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View Poll Results: Have you ever re-read a favotire book only to find out it was terrible
Yes, It happens to the best of us! 19 46.34%
No way, I have and always had great taste! 14 34.15%
Other way around - I re-read a book that I thought was terrible, and now I think it's great! 8 19.51%
Voters: 41. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-23-2009, 12:28 PM   #1
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Has re-reading a book ever ruined the first mem

I typically don't re-read books, there are just too many good books to read to go back to reading the same book over. However there are some books that are just that good and warrant a re-read, or you remember them to be good when you read them.


Last summer I re-read "Lost on Venus" by Edgar R. Burroughs together with my son and nephew. Burroughs was one of my favorite author as a boy, and I thought my boys would like the book.

Anyhow after re-reading the book I realized that book was terrible! Both my nephew and son also thought it was a terrible book, they still give me grief on how bad that book was . So I'm left scratching my head and wondering why I liked this books so much as a youth, when it was really bad. I'm scared to re-read another one of my favorites with my children for fear of it ruining the memories

So I ask the question to others have you ever re-read an old favorite only to realize it was terrible!

I'd like to hear your stories regardless of your answer.

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Old 11-23-2009, 01:04 PM   #2
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In school we were assigned to read Great Expectations. This is was when we would get our thick English book and it had stories and books in it. Well, apparently the one we read was the abridged version. I tried to pick up the unabridged version (not realizing that I had only read the short one) and could barely make it to chapter 10!!! It was so painstakingly detailed beyond necessary (imho)!
But I think that's the only one that I have gone to re-read and hated.
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Old 11-23-2009, 01:06 PM   #3
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I often have a different opinion of a book when I re-read it after a gap of many years, because I'm not the same person I was 20 years ago; my experiences of the world in that time have given me a different view of the world, and I appreciate different things.

However, the fact that I re-read a book and perhaps don't enjoy it doesn't take away the memory of the pleasure that it gave me when I first read it.

With me, it's actually rather more the other way round - I find myself able to enjoy rather more "serious" books that I found to be too "heavy" when I was young. The classic example with me is Charles Dickens; when I was a teenager I was forced to read his books in school and thought that he was the most boring writer ever. It was only when I was in my late 30s that I "re-discovered" him and found that he was a wonderful writer. I lacked the maturity to appreciate his writing when I first read his books.
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Old 11-23-2009, 01:10 PM   #4
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Hope you don't mind, X - I've added an option to the poll for the other option - that I re-read a book I used to think was awful, and now think it's great!
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Old 11-23-2009, 02:15 PM   #5
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I agree on Burroughs. I loved anything by im as a kid. Now... meh. Something about the whole melodrmatic approach to everything, maybe.
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Old 11-23-2009, 02:48 PM   #6
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No I don't mind I think that would be another fun point of view. Hey while your at it can you please fix the title, it appears the title was truncated
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Old 11-23-2009, 04:35 PM   #7
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Hope you don't mind, X - I've added an option to the poll for the other option - that I re-read a book I used to think was awful, and now think it's great!
I have experienced this many times, actually. Some books we perhaps aren't ready for at a certain point in our lives, or sometimes it is simply a case of wrong timing. I find that whenever I am doing heavy reading for school, a "heavy" novel is just too much for me; when I pick up the same novel again when I have more free time, I find I enjoy it much more.

That said, sometimes the reverse is true. I loved "A Handmaid's Tale" (Atwood) when I was in secondary school, and read it several times during that period. When I picked it up again many years later, it wasn't terrible but... it was sort of meh. In fact, there are old favourites of mine that I would like re-read after having not read them in many years, but I am hesitant to, as I don't want to ruin my fond memories of them. Perhaps I am getting too critical as I get older? Maybe after not having picked up a certain book in a while I put it on a pedestal, only to knock it down with my high expectations?
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Old 11-23-2009, 05:13 PM   #8
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When David Eddings died recently I thought I'd take a trip down memory lane and re-read his books and maybe even read the last series he wrote that I had never read.

I managed to get through The Belgariad but more out of a grim determination to not let the series beat me than from any enjoyment! It did kind of leave me wondering what I had enjoyed about it so much as a teenager.

Needless to say, I didn't go on to try to re-read any of his other stuff.
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Old 11-24-2009, 07:19 AM   #9
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With me, it's actually rather more the other way round - I find myself able to enjoy rather more "serious" books that I found to be too "heavy" when I was young.
That's what generally true for me as well. Also, some books I start appreciating more every time I re-read it. The first time I read it, I only want to know how it ends, but the second time, I have more "time" to enjoy the scenery so to speak... (and some books took me several tries before I finished them, and ended up loving them...)
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Old 11-24-2009, 08:16 AM   #10
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Same experience as Harry first mentioned - happened mainly to books that I was forced to read at school and disect in the process. Now, many many years later I enjoy some of them (others are still horrible).

Sometimes I do scratch my head as to why i liked a book I read before, but then move on and put it down to experience.
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Old 11-26-2009, 12:08 PM   #11
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Gone With the Wind is the classic disappointment for me. I read this as a young teenager and thought it a great, romantic adventure. I read it more recently and discovered many unpleasant undertones in it. I found it patronising and racist and I have no wish to read it again. I don't know if anyone else has found this?
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Old 11-26-2009, 03:49 PM   #12
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Gone With the Wind is the classic disappointment for me. I read this as a young teenager and thought it a great, romantic adventure. I read it more recently and discovered many unpleasant undertones in it. I found it patronising and racist and I have no wish to read it again. I don't know if anyone else has found this?
I read Gone with the Wind at 13 or 14, I remember having some sort of flu and zipping through the book in 2 days while resting in bed. My mum just bought me a copy recently out of the blue; I'll be sure to post my thoughts after I re-read it.
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Old 11-27-2009, 06:36 AM   #13
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I think it's a quite universal experience that some books you get too old for and others you are not enough to read. Most of those books I loved as a teeneger and in my early twenties, I would probably find pretty boring now - and when I read E. M. Forster as a teenager - or rather, I tried to - I was definitely not old enough. I have a couple of works by Thomas mann waiting in the bookshelf, for when I get old enough.
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Old 11-27-2009, 09:16 AM   #14
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Gone With the Wind is the classic disappointment for me. I read this as a young teenager and thought it a great, romantic adventure. I read it more recently and discovered many unpleasant undertones in it. I found it patronising and racist and I have no wish to read it again. I don't know if anyone else has found this?
I think you have to read such books as a product of the culture in which they were written. Every author is a product of his or her society, and can't really be judged in terms of the standard of a completely different one.
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Old 11-27-2009, 10:39 AM   #15
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Jules Verne. I tried to read as an adult. Well, it is not the same.... Better stick to the memories.
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