Don’t worry this isn’t going to be a repeat. However, I have been thinking about repeats the last few days. Maybe it’s because I’m rereading A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin. Or maybe it’s because I’m rewatching the series Cheers on Netflix Instant. Or the fact that last night while in a chatroom at Tribal Blogs, I found myself referring back to an old post, Senor Largo Calcetines: Last in cross country, first in your hearts. Whatever it is, I woke up this morning, thinking about repeats again.
I first wondered whether I preferred rereading a book or rewatching a TV show or movie and decided I think I would prefer to reread a book nine times out of 10. The 10th time, of course, would be Cheers. But why would I prefer rereading a book? For me, I guess it’s having a world reopen to you page by page, and that takes longer than a 22- to 43-minute episode of any show or even a two and half hour movie. I’m rediscovering characters, plots and settings that I had forgotten about. It’s like rewalking or rejogging a once-familiar route: “Ah, I remember that dog. I just don’t remember him being that big.” except in the case of the book, you can freeze-frame the dog and examine him up closely without him biting you (if the author has given you a good enough description). Or on the serious and more subtle side: “I remember that tree. I just don’t recall how beautiful it was even in the winter, when it had no leaves.”
Maybe it’s that absence makes the heart grow fonder. That presence, the thoughts that book engendered, is still there, buried in the subconscious and unlike a traumatic childhood memory, it’s one you want to resurrect.
Of course, maybe..nay, perhaps… I’m only thinking of that song because we’ve been rewatching the British series Coupling.
So why do you return to reruns or repeat a book? What brings you back? And which do you prefer: rereading a book or rewatching a TV show or movie?