by Sara N.
A little book called A Dance with Dragons is coming out on Tuesday. No big deal. It's only the fifth book in George R.R. Martin's massively popular Song of Ice and Fire series, upon which HBO's Game of Thrones is based. It's a mere No. 1 on Amazon's bestseller list. It's just a 1,040-page tome that follows up on beloved characters that were last seen in a book published a decade ago.
Yeah. I'm a little excited.
However, the release of book five raises the question of rereading. Here's the dilemma:
You see, this book series is intricately plotted, with a sprawling cast of characters, many of them small but important. And when it's been a year (or five or 10) since you last read the preceding books, it verges on impossible to remember the names, motivations, actions and fates of all of these characters. To truly appreciate the nuances of the new book, I really should've reread books one through four ... all 3,500 pages of them.
I just couldn't do it. I have so many unread books on my to-read list that I couldn't devote that much of my free reading time to novels I've already finished, no matter how much I enjoyed them the first time. And the more I thought about it, I realized I probably haven't reread a fiction book since I was a tween and prone to obsessing over YA series. (Oh, Sunfire romances! How I loved you!) Short of taking a speed-reading course, I don't see my current system changing. I read a book and love it (or tolerate it or slam it shut in disgust after the last page), and then I pick up the next book on my TBR list, which seems to only grow and never shrink.
So I ask you: Which of us is right? Do you reread your old favorites? Do you get something new out of it that you didn't on the first read? Am I missing out?