Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Do you reread books?

I force myself to. With so many great books as yet unread, I'm often reluctant to "waste time" on books I already know. But invariably when I reread a book I find I get so much more out of it that I'm very glad I did.

So I've made a rule of thumb:

Every third book I read should be one that I've previously read.

I don't always stick to this, but I try to maintain on average the 2:1 ratio of new readings to repeat readings.

Ideally one should reread great books every ten years, I think. They take on different and deeper meanings in every decade of one's life. It may be one of the hallmarks of a great work. And ten years is just about the right interval I find for a memorable book to really settle in my mind and then appear fresh upon a new reading.

But, really, no one—with a life—has time for that amount of reading. Still, one tries one's best to make new literary acquaintances while deepening one's appreciation of old friends.

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