Watership Down + the books worth rereading

19 September 2015

| goodreads |
“All the world will be your enemy, Prince with a Thousand Enemies, and whenever they catch you, they will kill you. But first they must catch you, digger, listener, runner, prince with the swift warning. Be cunning and full of tricks and your people shall never be destroyed.” ― Richard AdamsWatership Down
I was in the midst of summer, and my life was a total mess. I hadn't read a thing in weeks. (except the stuff I had to read to finish up the insane amount of homework I still had to do) Nothing appealed to me. Every time I would start to read something, the words would blur together, and my mind would wander away, completely uninterested in any story. 

I felt like burying my face into my pillow and screaming. 

All I wanted was to forget everything, to wrap myself up in a dozen fuzzy blankets, and read something good, something familiar and comfortable, something that I already knew I love. I just wanted to escape.

I stared at my bookshelf, overflowing with thick books I have yet to read, and somehow my gaze wandered to my old copy of Watership Down
I pulled it out, flipped through the yellowing pages. The corners of the paperback cover were all bent up, and, sprawled across the title page in fading pencil, was my 11-year-old self's signature. 

I knew that this was it. This was exactly what I needed.

My dad first read Watership Down to me when I was little more than five years old. Those are some of my favorite memories, curled up next to Dad on the couch, listening to the story of the rabbits' journey. It became one of my absolute favorite stories. I'm one of the weirdos who actually likes the movie.

From the very first line, Richard Adams' poetic descriptions of the downs pull me in. His words have a way of holding you still. They don't let go until it's over, and even after, they linger in your mind.
Hazel, Fiver, Bigwig, and all the other rabbits are some of the best characters I have ever read. They are believable, and I am able to relate to them, even though they are rabbits.
This was my third time through the book, but I didn't get bored. I felt like I was rediscovering something I had lost. And I enjoyed every little morsel of it.

That's why I love rereading. 
Reading a new book feels like a fresh start. Like when you meet someone for the first time and you decide whether you like them or not. But revisiting an old book is like sitting down to have a cup of tea with your best friend. Even though you haven't seen each other in a while, you are able to start right where you left off. 

My Lord of the Rings collection has seen more rereads than I can count, and I have flipped through my old childhood favorites, Ella Enchanted, Anne of Green Gables, and, or course, Watership Down, many times. 

There is something so comforting and magical about it that I can't describe. 

But it also encourages me to read more new books by authors I've never heard of. To go out and add to my favorites shelf, like The Book Thief, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, or Code Name Verity, all books I fell in love with and definitely plan to pick up again one day. 

That's the beautiful cycle of it.
what are the books you love to revisit?


  1. I'm not usually caught by post like these -- I skip them in the newsfeed. But for some reason, I decided to read this one. And I was not disappointed. Ehksgnjg. I really, really want to read this now! *grins* Absolutely marvelous post, Hannah dear.

    1. Yay! I'm glad you stopped by, Cally. And you totes should read the book! It's amazing!

  2. I agree, rereading is magical! Sometimes even more magical than discovering a book for the first time. :) Some of my favorite books to reread are the Chronicles of Narnia, Ella Enchanted, the Harry Potter series, and Pride and Prejudice.

    1. Oh yes, every time is a good time to read Narnia and Pride and Prejudice. :)

  3. As soon as I saw that you were writing about "Watership Down," I clicked the link to your blog about 47,000 times and gave poor Bloglovin' a heart attack!!!
    I. Love. This. Book.
    I read it for the first time when I was maybe 8 or 9 years old, and I've re-read it so many times that I recognize the crease patterns on our only library copy - half of them are ones that I created. I loved the adventure and the character and the spice (especially Bigwig and Kehaar.) I remember playing rabbits, once, and prowling around the living room on my hands and knees telling everyone that I was "Thay-a-lay" (my young rendition of the name "Thlayli.")
    Anyways. Sorry for the rant. :p other books that I love to reread are the Chronicles or Narnia, Anne of Green Gables, and a book called "Dancing Through the Snow," by Jean Little.

    1. Mutual fangirling! Yay! Oh, this book is the best. And Bigwig is one of my favorite characters of all time. He stole my heart. I especially love the scene where he fights General Woundwort in the Honeycomb. The best!
      I've never heard of Dancing Through the Snow... I want to check it out now.

  4. I love re reading childhood books too :D I love my AoGG, Harry Potter and all my Enid Blyton books =D

  5. So much truth in this post! I've had a few of those reading slumps lately, and I agree that there's nothing like an old favorite book. I need to re-read Watership Down again. My mom read it to my sisters and I when I was about 9. I remember it being amazing and magical... Lovely post, Hannah!

    1. Reading slumps are the absolute worst!
      Yes! reread it!
      Thank you, Elizabeth. :)

  6. I haven't read Watership Down before, but Ferrara are a must in my eyes, especially The Chronicles of Narnia and Harry Potter.

    xoxo Morning

    1. You should read it! It's super good. And Narnia is pretty awesome too. :)