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Books in retrospect

CuddleBuggery: Books in retrospect

This page has moved to a new address.

Books in retrospect

CuddleBuggery: Books in retrospect

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Books in retrospect

I've been thinking about some books that I've read and, you know what?  Some of them aren't that great in retrospect.  I think I was more fond of them just after I read them than I am remembering them.

For example, how much did I really like the Chicagoland Vampire series?  I tried to reread them the other day and found it a truly painful experience.

Was I a little too enthusiastic starring some reviews.  Which is weird because I'm generally more conservative with stars than many GoodReaders.

Was Hallowed really a four star read for me?  Especially when, in the light of day it feels like 3.5 at most when I think about it not even a day later.  Especially since I rater Everneath four stars, I book I ultimately felt was far superior.

I wonder why that is?  Are books like wine?  Do the truly great ones age well and do the bad ones kind of sour with time and experience?  If you take them out a while later and swill them around in your mind, will they still taste the same?  Will they still touch you the same, or if not, maybe in a better way?

Maybe I'll make a list of books that I still love six months after reading them, but I think those books already exist on my Christmas list!



Blogger Lexie said...

I think those ones that you can reread and still find just as amazing, if not more, are your real favorites. I've reread the Harry Potter series literally more times than I can count, and each time I pick up something new that I hadn't caught before. But then I'll read something that I first read a few years ago and liked/loved, and I just have to wonder how the hell I ever liked it. Of course, with me, that might be more a case of maturity than anything, because as you grow older your taste in books is going to change, and the ones that still remain favorites are the timeless ones.
But for adults, I think it's that when you first finish a book, you're still under its spell, so to speak. It's like when you first finish writing a book--you think your writing is the shit, which is why you need to step back for a few weeks before you do hardcore editing. When you look back on the book with a logical mind, you realize it wasn't quite as great as it seemed. And, as you mentioned with Everneath, sometimes you compare it with another book that you rated similarly and realize that you liked the one a whole lot better than the other.
So. Yeah. I think the comparison to wine is a very apt one; it's the great ones that only get better and the bad ones that only get worse.

November 6, 2011 at 3:41 PM  
Blogger Kat Kennedy said...

Yeah, I completely agree.

There are a few books that I gave five stars that I would never, ever read again. They made me think and they challenged me but they were also hard to read. Those are different to ones that I reread later and realize they just weren't as good.

Also, I agree on getting caught up in the spell!

November 6, 2011 at 5:18 PM  
Blogger Phoebe North said...

Ha, I actually suffer from the opposite problem. I tend to approach books for review very analytically, and often I remember them fonder in retrospect than immediately after reviewing. Pam Sargent's Earthseed books are an example of this. I spent a lot of time in my reviews of the first two discussing why they were flawed. And yet I find myself recommending them over and over again because I liked them so much.

November 7, 2011 at 10:52 AM  
Blogger Kat Kennedy said...

Well, Phoebe, not everyone can be a kind, gentle reviewer like me! ;)

November 7, 2011 at 1:29 PM  
Blogger Phoebe North said...

Yes, because you're a fluffy cuddlebug. ;)

November 7, 2011 at 2:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Unearthly may be like that for me. I rated it four stars, but as I think back (thanks to all of the reviews of Hallowed), I keep remembering all these annoying little problems that I had with it, and I'm tempted to knock it down to 3.5 stars. On the other hand, I've also wanted to add half a star to some of the books I've hated. The only major star drops I've had are the books I've reread from my teen/preteen days. Most of those did not hold up over time.

November 7, 2011 at 2:52 PM  
Blogger Kat Kennedy said...

I completely agree, withckitten! The teenager books are always a bit iffy if you want to revisit them.

November 7, 2011 at 3:39 PM  

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