If you ever see a movie a second time, or if you re-read a book, you’ve been spoiled. How does that affect your experience?
Spoilers can diminish the surprise of a plot twist, as when Han Solo returns to save Luke at the battle of Yavin. But knowing what’s ahead can help you recognize and appreciate good foreshadowing, as in virtually every chapter of A Song of Ice and Fire, one of those series that rewards re-reading.
As a teenager, I used to re-read The Lord of the Rings each year over the winter holidays. Every time, I encountered plenty of events and characters I’d either forgotten or had previously overlooked while focusing on the main plot. My late father used to joke that he’d gotten to the point where he didn’t need to buy new books, because he couldn’t remember the ones in his library. I understood what he meant years ago, when I got halfway through a Star Wars novel before realizing I had read it before.
What’s your experience with re-reading or re-viewing fiction? Is it different for prose than it is for comics and movies? What novels have you enjoyed more on second reading?