Read a book 100 times? Err…no.
Centireading. Apparently Anthony Hopkins reads his scripts 100 times, but like the author of this piece reading Hamlet 100 for a dissertation, a play or film script is not a book. A straight read-through of a play is never going to take more than a couple of hours. To read War and Peace 100 times is whole other (and bonkers, if you ask me) investment.
As the article outlines, I can imagine constantly re-reading a much-loved book for comfort, nostalgia and escapism, and I have done. I think I’ve read Bleak House about 4 or 5 times, and Wuthering Heights maybe 10 times, and have always got something new from them each time. And I’m sure there’s lots of people who are permanently dipping in and out of Lord Of The Rings. They might well be wearing plastic pointy ears at the time. I have a dwarf axe for such occasions. And big hobbit feet slippers. An yes, those are my pajamas. Yeah, I’m cool.
But I’m not one to turn an idea or challenge down, so while I cannot imagine literally reading something one hundred times, I am going to read Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein 10 times, and document my impressions each time, and how the work evolves in my head. I read it once years ago, and quite frankly it’s not that long a book, so not some enormous time-sapping nightmare challenge that I would end up completing in the nursing home.
I will know Frankenstein inside out, and woe-betide anyone up against me in a pub quiz where there is a question on the novel, as I will own them.