We’ve all heard about, or read about, readers who’ve repeatedly read certain books – even readers who claim to read a certain favorite at least once a year.
On the other hand, other booklovers – perhaps oversensitive to the the tragic arithmetic resulting from the “So Many Books, So Little Time” predicament of all readers – choose against reading again any book they’ve already read, regardless of how much they enjoyed reading that book the first time, or how profoundly it affected them.
Like so many other avid readers who were also writers, Vladamir Nabokov encouraged readers to spend more of their reading time revisiting certain books – usually those books that are widely considered classics.
According to Nabokov, “A good reader, a major reader, an active and creative reader is a rereader.” He beautifully explained his reasoning in his introduction to Lectures on Literature (1980). This essay is not a quick read, but it’s a persuasive one.