In lieu of a review today, I thought I’d talk a little bit about what it’s like to re-read a series. I think I’ve talked about re-reading before, and how your relationship to a book can change over time, but I’m speaking very specifically about a particular series right now: The Sookie Stackhouse/Southern Vampire series by Charlaine Harris.
With the start of the new year came a fresh reading rut for me, and it’s one that I’m still struggling to crawl out of. I’ve had a great deal of changes in my personal and professional life over the past several months, and reading has taken a backseat to the demands of my life (see: graduating from a master’s program, applying for jobs, moving in with boyfriend). It doesn’t help that I’ve felt listless whenever I’ve picked up a book.
Which is why I’ve started re-reading books in search of comfort and something that holds my attention. I’m still reading new stuff when I’m on the treadmill, and I’m enjoying a lot of it, but there’s nothing like something you know you like to bring you that cozy feeling.
Re-reading Charlaine Harris’s Sookie series is interesting, because I’ve grown as a reader since I started reading it. I first read Dead Until Dark years ago, way before TrueBlood became a TV show and before the vampire craze went nutso. I liked it, but it was definitely out of my wheelhouse. Here was a mystery featuring a plucky heroine who spends much of her narrative in the minutiae of her life. There is so much detail about how Sookie spends her time in really unremarkable ways that it’s astounding.
That being said, there’s something comforting about reading about Sookie’s small-town life as a telepathic barmaid who sometimes has really great sex with supernatural creatures. I’m finding that I’m enjoying the series in a different way: it’s not particularly well-written or well-paced, but there’s enough detail about small-town life and Sookie is a nice enough narrator (for a while, at least) that it’s kind of fun.
Plus, I’m determined to finish the series. I haven’t read the last few books because they’re so bogged down in the story’s mythology that it’s kind of like drowning. But I have to finish the series and see if I’m right.
The bonus? Sookie’s clothes, especially in the early books, are HILARIOUSLY bad. Seriously, why hasn’t someone started a Sookie clothing blog yet? COMEDY GOLD.
Have you ever read these books? What do you think? How do you feel about re-reading series from start to finish?