Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Art of the Re-Read

I'm currently about two-thirds of the way through my re-read of Lee Child's original Reacher novel Killing Floor.  It is taking a little longer than I expected, since we have our new baby girl Elizabeth at home.  Since I've been re-reading lots of my favorite novels lately, I thought I would pass on what I have learned.

1.  Take your time.  One thing I am guilty of when reading a novel for the first time is racing to the finish.  This is the part of the book that is usually about two thirds of the way through that you just can't stop reading.  I think i read two out of three words at this point when I'm trying to get to the end.

2.  Pay attention at the beginning.  Authors take a lot of time developing characters, and are very careful about how they do it.  If you're re-reading the first in a long series of books, pay attention!  One of Jack Reacher's major traits is his silence.  He only speaks if it helps him.  This took me a while to pick up on, but it's right there in the beginning of the novel!

3.  Read critically.  Authors write, revise, read, and re-read their novels several times getting them just right.    Take a little bit of extra time to see where you would have taken the story.

I'm hoping to put up a proper re-read review of Killing Floor in the next few days.  Stay tuned.

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