Books

Reading: The Great Gatsby (again!)



I’ve been alternating one new-ish title with a classic this summer, and this week I’m re-reading The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

I see things so differently as an older adult. It’s wild to re-read something that affected me in one way in my late teens and early twenties, and another in my late 30s.

Do you re-read books?

39 Comments

  • I read the Great Gatsby in college (not for a class, even!) and really loved it. I remember being kind of miffed with one of my friends who described it as a book about people drinking in one place, and then going somewhere else and drinking some more without anything actually happening. Now you’re tempting me to reread it in my 30s to see if I still like it as much now as I did then.

  • Gatsby is totally on my list to re-read this summer–especially since the Luhrmann film is coming out this winter! I often re-read Love in the Time of Cholera–my all-time favorite book. I re-read Catcher in the Rye a few summers ago and it was interesting to remember my first reaction upon reading in 9th grade and now in my 30s.

  • I don’t think I have… with the availability of the classics on e-readers I have considered it though. The Great Gatsby is probably a good place to start since I remember really enjoying it when I read it for school.

  • ACK! You dog ear your book pages. I am in actual physical pain just looking at a photo of the poor thing.

    Gatsy is definitely worth re-reading. I listened to it on CD a few years ago and really enjoyed it.

  • I re-read books often. The better I know the characters, the more interesting the books become! And then they become a sort of comfort read – different books for different moods, when I can’t find something new that interests me.

  • i don’t re read books just like i don’t watch movies again. idk i’m weird. anyway, you know there’s going to be a movie of the great gatsby starring leonardo dicaprio ? have a great weekend!

  • I wasn’t a fan of Gatsby in high school, but when I taught it years later as a high school teacher, I fell completely in love. So much comfort and fondness comes from knowing a book so well. I’m counting down the days until my dream of Leo playing Gatsby comes true.

  • gatsby changed my life! it was the first book i read (at 14) that made me crave more than a good story. i fell in love with the language of fitzgerald and then pursued about 10 years of only reading classics. it turned me into a total snob about popular best-sellers that weren’t well-written.

    the best re-read ever was when i read to kill a mockingbird last summer to my 10 and 12 year-old daughters. i l enjoyed that book in high school but it is so much about being a child that they totally loved it. every chapter was a fantastic and often self-contained gem, and so much more than just the core story line. my 10 year old is quite mature, so i knew she could handle the tougher themes of the book.

  • Snap! I just finished re-reading it last week. Loved it more this time actually and very much looking forward to the movie later in the year.

  • I don’t read “The Great Gatsby” yet but I have doing that – in this summer;) I waiting for new version movie (with Mulligan&DiCaprio)
    I re-read books often. especially three – “breakfast at Tiffany’ego”, “the Felony and the penalty” and “Pianist”
    The better I know the characters, the more interesting the books become.I always find something new

  • My favorite book is “A Tree Grows In Brooklyn” and I try to re-read it every summer (while my husband re-reads Gatsby, his favorite). I notice something new in the book each time as well as returning to the characters I love so much!

  • There are only a few books that I love re-reading — “The Red Tent” is an absolutely favourite. I have re-read a few that I had to read in high school, and have enjoyed them a lot more…one of hem being “To Kill a Mockingbird”. I was supposed to read “The Great Gatsby” for a university class and never did — who actually reads every single book assigned to them? — but perhaps I should think about sitting down with it.

  • A Moveable Feast by Hemingway. When I read it the first time, I was dreaming of living in Paris. Now that I live here, to walk the same streets and sit in the same cafés to do similar writing, having this book by my side is like having a good friend along.

  • I remember loving the words of Fitzgerald!
    You have inspired me to get a hold of a copy of The Great Gatsby to get lost in again ; )
    Also thanks to the comments – forgot there was going to be a movie – even more reason to do a re read!

  • There are only a few books that I’ve read more than once so far. There are so many new books to read and so many classics that I still need to read! I definitely want to re-read Gatsby if I’m going to see the movie. Also, I laughed at Barbara’s comment about dog-eared pages. She (and many others) would hate to see all the writing that I do in the margins of my books! But my thoughts about the book are almost as exciting to re-read as the books themselves!

  • Rereading favourites is a wonderful thing. You get so much out of a book after a few years away from it. I loved The Great Gatsby and cringe at the thought of DiCaprio wearing his shoes but to dream amongst the pages is lovely….

  • I read Great Gatsby in Nice (seemed fitting) but only once – perhaps I will have to dust it off. I’ve read Gone with the Wind a handful of times, and Wuthering Heights… James Herriott’s series… surely others but they don’t come to the top of my head right now.

  • I certainly do. I like to re-read things and also re-watch movies. Your perception definitely changes the older you get. You learn more about life too which enables you to read between the lines & see more than you did the first time.

    ~ Clare x

  • I had to read The Great Gatsby for lit class this year. It was my first time reading it. I would say I was underwhelmed (this is likely due to years of hearing it was a masterpiece and therefore my unfairly expecting much more…something from it). I did not revile Gatsby as many of my classmates did, but I can’t say I found him entirely heroic either.

    I do re-read books. There is one that I am a little afraid to read again though I list it among my favorite books, A.J. Cronin’s A Thing of Beauty. I read it in my late teens/early twenties and rather identified with the superbly struggling artist (main character). I don’t want to be disillusioned/disgusted, as is sometimes the case when we revisit our young ‘loves’. I haven’t yet worked up the courage to find out if I have vastly changed while the book that I adored has stayed the same. Maybe one day…

  • The Great Gatsby is our book group selection this month. I’m anxious to see how how it effects me this time around. Re-reads used to be my go-to for the beach in the summer. Now I tend to re-read parenting books, Born to Run for running inspiration, or how-to guides for the garden, chickens etc. Maybe someday I’ll get back to the “fun” ones again!

  • There are several titles I return to: The Great Gatsby, To Kill A Mockingbird, The Poisonwood Bible, Fall On Your Knees, and Ahab’s Wife. These books always engage and transport me, and my appreciation for them deepens with each reading.

  • Yes! I reread books all the time. I just finished rereading the Harry Potter series, but this time I “read” them via audio books I borrowed from the public library. It’s interesting to hear the accent on certain words or the inflection the reader uses, which may have been different than what you had in your head the first time you read the words. Plus, I can crochet or knit while I am listening.

  • YES! I totally re-read books! Although I’m ashamed to admit that I harbor a childish fancy for re-reading my favorite childhood classics. Like L.M. Montgomery. :)

    But I need to read The Great Gabsy soon. It’s on my to-do list!

  • That’s the good part about getting older — you read those books so long ago that you can’t remember the ending. Besides, the ending is only part of the story, I just started “To Kill a Mockingbird” after the some 60 years and it’s amazing. I had forgotten that it had humor along with the strength of the characters and story.

  • I re-read classics all the time. And especially Gatsby. I fell in love with it first time I read it. I’m now currently re-reading it and am smitten all over again! The prose is a complete joy – it’s so poetic and suave. The first time I read it, it was in one sitting. Now, I read it a small piece at a time to savour every phrase, every description, every nuance – for it’s so beautifully and wonderfully written. I definitely appreciate it more this time around. It’s a timeless story, which can be read many times. A true classic!

  • I just re-read The Great Gatsby as well and was thinking the same thing–how my life’s filters have interpreted and appreciated this book differently–having first read it in H.S., then again in my twenties and now in my late 30’s. It will be interesting to see the latest film interpretation!

  • I do reread books i love. Mostly my favourite short story by Amy Bloom called ‘love is not a pie honey’ which i find myself reading every Summer, the description of their upbringing so wild and free at times and becoming more poignant as my own children grow up.

    I find it interesting that some people think that marking or folding a page is defacing a book. I have been a teacher and studied literature at university and yet i have always had the overwhelming feeling that a book owned by me could be loved and adored and read to death in any way the owner chooses. I think it gives the book itself a history far outweighing the history of the story itself. I would be so interested (NOT in a controversial way) to find out how or where they learnt that folding a page was defacement, if of course it is your own copy? I wonder if it is because they are neat and tidy people in other areas of life who do not like the ‘mess’ of it or if someone has told them that growing up. How different our life experiences are that create such opposing views just purely fascinates me. Maybe i should have studied human behaviour instead?!

  • It is kind of uncanny that I have just finished reading The Sense of an Ending and started The Great Gatsby. I keep re-reading The Waves from Woolf, and it just gets better every time. Other books do not find me anymore. I have a sweet memory of them but I am not sure that I would feel the same way about them if I read them again. We tend to revisit poems and paintings more often, I guess.

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