Revisiting Mercedes Lackey

I mentioned in a previous post that I have been doing a lot of rereading lately, and it is true. There was originally a very specific reason for this. I am a fast reader. I always have been. I grew up reading voluminously, and then studied English in university, so basically my entire life has been a giant training session for the speed-reading Olympics. (If for some reason I don’t medal in the speed-reading Olympics, I am positive I would in the speed-walking-through-crowds Olympics. Just ask my husband). Because of my rapid reading skills, I am accustomed to starting and finishing a book in a short period of time, and therefore not being subjected to too much suspense from beginning to end of book. Couple that with my natural impatience, and I am just a person who really struggles to put a new book down. This sometimes leads to my staying up until 4am to finish a book, because I just can’t wait to find out what is going to happen.

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Normally, this isn’t too much of a problem, but I had some very intensive schooling this June, and I decided I better not tax myself too much, and should just focus on schoolwork with a non-suspenseful “fluff” read for my downtime. (not reading isn’t an option). I hit upon a brilliant plan: I had read and loved the first two books in a trilogy, and the third was about to be released. I was fuzzy on the details of the first two books, so why not reread them while in school? Not only would I already know the outcome, I would be fresh on the third book (which I would clearly not get to until after my courses were complete). This kindof failed, as I finished the second book on the third day of classes, then devoured the third while in school, but I liked the idea. I decided to refamiliarize myself with the first books in other series, too, and then continue on. I slowly realized how much I was enjoying revisiting these books. I had read them long enough ago that I had only fuzzy impressions of what was going on, but I also wasn’t driven to distraction by the need to finish the books.

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This led me back to Mercedes Lackey.

My parents gave me Four-and-Twenty Blackbirds for Christmas when I was in fifth grade, but had read EVERYTHING for my age range in the library. They had heard good things about the author, and thought I would like it. They were right. I devoured everything of hers I could find, and upon entering a bookstore, would immediately head to her section to see if they had anything of hers that I hadn’t yet read. I amassed quite a collection.

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Yes, the content may have been a bit mature for me, and in fact my parents bought me a dictionary so that I would stop asking them what some words meant, but they were also very progressive books for the time, and I am sure they had a part in shaping my mindset. And they are just great stories.

A few years ago, I was working in a library, and decided I wanted to reread the Valdemar books. I couldn’t find them anywhere! They weren’t available in the library, not even via inter-library loan. So I gave up, and reminisced fondly about how much I had enjoyed them as a child.

Fortunately, my parents have been cleaning out their basement, and have unearthed boxes of books (including some of my Mercedes Lackeys). So rather than reading everything at random, I am making my way back through them chronologically, and immersing myself in this world again. It is really interesting that some details are still so fresh, while I have only vague recollections of other things. One thing is the same: they are still very enjoyable reads. I think once I finish everything in the Valdemar universe, I may actually branch out and read some more of her work (which I have never done before). A friend assures me it is superior, and in fact is going to drop off some her books for me to borrow, so I have no excuse!

I know that some people are big fans of rereading, while others feel that there are so many books in the world that they can’t waste time on reading something more than once. I don’t reread all of the time, but I definitely think that there are times when the comfort of an old familiar book is exactly what you need. I know I have a Harry Potter reread coming up, and a Dark is Rising series as well. And just in case you think I read only fantasy and YA, I’ve also had this strange desire to reread Mama Day by Gloria Naylor. Not sure what prompted it, but clearly that is going to have to happen too. Book cravings must be fed!

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Questions for you:

Are you a rereader?

What is your favourite genre?

Do you have any book recommendations for me?

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