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Poll: The most times I've ever read the same book for enjoyment was
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
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Dec 4, 2007

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "The most times I've ever read the same book for enjoyment was".

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A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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Claudia Alvis  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 10:31
Partial member
Spanish
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Since you asked ... Dec 4, 2007

... now I won't shut up.

I love reading, but nothing beats re-reading a good book, not even reading it for the first time. Once the novelty of the plot wears off, the essence of the book remains, and with it, all those elements that make a book good, bad or mediocre literature. Some books pass the test, some don't. I read the Harry Potter series because I wanted to know what was going to happen. Now that I know, I won't be reading them ever again.

I had a great library when I was a child (anybody remember Castell y Moretón?), so finding good books was never a problem. Two of the first books that I read compulsively were David Copperfield and Le Petit Prince. I loved David Copperfield so much that the second I finished it for the first time, I started reading it. And I kept re-reading it for months. My uncle had a gorgeous bilingual copy of Le Petit Prince, so I used to sneak into his room and borrow it everytime I was visiting, without him knowing of course . I admit that at first I was drawn to the pictures but once I read it, for the first time, I couldn't get enough off it.

I must have read all the books from that early library at least two or three times, some of them more than ten times. Oscar Wilde, Edgar Allan Poe, Cervantes, Lope de Vega, Shakespeare, Dante Alighieri, Boccaccio (the first naughty book I read, hee), Dumas, Mark Twain. Once I got to the Russians that was it for me, Gogol, Dostoevsky and Tolstoi (in that order) were my obsessions.

One of the books that still fascinates me is Ernesto Sabato's 'Sobre Héroes y Tumbas' (On Heroes and Tombs). I've read it so many times, I've lost count, and even so, I still find something new everytime I re-read it. That's what makes good literature. And now I'll shut up because I have two deadlines to meet today.


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Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:31
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A great book is a much-loved friend Dec 4, 2007

I couldn't count how many times I've read my all-time favourite, Watership Down by Richard Adams. I probably re-read it every couple of years (I must be overdue by now, in fact). I've also re-read my second favourites - A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving and Forever Amber by Kathleen Winsor - a fair few times. Then there are the easy-reading comfort books for times of stress and illness (Dick Francis and Maeve Binchey feature high on this list) and a vast number of others which I re-read just because I feel like them or (occasionally) read them so quickly the first time that I've forgotten what they're about.

Edit: I'm feeling rather low-brow after reading Claudia's list! I do read lots of more serious literature (and non-fiction) too, honest...

[Edited at 2007-12-04 14:31]


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Lany Chabot-Laroche  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 11:31
Member (2009)
English to French
Le Petit Prince Dec 4, 2007

I'm with you Claudia, Le Petit Prince is one of my favorites.

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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
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Solzhenitsyn Dec 4, 2007

I must have read Cancer Ward at least 20 times, and also August 14 in the original English edition. Huckleberry Finn must have crossed the 7-times barrier too.

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Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
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English to Arabic
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My teenage years... Dec 4, 2007

... were spent reading and re-reading Catcher in the Rye. I had to tear myself away from it before morphing into a female Holden Caulfield.

Nowadays I'm just glad if I can get through any book the first time round! I can't imagine myself having the time to re-read anything!


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Noni Gilbert
Spain
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Spanish to English
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3-5 times, but will rise Dec 4, 2007

...since I observe that it takes me about ten years to forget the plot entirely of my favourite detective stories, leaving me free to enjoy them again almost as new!

All the other comments about not having time to read (two small 'uns), tendency to fall asleep at sight of printed page, old age/deteriorating vision etc....please take them as read!


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Nicholas Ferreira  Identity Verified
Canada
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A favourite book is like a good friend Dec 4, 2007

My all-time favourites were the Lord of the Rings series, and when I was younger, To Catch a Mockingbird.

Other than that I am always reading, and I never go anywhere in the car without putting on an audio book. As I am about to start a new job with a commute, I look forward to the hours I will have each week to enjoy my favourite audio books.


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Nicholas Ferreira  Identity Verified
Canada
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The test of time, novelty vs. permanence Dec 4, 2007

Claudia Alvis wrote:

I love reading, but nothing beats re-reading a good book, not even reading it for the first time. Once the novelty of the plot wears off, the essence of the book remains, and with it, all those elements that make a book good, bad or mediocre literature. Some books pass the test, some don't. I read the Harry Potter series because I wanted to know what was going to happen. Now that I know, I won't be reading them ever again.




You bring up a very good point there, Claudia. I never noticed that same fact when I was reading the Harry Potter series. You state that very well.


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Tomás Cano Binder, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
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El hombre que compró un automóvil Dec 4, 2007

I just wanted to tell you which book I have read about 15 times all since I was a teenager (at least), and always with lots of enjoyment for many reasons: "El hombre que compró un automóvil", by Wenceslao Fernández Florez. A must for speakers of Spanish!

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Tomás Cano Binder, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:31
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English to Spanish
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Always in the 15% option! Dec 4, 2007

I see that in these polls, I mostly end up in the category receiving about 15% of the votes. It would be great to meet those 150 people who always vote the same as me!!!

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Claudia Alvis  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 10:31
Partial member
Spanish
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El hombre que compró un automóvil Dec 4, 2007

Tomás Cano Binder wrote:

I just wanted to tell you which book I have read about 15 times all since I was a teenager (at least), and always with lots of enjoyment for many reasons: "El hombre que compró un automóvil", by Wenceslao Fernández Florez. A must for speakers of Spanish!


I'd never heard of that book, but it has such a Kafkian title that now I'm intrigued.


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xxxtazdog
Spain
Local time: 17:31
Spanish to English
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more than 7 Dec 4, 2007

I really haven't counted the number of times I've read the Lymond Chronicles by Dorothy Dunnett ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lymond_Chronicles ), but since I first read them in the late 1970s and have re-read them every few years since, I figure it has to be more than seven. Each time, I am amazed all over again by the staggering amount of research that must've gone into them. Simply fantastic!

Another one I know I've read more than seven times is "Belles on Their Toes", by Gilbreth and Carey, a funny book that I still enjoy and read again every so often.


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Wil Hardman  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:31
Spanish to English
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A truly great book should always be able to be re-read. Dec 4, 2007

As a lad I must have read Fantastic Mr Fox and Georges Marvelous medicine by Roald Dahl in excess of twenty times each.

However my favourite book of all time is 1984. I read this in my early teens and really liked it and then again in my early twenties and liked it even more, as I had a better knowledge of politics and also Orwell's life.

I tried to read some Juan Goytisolo a few years ago. He writes for the intellectual elite rather than the masses and expects people to re-read his books in order to properly understand them.


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Marcelo Silveyra
United States
Local time: 08:31
Member (2007)
German to English
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Only twice Dec 4, 2007

I read Faust again when my German was finally good enough to understand the whole thing in the original language. Other than that, I rarely do it because there are always more books that I want to read, not to mention that there are certain works that are prohibitively long for this practice. (Reading Saint Thomas Aquinas' whole Summa Theologica again? Not on your life!)

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