Do you ever re-read books, or re-watch movies and TV?

I’ve had friends who buy books quite often, or are regular theater-goers, who’ve said to me they don’t re-read the books or re-watch the movies they see, that once is usually enough, even if it’s a favorite author, subject matter, series or actor. My father’s a bit like that. He has tons of books on quantum theory but really doesn’t re-read them much. The thought of people dressing up and going to see, say, The Rocky Horror Picture Show more than once bewilders him.

Now me, I enjoy deconstructing and analyzing the experience again the second time around (or more) and typically gain a newer appreciation on the repeat experiences.

Is once usually enough for you? Please share.

Your dad sounds kind of different. Anyway, to the point: I couldn’t conceive of anything more boring than going to the Rocky Horror Picture Show and shouting out the lines. Always seemed like very recidivist behaviour to me. As for other “texts”, sure thing, if it’s a high quality piece of work, I’ll watch it over and over. Examples from TV: Blackadder, Fawlty Towers, The Office. Films: rather less so, but sometimes I need to see a film twice just to get it! Books: I wish I read enough to be in a position to re-read more, but I watch too much telly (sport is my weakness - blasted cable bringing us football, tennis, golf, cricket round the year). Will re-read essays a lot, though, especially C.S. Lewis and Clive James.

Normally major sci/fi movies are rewatched

The first showing you just want to watch the spectacle, and then all future viewings depending on the movie , are for deconstruction.


Sometimes, but not often. Usually only with my absolute favorites, or if there are special circumstances. Currently, for instance, I’m rereading a book series because my first time through, I read them sporadically, all out of order, and skipping some. Now I’m redoing it so I can get it right. Before that, I reread Cryptonomicon because it’s a damn good book and because it was a good length for the trip I was going on.

I will frequently rewatch a TV show two or 3 times in a single day.

I rewatch movies frequently.

I reread my favourite books - particularly books in series - with some frequency. Especially when travelling, instead of buying new ones.

I reread comic books every so often - usually a year or two separating rereads.

Yes, absolutely. In fact, I’m quite probably to re-read or re-watch something if it’s easily consumable but still good. This goes to shows like Azumanga Daioh, books like Animal farm and High Fidelity (both very different, I know, but you can read them in one stretch if you like) and certainly for all kinds of movies. Movies and tv shows are very friendly for reprises since you just sit there.

My mother never ever watches a movie again. Sometimes there may be a movie on TV like All about Eve. She will say I do not want to watch that. I saw it at the cinema with my friend Betty. I reply “But that was in 1950”. She says she remembers the story and so will not watch it again.

Yes, totally.
I’ve rewatche the Firefly TV series many times
I re-read Lord of The Rings every year in autumn
I’ve re-read my Pratchetts so many times, I’ve had to replace one or two.
I want to get the David Attenborough nature shows on DVD so I can watch them, and watch them, and watch them…

I think, if anything’s worth seeing once, it should be worth revisiting, or else it probably wasn’t worth it the first time. Yes, that includes* Grave of the Fireflies*.

Aren’t they magnificent? Attenborough is living proof of ars est celare artem. It’s a bit like the Rocky Horror Picture Show in our household, as the daughter and I are keen mimics, and will be going at it in hushed tones a la David, but are upstaged by the wife, who doesn’t generally do other people (settle down! you know what I mean) but does a brilliant Attenborough. So, if you can remember Python’s “Whicker Island” sketch, its a bit like that at our place when the nature DVDs are playing.

If I like a book, I’ll re-read it (likewise movies, music and live stage productions) - even if I can recall it near-perfectly from memory; just the same as I can quite accurately remember the taste of chocolate, but expect to eat it again sometime.

I’m not sure if I’d watch and re-watch the same movie more than once in the same day, or even week though - I like to build up a bit of hunger for it.

It has to be the right kind of book/episode/movie.

There are some movies and books that I LOVED but when I try to re-watch or re-read, i get bored and “meh” and go do something else.

Books can generally be re-read indefinitely if I like them, and if I REALLY like them and have read them too many times, I’ll set out to memorize passages from them. That’s more for fantasy-type books with long poems in them somewhere, but if there’s a good monologue in it, I’ll memorize that too.

Others, I liked but didn’t adore and can watch over and over and over again.
I’ve seen Wizard of OZ probably eighty times by now. I’ve seen Lilo and Stitch so many times I can practically play it back in my head scene by scene. but I get bored halfway through Roman Holiday, West Side Story, and In America, and those are three of my favorites.

One thing I’ve noticed the second or third time around is that sometimes take on an oddly sripted quality. It’s hard to explain. Obviously a lot of it is scripted anyway, but the second time I hear it, it sounds like they’re reciting something. That, and stuff that I thought was really funny often isn’t quite as funny. It’s not as bad if I wait a while between viewings, but like if I watch something myself and then watch it later with my sister, it’s like sitting backstage listening to a show I’ve been rehearsing for six weeks.
Going to the movies, though, or a stage perfomance, is an event. I’ll go see the same movie more than once if a friend or sister needs someone to see it with. I also have no objection to seeing something like Beauty and the Beast or Wizard of Oz, which I’ve seen a zillion times, in a movie theater.

When I was younger and had more time and less money I reread books regularly. Now there are so many books in my queue that I rarely reread a book.

It is even more rare that I rewatch a movie. I will occasionally watch a good scene if it is on TV and I am passing by, but I wouldn’t sit through the whole thing.

“Why are you watching this movie,” they say, “it hasn’t changed since you saw it in the theater.” To which I reply, “Yes, but I’ve changed.”

Of course. That’s why I have a library (and a video library). Some books I love the experience or writing. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve read Lord o the Rings or The Day of the Jackal or Expanded Universe.

There are some books which are so dear to me that I reread them every couple of years. To Kill A Mockingbird and The Adventures Of Huckelberry Finn are examples. Others I reread when prompted to by other reading. For instance, I recently read a book about C.S. Lewis called The Narnian, which prompted me to read The Chronicles Of Narnia again. I’m on the third book now. I’ve read all of Stephen Jay Gould’s books as soon as they were available in the library, and I will pick one out and reread it from time to time.

Very, very often.


Definitely a re-reader, sometimes re-watcher here. My “habit” is actually a problem, I have a hard time reading newer stuff or expanding my circle of books. I have so many books I know I love to read, and have been disappointed so many times in newer works that its hard for me to try new stuff. I don’t know if its a reflection of my choices in reading or reflective of what is out there.

I have a friend who is one of the few people I can talk books with. The problem is that she is not a re-reader- and if she borrows one of my books, she doesn’t understand the part that I want it back :smack: . I have books I’ve had for 20 years, and I still read them! OTOH, the bonus is that she gives me books instead of loans them to me (as she never plans to read them again) so I don’t make an issue out of it .

As far as movies, only certain movies are re-watchable and almost all of them have great dialogue. I have several movies that I put in the tv on the sleep timer when I go to bed- Trainspotting and many of the Jane Austen flicks are great for that.

I’ll reread books or rewatch movies – but only after time has passed. I don’t care to see any film until at least six months later; I need time to forget, otherwise it’s dull to see the same thing again.

I reread all the time, there are certain books I return to often like old friends. There are some that get reread more than others … I like to read a series in the right order for the first time, but upon rereading, I will pick them up in whatever order seems appealling to me at the time, and even skip those that I didn’t think were particularly strong. I’ve read many books more than five times, some more than ten times.

On the other hand, I seldom watch movies more than once. It seems very difficult to keep my attention on an entire movie the second time 'round, even if I very much like the film – so much so that’s it’s almost painful to sit thought a movie a second time even if it’s been years since I watched it originally. I will watch the director’s commentary on DVDs (once), it’s new content so it keeps my interest. There are a few exceptions – I think I watched Gosford Park three times (in a row!) because I kept getting more out of it.

Now that it’s so easy to get TV shows on DVD, I surprised myself by watching them more than once – I thought they would be like movies, because of the medium, but it turns out, for me they’re more like books, because of their length. An hour (minus commercial time) seems just about right for rewatching something.

I honestly don’t understand why people would think that remembering something is a reason not to repeat it. I’m not remarkable or anything, but my memory of some of my books is quasi-photographic; I can not only remember the plot, characters, etc, but I can remember the phraseology and even the layout of the wording on the pages, in some cases.

Yet still, it’s a pleasure to read them again. As I said, it’s like eating chocolate; I remember quite accurately what it was like; that doesn’t stop me from wanting to do it again (indeed it’s a significant motivator for repetition).