Saturday, August 18, 2012

Read, read and read again!


Gone With the Wind is my all time favorite book and I reread it about every ten years. That means I’ve read it at least four times since that first time I got my hands on a copy that looked like this in 1968 and seen the movie too many times to count without taking off my shoes. 

At twenty, I was a young mother with a child who wouldn’t sleep at night and the book was thick enough I figured it would take me at least a week to read it. I was wrong! I got so caught up in the story that I read it in three days. I fell in love with Rhett Butler and if Husband would have agreed our son would have been Charles Rhett instead of Charles Lemar. I loved Scarlett’s spit fire determination and sassiness and decided that if I ever wrote a book (which was my secret dream) that all my heroines would have a back bone of steel and just as much sass as Scarlett.

The first line about Scarlettt O’Hara not being beautiful but having so much charm caught my attention. I wondered if the author pictured herself in the same way but when I found a picture of her with a book in her hands, I changed my mind. There was something hauntingly beautiful about the author as well as her words. By the end of the book, Margaret Mitchell was right up there next to the angels in my estimation. I declared I would read everything she’d ever written. When I went looking for the rest of her works, I figured out real quick that I had already read everything she’d ever written.

When I read the book the second time, I had three kids and found myself feeling more of Scarlett’s mother’s emotions. Raising a spirited child like Scarlett couldn’t have been easy, especially when the Mister O’Hara doted on her so much. And dealing with those next two daughters who weren’t as pretty or as popular with the young gents of the age would have taken the wisdom and patience of a saint.

The third time around, the book was an anniversary edition that looked a lot like this and it was Mammy who caught my attention. She was the one who ruled the roost even more than Scarlett’s Momma. And I could identify very well with her having to make all those decisions and do the bossing since my kids were in high school.

Each time I read the book, the characters took on a whole new depth and I understood their motives more and more. By the time I got around to reading it a few years ago, I realized that the reason was because my own life experiences had changed so much. I could relate to the characters that had lived through the tough times and had beat the odds and carved out a path in a brand new totally different world.

This past summer one of my best friends told me that she had a signed original copy of the book. I'd just love to look at that copy but alas, she knows I'd drool on it, and keeps in locked away in a safe. She is one smart cookie, let me tell you, but I do have an order in for a set of lock picks and a book called "Bank Robbing for Dummies." Shhh! Don't tell and I'll let you peek at it, too!

Readers have told me that they've reread my books second and third times. Do they find brand new depths with a second or a third reading? Does a twenty year old new mother find courage in a sassy heroine? Does a sixty year old grandmother see herself in one of those secondary characters?

Today, I’m grateful for readers who send emails and notes my way that say my books have made them laugh or cry or get mad or even sigh at the end because they wanted just one more chapter.
Do you ever reread books at different times in your life and find brand new gems between the pages? What's been your favorite read, reread and read again book?
I’ll give away a signed copy of One Hot Cowboy Wedding to one of the folks who comment today. Maybe it’ll even be one of those books that is read a second or third time!

26 comments:

  1. I only reread by accident, Carolyn! :) Since my reading time is limited, I read books only once. They can be old or new, but just once. Unless, I don't realize I've read it before. LOL

    ReplyDelete
  2. I often reread books, too Carolyn. I've read Pride and Prejudice several times and Gone With the Wind 2-3 times as well. I've also been to Margaret Mitchell's home in Atlanta. A great book will offer something new each time its read.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've reread MM Kaye's THE FAR PAVILIONS several times. At first I was swept up in the epic story. Now I'm dissecting it to understand how she handled writerly issues, but I still love it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Terry: I've reread a book several times and didn't even realize it until I was more than half way through it.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Shana: Maybe I'll make that a side trip next year when we are in Atlanta. They have a bed and breakfast in Jefferson, Texas that's a remake of Tara that's really impressive, too!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Mia, that's what I learned I was doing with Gone With the Wind the last time around. Loved THE FAR PAVILIONS but I've only read it once...that I can remember!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Carolyn I love to reread my old book of Danielle steel called star . Read it 20 times already along the year but still that book has a special Place in my heart , Aretha zhen , arethazhenAtrocketmailDOTCOM

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous...I hope someday someone loves any one of my books enough to read it that often and still love it.

    ReplyDelete
  9. 3we do have a lot in common lilsis. Gone With The Wind is my all time fave also. I have read it twice myself. And like you I fell in love with Rhett Butler & Mammy was one of my favorites with her red petticoat. I have the DVD & have watched it several times. the next one I have read twice & will read again is Ladies Room. I absolutely loved that one.

    ReplyDelete
  10. One of my fav reads that I have read a few times is Danielle Steels, Palimino... It was a beautiful story of love and courage and it makes me cry every time I read it...

    ReplyDelete
  11. Doris, I'm so excited that you stopped by. Folks, let me introduce you to my cousin by blood and my bigsis by heart. She was my idol when I was a little girl and to know that she's rereading my books means the world to me!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Kathleen, Danielle Steele does have a way to bring out the emotions, doesn't she?

    ReplyDelete
  13. This is my all time favorite too! I saw the movie first and was shocked when I discovered she had two more kids in the book!

    This is when I discovered why so many people say, "The book was so much better than the movie." Still, the movie casting couldn't have been more perfect!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I love to reread I have reread the Lucky series several times and many others like you everytime I reread I seem to notice different characters

    ReplyDelete
  15. Ash, I agree! I'd read the book more than once when I saw the movie so I thought that it was much better than the film. It would have taken a mini-series instead of a movie to put all the scenes in there...which is a thought, now isn't it? You reckon they'd let us help with the casting?

    ReplyDelete
  16. Ginny: Bless your heart! I'm honored that you've read my works more than once.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I've re-read several books over the years. S. E. Hinton's The Outsiders (yes, I realize that many consider it a kid's book) blows my mind. Each time I find something new to inspire me to make my world a better place.

    I loved GWTW, too...cried my eyes out at the end. I think I first read it at 14.

    ReplyDelete
  18. katsmeow: Oh, yeah! I was actually so glad when Scarlett came out. I so wanted Miss Scarlett to grow up and have her HEA!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Love this post, Carolyn. I've reread Lisa Kleypas's Dreaming of You several times. Derek Craven was the first truly damaged hero I had ever read, but that did not keep him from being so gentle to his little "mouse."

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hi, Tracey! And I bet every time you read it, you sigh at the end, right?

    ReplyDelete
  21. To be honest I'm not much of a rereader since there are so many books out there that I want to read. Sometimes when books in a series are too far between I will reread. But I can see how the same story would mean different things at different times.

    ReplyDelete
  22. catslady: Don't you just love to walk into a library or a new book store and find all those new loves?

    ReplyDelete
  23. I like to reread Pride and Prejudice.

    bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  24. I do have a few favourites that I have reread and they include Pride and Prejudice and Little Women for classics, and the Night Huntress series as my ultimate fave series and comfort read to reread often!

    ReplyDelete
  25. bn100 and Winnie: It's been years and years since I read Pride and Prejudice. Now you two have got me looking for it on my bookcase!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Ginny LaMere: Thank you for stopping by the blog site this weekend and for leaving a comment! CONGRATULATIONS! Your name came out of the boot for a free copy of One Hot Cowboy Wedding. If you will send your snail mail address to ccbrown66@att.net I will put it in the mail. Happy reading!

    ReplyDelete