On Christmas Eve, a pal and I went to see It’s a Wonderful Life at the cinema. After the showing, we discussed the number of times we’d seen it. In her case, it was around the 15th time; for me, probably around eight or nine.
Unlike my pal, it’s a rarity that I’ll watch a film more than once. Ones that fall into the three-times-over club include The Matrix, Home Alone, and Star Wars: Episode IV. I simply don’t gain the same enjoyment from watching something again, especially if it’s soon after the last time.
With books, it’s even less likely I’ll read one for a second time. It’s not just that I can’t find the same enjoyment, but there’s a greater time commitment. Assuming a minute per page, a novel takes far longer to read than the two hours or so needed to watch a film.
The only attempt I’ve ever made was with the Christopher Brookmyre story All Fun and Games Until Somebody Loses An Eye. In that case, I didn’t even reach the halfway point.
I do, nonetheless, tend to keep books afterwards if I like them. I might never again read A Clockwork Orange, Breakfast at Tiffany’s nor Fight Club, but I do like to know they’re there.