Re-Reading The Book Thief

Some more thoughts…   The Book Thief by Mark Zusak, Alfred A Knopf New York 2007 (imprint of Random House Children’s Books).  Originally published in Australia 2005 by Picador, an imprint of Pan Macmillan Pty Ltd, Sydney; 550 pages.

Since this is a re-read and not even one that I had picked for the Re-Reading / Flashback Challenge but one that I picked up again because my IRL bookclub chose it for this month’s selection, and now having rambled into some kind of extensive sentence of which I cannot seem to grasp a good way to wrap up, may I point you to my original review  thoughts post on the first time I read this awesome book?      From eleven months ago…

I STILL love this book.

I have not been the kind of person that re-reads books.    This was partly due to my being much more motivated to read new-to-me books — all those classics that I’ve always thought I *should* read or hot new titles that beckon with pushy enthusiasm.    I never read for “comfort.”     I hate to know what is going to happen.

But then I re-read The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. I had always adored my first-read experience with CS Lewis’  The Chronicles of Narnia and  I wanted it fresh in my mind when the movie came out.

I was so disappointed.   I can’t remember what exactly I was disappointed by but do know that it had lost its magic.   I was then shattered and so sad.   I felt that I had RUINED my memory of the joy of discovering the world of Narnia.      I vowed never to re-read a book again.

Until I decided that such a stance was silly.

And along came this year’s re-read challenge and I thought I would try the concept again.

AND…   The Book Thief. I still think it is full of awesomeness.     And I bawled my eyes out.

[from early in the book, page 80:]

She was the book thief without the words.

Trust me, though, the words were on their way, and when they arrived, Liesel would hold them in her hands like the clouds, and she would wring them out like the rain.

[updated about five minutes after posting this post to add that I’m just now reading Zusak’s thoughts at the end of the book and I’m crying again!]


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27 thoughts on “Re-Reading The Book Thief

  1. I’m one of those people that loves re-reading. I haven’t done it as much since joining the book blogging world, but I still need a quick fix of an old favorite from time to time.

    1. Maybe I’ll get there. I very much enjoyed re-reading Mrs. Dalloway even more than the first time and look forward to Wind,Sand and Stars – one of those BYOOOOTIFUL reads. I recommend it if you havent’ yet experienced this incredible memoir.

    1. To tell you the truth, I wasn’t sure I *WOULD* re-read it when the choice was made for book club. But then I realized that I couldn’t recall how it ended. (uh oh) and so I thought I would just read that last 50 pages or so. But then I opened to the first page and away I flew.

  2. I used to re-read all the time as a kid (I guess books weren’t as easily available to me back then); but as an adult not so much. I loved “The Book Thief” and I know I would definitely want to re-read it again in the future — glad to know it holds up well for a re-read — at least for you.

    1. I don’t think it ever occurred to me to re-read a book as a kid. Perhaps the regular use of the library gave me lots of options? I don’t remember being a book-hoarder as a kid, either.

  3. I have that fear that the same thing will happen to me with childhood favorites that happened to you with The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. I would hate to risk losing my love for something I’ve loved that long. But still…

  4. The first time I read The Book Thief, I thought it was one of those emotionally wrenching reads where you know you’ve read a good book, but it’s too painful and sad for you to ever reread it. But then one day I realized I was dying to read it again, and it was just as amazing the second time. I do cry like a baby every time I read it.

  5. I have yet to read this book and I’m looking forward to it even more after reading about your continuing love of the book.

    I am one of those people who loves rereading for comfort. But I think rereading books you loved as a child can be very tricky.

  6. I’m glad to know you still love this book! My eyes hovered over it this morning when I was choosing a new book to read, but I still passed it by. Maybe next time I won’t.

  7. I plan to re-read this once I buy myself a copy. It’s one of my all-time favorites and I can’t go much longer without owning a copy! Actually, I think this is one book that would be richer, more meaningful with a second (or third) read.

  8. I love it when I enjoy a book just as much or even more during re-reads! This is one book I haven’t read but I’m looking forward to it!

  9. I only liked this book, but there were a couple of lines/images that I loved. One of them was: “She did not produce it easily, but when it came, she had a starving smile.”

  10. So glad you enjoyed this one as much the second go ’round! I absolutely loved The Book Thief; easily one of my favorite books ever. So compelling, emotional, fantastic. I think about it often.

    I don’t usually re-read books, either, for the reason you mention: coming back to them, I find I’ve changed. I can’t read the same book twice. What drew me to it in the first place isn’t always enough to sustain me again, and that disappoints me… and makes me question why I liked it so much in the first place! I’ve only re-read one book and not been disappointed: The Great Gatsby. And that’s such a classic, I’m not sure if it counts!

  11. I was so so on this book-I liked the story-I did not like the author-she annoyed me-especially in the end when she became aware of his actions.

    My re-reads are The Great Gatsby, Old Man By the Sea, Charlotte’s Web and Gone with the Wind.

    Of course there are others-that I forget until I am so engrossed in the story that I have read before-I picked up a book yesterday at the library and was staring at it-trying to remember if I had read it before.

  12. Pingback: End of Year Thoughts on 2010 Reading « Care's Online Book Club

  13. I LOVED this book and the writing was so wonderful. It was funny because many of my book club did not like it as much as I did. My favorite part is the story about the Word Shakers (the illustrated story in the book) and that is why my online book group is called Word Shakers. Seriously – if I had not already had a blog – I would have named it that. 🙂

    1. Thanks for the comment Sheila! since I shamelessly put you up to it! LOVE Word Shakers. Most of my book club seemed to like this book, if I remember. I don’t recall any critics, anyway.

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