Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Books I Read Over and Over

Some people read all books just once. They say there are too many books in Life to read some of them again.

I feel a little sad for those people. That's a tad like saying, "I met her once. I don't care to spend another minute with her."

Me? Always I'm in the middle of some book I've read over and over. It sits on top or in the middle of a stack of those I've not yet read. But always there's at least one Oldie-Tried-and-True right there with the Not-Yet-Reads.

I'd love to have you share with me the books you read over and over. You can leave a whole list in my comment box if you wish, or just name a couple. That's up to you.

As for myself, I read David Grayson's and Dallas Lore Sharp's contemplative, back-to-the-land books over and over, even dozens of times...

... as well as the sentimental essays by folks like Philip Gulley and Phillip Jerome Cleaveland... and the funny, funny stuff by Cornelia Otis Skinner or Louise Kent...

...and the retro teen romance novels by Rosamond du Jardin, Anne Emery, Beverly Cleary, Betty Cavanna, Lenora Mattingly Weber... even though I am ever so far away from being the teen I once was.

And though I'm even farther away from the years I was a young girl, I still reread kids' lit. novels by Eleanor Estes, Elizabeth Enright, Frieda Friedman, Lois Lenski, Noel Streatfeild, to name only some. They keep me from straying too far into old age inside my head.

My Ralph Moody books about his young life around 1900 are worn thin (especially Mary Emma & Company) as well as Gladys Taber's books about her later years. I've read Maureen Daly's Seventeenth Summer most summers since I was seventeen, myself, and always I smell the tomatoes in her parents' garden.

I discovered Miss Read's gentle stories from England late in my life, yet I've reread her two series a few times over.

There's Chicken Every Sunday by Beverly Taylor, Wild Geese Flying by Cornelia Meigs and The Human Comedy by William Saroyan...

...and still there are more.

For me, summer wouldn't be summer without these books... having them nearby... seeing their spines upon my shelves... rereading some of them for the umpteenth time. After all, we visit friends more than once... and when it comes to books, well, some are just as real and shining and comforting as any friend next door.


Storybook Woods said...

Well my favorite book is the Sent Of Water, right now I am reading On Rue Tatin, for like the umpteenth time. Also Miss. Read !!! Clarice

nancyr said...

I also love the Ralph Moody books. I read them as a child, and again as an adult.
Two books I've read numerous times are: "Return to Main Street" by Nancy Eberle, and "Wyoming Wife" by Rodello Hunter. Both are older books, about city people who move to the country.
I wanted to live on a farm from the time I was a young child, living in Chicago. The closest I have come, is on our few acres, rearing children, horses, goats, cats and dogs. A wonderful life!

Laurie said...

Only a few books I've read more than once.

"The Stand" by Steven King (3x)
"Seventeenth Summer" by Maureen Daly (3x)

"At The Cottage" by Charles Gordon

"Alps Road Journal" by John Sillick

(the latter two are a collection of short essays that I read over and over again.....)

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

My "old favorites", the books I read over and over are mostly on shelves in my bedroom. There are so many, and many you have mentioned.....Books are such a gift. Have you ever read Mother Mason by Bess Streeter Aldrich? That's another favorite of mine. Very simple, very touching.

Kari said...

For me it's the Betsy Tacy Series. I love them! Also Daily Strengths for daily needs. It's an old devotional that I have read almost daily for the past 5 years. Love your blog. We have a similar story to yours and I've been meaning for about a year to email you, and did once and it didn't go through. Anyway, we just moved to our first farm 3 months ago, and I can relate to much of what you write about. We have been longing for years for the Lord to grant us our dream of owning a small farm, and at last it has happened. We LOVE it here!! I've just started a blog as well, but havn't gotten too much on there due to the large amount of work to do around here.
Thank you for the encouragement that you give through your blog. It's been something I've looked forward to each day. Kari><>

Betsy Mc said...

Oh, so many books! I have read "Pilgrim's Progress" over and over (yes, I know it should be underlined- - -I just don't know how), "Walden", "Pride and Prejudice", and the lovely books by Miss Read for pure love of the words. I read the books by Beverley Nichols in the garden in the summer. They always make me smile! A child's series is one my mother had when she was a girl, "Betty Gordon"; there are only 14 books in the series but I was 8 when I found them in the top of a closet and reading them over brings my mom closer to me. It makes me think of summers when my mom would tell her very bookish daughter to go out and play. I would drop a book out the bedroom window, happily go out the door, retrieve the book and go to an outcropping of rocks in the woods and spend the whole day, lost in another time, another place. And then there is my dear Bible; I read it over and over all the time and never tire of its newness.
Betsy Mc

Judy said...

I love all of the "Anne" books, but "Anne's House of Dreams" is my favorite of those.

And, one I used to re-read each summer on the beach, until my library 'improved' and got rid of it, is Ruth Sawyer's "Maggie Rose - Her Birthday Christmas". Such a sweet story of a little girl from Maine.

My all time favorite ever book is Elizabeth Goudge's "The Bird in the Tree". Two more follow that one, and I read those again and again also.

I understand that the book actually never changes, but I do - so much so that it is like reading a different book each time.

Presently I am reading all of "The Borrower" books by Mary Norton.

And, please don't tell anybody, but I just reread Colleen McCullough's "Tim". It was in my 'donate back to the thrift store box' and I happened to be holding a sleeping baby near it, picked it up and could not set it down. I fessed up to my husband tonight that I was sort of longing for a mentally impaired husband who likes to garden.

Oh, well. One cannot have everything.

Ann said...

Debra - I'm catching up on some of your old post and I had to comment on this one. I love rereading books again and again. They are like visiting old friends. Some of my favorite are of course the Betsy Tacy books, The Shell Seekers and Coming Home by Rosamunde Philcher, Mrs. Mike, Linnets & Valerians, and a new favorite The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I have a dear friend and it's the one point we disagree on. She has no time to read more a book more then once and then forget about it. That's sad to me too. I feel the same way about some tv shows and movies. Lucy in I Love Lucy has been there for me when I've needed her many a time. Have a wonderful day and I'll enjoy catching up on your blog!