I don't buy books. That's the reason I don't have a Kindle; if I can't check books out of the library, what's the point? I don't want to be confined to reading books that I'm sure I'm going to like. Also, I'm cheap. It causes me guilt, since I'm part of the demise of publishing, but there it is.
So I only buy about five books a year, and they're almost always books that I've read before. With the very occasional exception, the rule is this: if I read a book--from the library or borrowed from a friend--and enjoyed it, and then find myself, weeks or months later, thinking about it, wanting to read it again, wanting to lend it to people, that's when I buy it.
I wish I had more time to reread. But just knowing it's on the shelf and I can pick it up when I want to is a pretty big deal.
Lately, there are a couple of books I've been thinking about. One was Chalice, by Robin McKinley. I really can't say that there's anything about it that stands out--in a lot of ways, it's a pretty standard fantasy novel. But it captured a mood, a quietness, that really drew me in. The world-building is really excellent. There are some details of the backstory that are left mysterious, which works really nicely. Plus there's beekeeping, which I rather liked as well.
Besides rereading, I like to lend out books. That's why I think I might have to buy Fool, by Christopher Moore. It's such a clever book--in plot, in language, even in pacing--that I can't be sure that it'll be as great to reread as it was the first time. But I do know that I'm going to shove it into the hands of almost everyone (Kris, I'm looking at you), and that the only way to do that is to own a copy.
And then there's The Family Man, by Elinor Lipman. I'm sure I've said this before, but Linden and I used to say that it was too bad that, when you come to love the characters in the books you're reading, you always have to read about the trials and tribulations they go through, and that you can't just read about good times. Sometimes people write books like that, and they're mostly bad. But this one--The Family Man is about a staid life getting shaken up, but not in an upsetting-but-ultimately-for-the-best way. Really, it's just all kind of startling, funny adventures.
How, though, am I ever going to get a chance to reread one of these books? I have no idea.
Hey, I know! A contest. Readers ahoy: leave a comment on this post. In a week (because I'm a slow poster and I assume I have slow readers), I'll pick a random number and that commenter will get the book of their choice, of the three listed above. I don't promise it will be brand new, but it will be in excellent condition. People I'm married to are excluded from the contest, even if they comment. First time readers welcome, so feel free to (ahem) tell your friends. One comment per poster, please!
It won't help me reread them, but it will spread the joy. And here at LibraryHungry, we're all about spreading the joy.