Thursday, August 25, 2016

Take Me to Your Roomba

by Alan

Summer's almost done! Share a favorite book from your summer reading. And do you seek out different books depending on the season?

To me, summertime is ideal for re-reading. A relaxed time when you can pick up an old favorite and leisurely revisit some favorite characters or return to a cherished place, in time or space.

When I was in my mid-twenties, I tried to reread THE HOBBIT and the LOTR trilogy every summer. (I think I actually managed to devour the whole thing once or twice!) Yes, I still skimmed the overlong descriptions and the passages of poetry (who am I kidding? I skipped the poetry altogether), but I followed Bilbo and Frodo on their adventures. (Talking trees? ENTirely plausible!)

godwulfmanuscriptWhen I got older, I would, during certain summers, set a goal of rereading an entire series, right from the start, in order. Usually, I’d only get a few books in before getting sidetracked by something else (I mean, do you have any idea how many NEW books there are? Just waiting to be read?). I can’t even count how many times I read Robert B. Parker’s first Spenser book, THE GODWULF MANUSCRIPT. The fifth book? Not so many.

Of course, re-reading isn’t all sparkly unicorns and freshly-baked chocolate chip muffins. Read this post for a sordid tale.

Don’t be misled; for me, summers weren’t exclusively for re-reading. As a teenager, summertime meant more time to read. No school, no homework, and there was only so much time I could spend outside running around. I read mostly science fiction back then, so I associate summertime reading with space operas and alien invasions and robots becoming sentient and taking over the world (I’m telling you, watch out for the Roomba Revolt!).

What books make you think of summer?


Paul D. Marks said...

Love your idea of using summer to re-read things, Alan. But also, like you say, there's so many new books all the time. The TBR pile just keeps does the To Be Read Again pile.

Art Taylor said...

I never read LOTR through the first time. Halfway through the Two Towers, and I was done. (Coincidentally, one of my college roommates did the same thing.)

....though I'll admit my favorite part of the post was maybe seeing how you emphasized the first syllable in entirely!

Unknown said...

Roombas won't take over the world; they get stuck in nooks too easily. Or have they progressed since I last saw one at work? Thank you for this post on reading and rereading. Also I liked the irresistible hook into your previous post - very effective! :)

RJ Harlick said...

I will admit I have reread LOTR, all volumes, at least twice. Like you, Alan I love re-reading books I particularly enjoyed, though not necessarily in the summer.

Alan Orloff said...

Paul - Maybe we should look into speed reading classes?

Art - I try to be ENTertaining.

RM - I think that if a Roomba was running for president, it would garner a not insignificant portion of the vote.

RJ - Yes, but did you skip the poetry, like me? It makes the reading go a bit faster!

Gerald So said...

Hi, Alan.

I'm a Parker fan, too. What is it about The Godwulf Manuscript that keeps you coming back? I tend to think Spenser was a lot like Philip Marlowe in that first book and began to set himself apart with the second book. Incidentally, I first read Spenser three-books-a-week during the summer of '93.

Alan Orloff said...

Well, Gerald, for me, I kept re-reading it because it was first (and I intended to re-read the whole series!). But you're right; the first book has a slightly different tone than the rest. And if I'm not mistaken, Hawk doesn't appear in it. I started reading Spenser in the mid 80s. I like what Ace Atkins has done with it, too!

Gerald So said...

It does stand out to me as the introduction to Spenser and one of the few books where Susan Silverman and Hawk don't appear. It's funny that much is made of Spenser's self-reliance, yet after Godwulf, he almost always has the support of friends, busting the loner P.I. stereotype.