Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Old Favourites

The librarians tremble when they see my family coming through the door. We haul in our bags, bursting with borrowed books, dump them down the chute, then make for the bookshelves, where we’ll strip the shelves.

The problem with borrowing so many books though, is that after a while, you run out of unread books. The library seems to take forever to get new books in. Sometimes I struggle to find books I haven’t read, books I might like to read.

Last library trip however, was a bit different. There was the usual selection of books, the usual empty bag, waiting to be filled, the usual lack of unread, interesting books. But this time, I saw a shelf of old favourites. The Billabong books by Mary Grant Bruce.

That got me thinking. How long had it been since I’d last read her series? I could hardly remember the plots now. Well, maybe it was time to reread them. I took the whole lot.

It was the same when I located Brian Jacques’ Redwall books. Pleasant memories of talking animals, big badgers, fast hares, brave mice, flooded back. I hadn’t read these books in ages either. A couple of them quickly found their way into my bag.

Later, at home once more, I opened a Billabong book and was instantly transported back in time, back to cattle drovers, horse riding, and camping. Sucked into that world, I worked my way through six of those books in a couple of days. How could I have forgotten to read these books?

With the Redwall books, my only sorrow was that I hadn’t borrowed more. Why on earth didn’t I reread books like these more often? Why hadn’t I borrowed more than two? Now I’d have to wait until next library trip to get some more.

Suddenly I’ve remembered how good these books are. Now I’m thinking, wondering what other books are lying around, read once, and then forgotten. I’m sure if I look hard enough, I’d find more books I’d loved once, more old favourites abandoned for newer, fresher books.

I’ll always be looking for new books to read, new books to become my favourites. But I won’t be forgetting my old favourites in a hurry. I wonder, which ones will I reread next?

Have you reread any old favourites recently?


  1. Aye. I'm working through The Lord of the Rings for the 5th time. And my sister MAS is reading Redwall books again for what feels like the millionth time. ( At one time, I owned the whole Redwall set,and before that read each of them six times, which must be why I haven't really picked them up in years... Now I'm working back to a complete set.) EUlalia!

  2. JT, that's a reminder that I haven't read 'The Lord of the Rings' in ages. Probably it's time for another marathon of that.

    We only own two of the 'Redwall' books unfortunately. I haven't even read the whole series. I just discovered two or three I'd never even heard of.

    Have you ever read the Silmirillian (or some spelling like that?) I've never dared to try it because everyone says it's long and complex.

  3. Like JT, I've been reading The Lord of the Rings again. I keep forgetting how truly beautiful it is!

    And I'm adding new favorites, as well... Ivanhoe, Nicholas Nickleby, and Gulliver's Travels.

    God bless!

  4. Yes, I've read the Silmarillion before to, and it IS long and complex. It may be confusing in part because it was finished posthumously from randomized pieces of MS, so it's not as concise as LOTR.

  5. Yay! Another Redwall fan! I seem to run into a new one every day. Yes, JT is exaggerating, I have only read SOME of them, such as Taggarung and Triss, a million times. Now I'm rereading The Rogue Crew. (And it's only the second time, thank you very much.)Which of the books are your favorite? I obviously like Triss and Taggarung, but overall, our favorites are Redwall and The Rogue Crew.

  6. Clare, I just finished watching all the Lord of the Rings movies again. How do I ever forget how good both the movies and the books are? The books are definitely back on my to-read list.

  7. JT, I have been told it's more like the history of The Lord of the Rings. Is it more of a history, or a collection of stories about other characters?

    Someone I know was reading the Silmarillion, and they read it with three bookmarks so they could keep track of all the important information.

  8. MAS, I haven't read all the Redwall books yet. We only own two, The Legend of Luke, and Redwall. But I have to agree, I think Triss is my favourite of all the books I've read. At one point I kept reborrowing so I could read it 'one more time'.

    I really need to go find the rest of the books and catch up.

  9. I went on a Redwall re-reading binge a year or two ago. Started with the first one (I own about seven of them) and ran my way through as many as I could get my hands on. The food descriptions always make me hungry. :)

    The year before that it was the Oz books. It became a game, trying to find them at the different libraries so I could read them in order. Took me a year, but it was so worth it. I love those books.