The Refined Art of Skipping and Skimming: A Second Look at The Hunger Games Trilogy

“He has only half learned the art of reading who has not added to it the more refined art of skipping and skimming.” – Arthur James Balfour

On the heels of re-reading the entire Harry Potter series in anticipation of the eighth and final film of the franchise, I decided to re-read The Hunger Games Trilogy before the first film hits theaters next March. After waiting months between Catching Fire and Mockingjay, I had devoured the final novel in the span of less than twelve hours. Revisiting the trilogy, my goal was to take my time and really enjoy the intricacies and the planning that clearly went into these three books. I realized that part of what takes me so long the second time around is my tendency to skim.

I do a pretty good job of skipping spoilers and not looking ahead one the first run through. But once I already know what’s going to happen, I have no qualms about skipping ahead. Lying in bed at night reading, I come to the end of a chapter and decide it’s a good place to stop. I flip through a few pages to see how far I am from Event A and start reading through my favorite passages from that scene. The next thing I know, it’s two hours later and I’ve skimmed through the rest of the book. And it isn’t something that happens once. I probably reread each of the books three times over.

I must say that, as was the case with the Harry Potter series, reading entire trilogy in close succession shows just how much planning went into the trilogy as a whole. It isn’t just a series where the first was popular so Suzanne Collins wrote two more. Those series where everything is in place from the beginning continue to prove the best.

While little has changed with my high regard for this trilogy, a number of the elements that bothered me about Mockingjay bothered me less this time. I latched on to things this time around that I passed over the first time because it had been too long since I’d read Catching Fire. Images and characters had lost the sharpness, details faded. With all of them fresh in my mind this time, it helped me to enjoy the series’ conclusion and appreciate it that much more.

Beyond enhancing my appreciation, re-reading has made me more excited for the upcoming movie (I may even read The Hunger Games again closer to its actual release).

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2 thoughts on “The Refined Art of Skipping and Skimming: A Second Look at The Hunger Games Trilogy

  1. bibliopirate says:

    There are some books that are better on the re-read. The Game of Thrones and the rest of that series is great when you can skim through some of the guff, and get to the proper story.

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