On Why We Keep An Okay Harlequin Presents from 1986 Handy

February 28th, 2005 · 5 Comments
by Booksquare

Not that I don’t reread books. I’m sure all serious readers do, and for a variety of reasons: the pleasure of recognition, to see how the book has changed over the years (for they do, you know: they grow new limbs up there on the shelf), revisiting an oasis (sometimes it turns out to be a mirage) of order, because it’s near our chair and we’re too lazy to get up and fetch another.

File Under: Quote of the Week

5 responses so far ↓

  • The Vintage Reader // Feb 28, 2005 at 8:37 pm

    Hmm. I reread Faith Baldwin’s The Incredible Year and White Collar Girl every year or so. And I remember that in the first post I ever read here you mentioned Judith Arnold’s Barefoot in the Grass, which I read over and over for years until it was lost in a move.

    From where I’m sitting now I can see others that never make it up to cold storage in the attic:

    • Six Anne McCaffrey books
    • Peter S. Beagle’s Folk of the Air
    • Marjorie Morningstar
    • Rose in Bloom
    • A Prayer for Owen Meany
    • A crumbling copy of Where the Boys Are and my third or fourth copy of Bless the Beasts and the Children (I have a Glendon Swarthout thing)
    • Lonesome Dove
    • Mila 18
    • A throwaway romantic suspense novel from the 60s, Talons of the Hawk, by Jeanne Hines

    Except for Owen Meany and Lonesome Dove, both of which came out when I was an adult (well, barely), I’ve been reading most of these over and over since childhood, or at least adolescence.

    I do have some other more recent rereads: Jane Smiley, Anne Tyler, Barbara Kingsolver, Lee Smith, Francine Prose, etc. But as good as most of those are, they just don’t seem to give me as much rereading pleasure as my childhood favorites. It’s probably a sign of immature reading tastes. :-)

  • booksquare // Feb 28, 2005 at 10:16 pm

    Funny that you keep going back to the books of your adolescence. If I had to name my top rereads, they would include Salinger’s Nine Stories and To Kill A Mockingbird. And Johnny Tremaine. I can’t go into a library without looking for Johnny. I think the books Iread when younger made me this person I am now (which may or may not be a testament to, well, you know).

    One thing about me is I keep certain books because I fall in love with a paragraph or a sentence or a passage. There are far too many of these, and lately, they seem far and few in between. I’ve been meaning to sit down and seriously read McMurtry — but part of me is afraid, very afraid. Too many good people I know have fallen into major McMurtry holes. Sure they resurface for major holidays…

    i like your list.

  • Jill Monroe // Mar 1, 2005 at 7:24 am

    Booksquare – you have to share which 1986 Harlequin Presents it is!!! I fell in love with Penny Jordan and Carole Mortimer back during those year. I still pick up their books even to this day.

    Jill

  • booksquare // Mar 1, 2005 at 9:15 am

    Ah, the Presents. It’s like my dirty little secret. It’s called “Waking Up” and it’s by Amanda Carpenter. It is not particularly well-written — even for a Presents of that era. Actually, it’s pretty rife with bad stuff, including lots of conflict that could easily be resolved with simple questions. That wouldn’t be as much fun, of course. It is, however, unique. The book is set in the (gasp!) United States and features a virgin hero and heroine.

    I can’t be sure anymore why I keep this book close by. Maybe to remember that once upon a time, Harlequin took wild and crazy chances with tried and true stuff? I don’t know.

  • The Vintage Reader // Mar 2, 2005 at 9:30 am

    I had to revisit this thread–I wanted to see if anyone else had posted any lists of their favorite re-reads. :-)

    Re: Harlequin taking chances:

    I remember getting the first Harlequin American (by one of the Rebeccas–Winters, I think) as a freebie in the mail. I kept it around and re-read it several times. Granted, I was about 20, but I thought it was a fine book. The hero’s name was ADRIAN, and he owned a shopping mall. Can you imagine them letting an HA author get away with that these days?