RE-WATCHING vs RE-READING
Francesca: I’ve probably mentioned this once or twice here on the blog but I don’t like to re-read books. I recently re-watched BEAUTY AND THE BEAST and that got me thinking how differently I feel about watching a movie for a second (or third, or fourth) time as opposed to re-reading a book. And when I talked to Suzanne about it, she felt very differently! So we thought we would ramble on about our thoughts on these two things and see what you all think about it.
Suzanne: My thoughts are almost completely opposite to Francesca’s. I love to reread, but I can barely get through watching a film or TV series once let alone twice – with a few exceptions. So I am going to be extolling the virtues of rereading…and down playing the re-watching!
When it comes to re-reading books, I prefer using my time reading a new story than revisiting an old one. Even if it’s my all time favorite book. Have I done it? Yes, I’ve re-read a few books. Generally, I’ve done that because we’ve done a read-a-long on the blog or I was looking for some kind of information for a post. Before my blogging days, I probably only re-read PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. Literally, that’s it. Once I know how a book is going to end, all the magic goes away for me. It does feel nice to revisit, because like I said I’ve done it a time or two, but in the back of my mind I wish I was reading a new story.
There’s also the fear that I won’t like the book as much as I did the first time. I look back at my GoodReads ratings sometimes and I cringe because I know for a fact that I wouldn’t feel the same about certain books now. Even just from my memory of what they were about. Tastes and expectations change. So I like to have those memories intact of how much I loved a book and keep them in that special place where nothing will taint them.
I feel like I am the Re-read Queen. I love to reread the books I have enjoyed before. Some of my favourites have been read again and again. My poor Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews is looking a little threadbare with the number of times I have pawed through its pages. And my Wallflower series by Lisa Kleypas has even had to rebought as my copies got a little too well loved.
There’s something about rereading. You get to experience the magic all over again. You notice things that you didn’t in the excitement of the first read. Even if you know what the destination is, you can still enjoy the journey. And, let’s be honest between us romance fans…before we even pick up the book for the first time we know what’s going to happen. But, I do take Francesca’s point regarding reading a book you’ve previously loved and finding it some what lacking in the second read through. I’ve definitely experienced that. But I’ve also experienced it the other way round. Books I didn’t give much thought to at the time suddenly become one of the best things I’ve read in a while.
For me, the stories I love are a pleasure I love to repeat. I want to see that romance blossom again. Or experience the danger and excitement in a fast paced adventure. Read the witty dialogue between some of my favourite characters. Rereading is like walking into the warm embrace of family; you know them inside out, there may be no surprises and you’re aware of the flaws, but you love them anyway.
If you ever came to my place, you would see a bookcase full of well loved books, right next to my dusty TV. A dusty TV that hasn’t been plugged in for a few months. I need an extension cord as my TV plug doesn’t quite reach my wall socket…I just haven’t got round to getting one. That attitude kind of embodies my ambivalence towards watching TV in general. I just forget and it’s never a priority. So rewatching? It just never happens. I barely watch let alone rewatch.
The exception is cinema, I love going to the cinema and if you see our Keeping It Reel posts you’ll probably notice that I either talk about a film I watched at the cinema or a podcast I’ve listened to. The thing is, once I have watched the film at the cinema that’s all I need. I will never rewatch it. I get bored. No matter how much I love the film the chances are that it will stay at just one watch.
Of course there are always exceptions! Doctor Who and Firefly are series I have rewatched a few times, because I adore pretty much everything about them. And Spirited Away and the Lord of the Rings Trilogy fall under the same heading; absolute devotion. But aside from those few I find myself trailing off and reaching for my book when the TV comes on!
With re-watching my feelings are completely different. I can watch a favorite movie over and over again. In fact there may be some movies I like to watch every year! Especially with holiday movies. Like for example, I’ve probably watched Christmas with Holly at least 3-4 times (maybe more?) but I’ve only read the book it’s based on, CHRISTMAS EVE AT FRIDAY HARBOR by Lisa Kleypas, just the once. And I have no desire to re-read it. But come December, you bet I’ll be watching that again.
If I happen to put on a movie channel and they’re playing an old movie I’ve already watched, even if I didn’t particularly love it, there’s a small chance I can persuaded to sit and watch it again. This has certainly happened with a lot of the 80’s and 90’s cult classics. And I may have even been known to attend a viewing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show where audience participation is encouraged. No, I didn’t dress up, but I certainly try to watch it once a year as well.
That feeling of knowing what will happen doesn’t bother me with movies. In fact, I look forward to seeing my favorite scenes. I look forward to catching something I missed. Then there’s also the fact that my memory isn’t all that great and some things I completely forgot were endearing until I watch it again and get reminded of it.
Francesca: I’m not sure why there’s a difference for me, but there is. Is anyone else like this? Or are you the opposite? Maybe you don’t care either way? Would love to hear from you in the comments!
Suzanne: Yes, let us know what you think. Are you Team Suzanne (the best team) or Team Francesca. Or maybe you fall somewhere in the middle. Let us know!
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