Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Turning the same old pages
What makes a book re-readable? Why are there some books that you can't even get through once and others that you can pick up every few years or so and enjoy every time?

Last night in one of my middle-of-the-night rambles I picked up Dorothy L. Sayers's classic "Have His Carcase," which I've probably read 6 or 7 times -- and started right in. And I'm enjoying it just as much as I always have. Even though it's a mystery and I am completely aware of whodunnit, I'm loving the characters (I'm a sucker for Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane), the setting (a 1930's seaside resort), the crime (body found on a beach) and the wonderful prose. It's incredible how the old familiar favorites can still deliver.

Most of the time I read a book and once is more than enough. But then there are those rare gifts that you can enjoy time and again. Jane Austin. Ms. Sayers. Agatha Christie. Ngaio Marsh. (I know, I'm heavy on the mysteries.) Authors who can get you through even the longest nights (or longest flights) with comfort and joy. Thank heavens for old favorites!

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