Betsy Bird’s 100 Best MG novels countdown has been mentioned here a couple of times. #1 revealed today.

While reading through the comments I noticed one person said the #1 book was one she rereads, adding, “I rarely reread any book.” Oddly, this was the third time in about as many days that I’ve run across such a comment about rereading.

I reread a lot. A LOT. This is a carryover no doubt from my youth when I spent more time rereading than reading new books. As a result, I was poorly read by the time I went to college. (Cathleen Schine has a lovely essay on her very similar youthful reading habits in the NY Times.)

Rereading is my best medicine for getting out of the writing doldrums. I may not finish an entire book, but I’ll reread enough to absorb the writing and once again fill up my head with language I love and admire. And sometimes I do finish the book and go on to another favorite by that author, immersing myself in his or her voice.

Story hardly matters when I reread. A return visit is all about “the how” of it. Marveling at an opening and the immediacy of mood, admiring the deft passing of time, savoring a word.
Of course I read new (to me) books, lots of them. I’m always thrilled to find a new book and writer I love; even so, it’s rereading that fuels the writing fire.

Currently Rereading: The Truth of the Matter, by Robb Forman Dew. Anyone else rereading something?