They (whomever they are) often say that repetition is the key to success; something that will illicit from me a silent moan of, ‘what, I have to do this more than once?’ – Lazy creature that I am.
I rarely, if ever, re-read a book. In fact, I haven’t re-read a book since the Harry Potter series, when re-reading was necessary to re-acquainted myself with the series before the next installment was published and I over excited myself into a magic-based coma. I finish a book wanting to leap into the next world, to learn something different – not wanting to retread the roads of a previously visited reality. Yet, when it comes to films or music, I set everything to repeat.
Predominantly, I have terrible taste in films; there are some intellectual films that I have enjoyed, but for the most part I have found films are things I shouldn’t have to think about, so I don’t. I go to books for intellect and visual mediums for wondrous sense abuse. To demonstrate how worrisome my need for repetition with visuals and sound is, I shall give you the following, non-accurate stat: I have watched BBC’s Pride and Prejudice adaptation around 200 times since it was first broadcast. 200! I don’t hear you cry, because this is not a sound based medium – yes, 200! Also, I have probably watched The Holiday, Spirited Away, 27 Dresses, My Fair Lady, Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Hangover, Die Hard 3, Sleepless in Seattle, Star Trek (2009) and Meet Me in St Louis more times that is healthy.
Often, I am concerned that if I re-read a book I loved as a teenager, a young adult or even two years ago, I won’t experience the same positive connection I had before. I am certain that The Alchemist, which I read at such a pivotal point in my life, would come across as flowery drivel if I dared pick it up again; my cynicism having developed in such a way that I may have moved beyond its worldly advice. Books can and have been as important to my growth as a person as real life events, and to possibly disturb the memory of the most significant leaves me feeling ill at ease.
Is repetition healthy? Should I be re-reading more books and re-watching fewer films?