Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Reading update: Some books are worth re-reading...

...even if they're long.

I'm in the process of re-reading Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon (Avon Books, 1999; 1139 pages).

Yes, that's right. It isn't a typo. The book is 1139 pages long, including appendix. And I'm reading it again. There is a method to my madness, however, which includes Quicksilver, which is, from what I understand is a sort of prequel involving the ancestors of some of the characters in Cryptonomicon.

Or not. All I know is that Quicksilver has been on my shelf for awhile, waiting to be read, but its been about three or four years since I read Cryptonomicon and so whether it is really necessary, I'm going to read it again before I tackle the other book, which is also Really Long. But, I'm also re-reading because I enjoyed the experience of reading Cryptonomicon so much the first time around, and I've been intending to read it again for awhile.

I will freely admit that there were things in Cryptonomicon that I didn't understand, things mathematical and cryptographic. Didn't matter, it's still a great book, and encryption and decryption fascinates me, even if I don't have the math to understand how it all works.

I'm just on page 114, so it will be awhile before I finish this one. I might conceivably read a book or two other than this one before I finish Stephenson's book. That's okay. I'm not always so linear a person that I have to finish one book before I start another one. I think I've discussed that here before.

What I want to, know, though, is what do you look for in a book that you will read again and again? Or, if you never re-read, why not? I'm curious about this because I've always re-read favorite books.

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