I came across an article by Rob Doyle (whose debut novel I really liked and reviewed on the blog) on the subject of finding your voice as a writer; Doyle recommends rereading and studying your favourite books.
‘Read the book again; study its moves. Watch very carefully how it pulls it off, how it works the trick, how it gets away with it. Reread the whole book, if you feel like it, or just reread the passages you want to crack. Go into it like a detective, or a code-breaker, or a forensic pathologist, or a bomb-disposal expert: what makes it tick, what is the circuitry, how does it flow?‘
It’s a great article and great advice. Although I’m only halfway through my Ten Favourite Books project, I’m already re-inspired by my favourites. When I am asked for books to recommend, I would reel off many on the list, but to reread them has given me a newfound appreciation of exactly why they’re on my list in the first place.
Do you reread? Do you have perennial favourites, as a reader or a writer, that you revisit? I would love to hear what they are and why you’re a fan.