I think every reader--and writer--has a “keeper” pile, or shelf, or bookcase or room! For non-readers, this can be a puzzle. They’re done with the book, why still have it around?
For those of us who re-read (whether scenes, skimming, the whole book or whatever), it’s just explainable. It’s two worlds crossed by a great divide (and a love of clean shelves by some odd people).
It makes me think of EX LIBRIS: Confessions of a Common Reader by Anne Fadiman. Have you read it? When cleaning out my office I found three copies--I’d loan one out and then need to loan out another before it was back and somehow ended up with more than I started!
While many of the essays rang true (I didn’t grow up with parents who were readers, but they did try to instill a love of books in us), the ones I most relate to were the marrying the libraries (just because I have ended up with multiple copies of books--and recently had to choose among a couple of Georgette Heyers I had two to four copies of!) and the carnal vs the courtly reader.
There are readers who strain, crumple, break the bindings and then there are ones who you never knew the book was read. Growing up I was a carnal, now I tend to be a courtly--except for beach or outdoor or pocketbook reads, but I pick those carefully! :)
The advent of ebooks means that I can have even more books hidden around and on shelves, but it’s true that I'm not about to give up the shelves of read--and unread books. And even though lack of space might force me to do some reshuffling and prioritizing at times, I’m always going to have piles of books around.
So now I think I have to go pick something off my previously read shelves, stepping over all those yet-to-be-read titles, because there’s nothing quite like greeting an old friend and being reminded of just how wonderful it is. And really, there's always something new to discover.
Who do you like to re-read?