Yes, believe it or not in the book reading world there is a subgroup of us who actually read the same book multiple times - even (especially!) fiction. We’re not zealots, tirelessly peering over our favorite religious texts over and over, nor are we fools trying to figure out what it is that we just read - for me, I just enjoyed the journey through the authors world so much that I wanted to retake it.
I’m pretty bad about re-reading: Everything I own by Harry Turtledove (12 books), Dan Simmons (5 books), Donaldson’s Gap series, and Fred Pohl’s Heechee books (5 books) have been read multiple times.
Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors, Piers Paul Reid. As a kid of 8 I was a sucker for a good disaster or two and read and re-read Mr. Reid’s tale of the Uruguayan soccer players who’s plane crashed in the Andes mountains, leaving them stranded for 70+ days. If I didn’t read this one 5 times I didn’t read it once… and I’m being conservative on that number. The book finally broke into 4 sections, prompting my brother to throw it away, to much fighting and yelling on my part.
The Stand, Stephen King. A fine “what if” book, I also find it easy to enter Mr. King’s worlds’ (damned apostrophes!) and have read a lot of his books multiple times (It, Misery, Pet Semetary, Dead Zone, Salem’s Lot), but The Stand easily holds the record amongst his books for having been read at least twice for the unexpurgated version and 4 times for the edited (first) version.
Dune, Children of Dune, God: Emperor of Dune, Frank Herbert. My three fave Dune books, these have been read a total of 13 times.
Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand. Yes, earlier in my life I was one of those. I went through 2 copies of this book, and the third is sitting on my shelf right now. I haven’t the slightest idea how many times I’ve read this book, but certain passages I’ve read at least 20 times (Francisco’s speech about money being a particular favorite for some reason).
non-fiction wise, it’s the same thing…
I’ve read selected works from Will and Ariel Durant’s Story of Civilization multiple times (The Reformation, The Age of Louis XIV Begins, The Age of Voltaire). J.M. Roberts’ History of the World (also known as Penguin History of the World) has been read… oh, God, I haven’t the slightest but the poor book is in tatters - and it’s a hardback!
Lately I’ve pored over Peter Boskind’s Easy Riders, Raging Bulls, an unflinching and hugely entertaining history of 1970’s American Cinema. I highly recommend it to all!
So, what books have you read multiple times?