Reading habits: re-reads

So, I’m a total re-read girl! In general, my rule about books is, if I love it, I’ll read it again. That can be the very next day (that actually happened more often than I’d like to admit) or a couple of years from now. And then there are books that I read almost every year. Okay, that’s mostly been the Harry Potter books, but still. It counts.

I don’t know how it started. Probably somewhere in my childhood and probably with either my Hanni und Nanni books (St. Clare’s series) by Enid Blyton or Das doppelte Lottchen (Lottie and Lisa) by Austrian author Erich Kästner. I loved both more than anything and still do. Das doppelte Lottchen, which happens to be the source material for the film The Parent Trap (both the 1961 and 1998 version), is probably the book I’ve read most often.

I had the book at home, I still do actually, and there was a copy at both my grandparents houses. So every time I stayed there and felt bored, I would take the book and read it. It only takes about an hour or two to read it. It’s a children’s book after all and not a very long one. Anyway, I’ve read it about a thousand times. I don’t know the exact number, however, it was a lot of times. And I still love reading it.

Another special place in my heart and on my most re-read list is the Hanni und Nanni series. It is based on the St. Clare’s series by Enid Blyton. And I say based on because in the German translations – or versions rather – the setting (Cornwall in the 40s to Germany in the 60s), the names (Pat and Isabel to Hanni and Nanni; Sr. Clare’s to Lindenhof), the sport they play (Lacrosse to Handball) as well as the number of books (6 to 15) changed. Actually the number of books is now higher than 15, there are about 27 now. Although I only read the first 15 and consider them the series. As they leave boarding school in book 15. The newer 12 just play during their six years at Lindenhof.

Anyway, I love Hanni und Nanni and still do. The books are so precious to me. They are my most valuable possession to be honest. Some of the books are actually the originals from the 70s when they were written. They belonged to my mum and you can tell by looking at them that they are old. Some are almost completely broken. Still, I will never give them away.

After Das doppelte Lottchen and Hanni und Nanni the books I read most often are the books of the Harry Potter series. I started reading Harry Potter only in 2007 shortly before the last book was published. First I read all of them in German, 10 times actually. Then I started reading them in English and I have read the English versions over 10 times already. I lost count, to be honest. For me it doesn’t matter.

What I love so much about re-reading books is that every time the story is a little bit different to me. With different, I mean my feeling reading it changes every time. Sometimes I’m more hopeful, sometimes more scared. I also love discovering new details, that I didn’t get the first time around. So the first time I read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone I totally didn’t get that Sirius Black was mentioned in the first chapter. I only got that the second time around.

For me the first time reading a book is mostly about the story. I really want to know what’s happening. After that it’s about details. So, how about you? Do you re-read books? Or are you a one-and-done kinda person? Let me know in the comments.

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