me to religiously strip the drm from, catalog, "shelve," and preserve each and every ebook I purchase. Why, one might ask? Because I'm still evolving. I used to enjoy re-reading when I was young and who knows?... maybe I'll re-acquire a taste for it in my dotage. I'd hate to be caught flat-footed, if so.