I Love Re-reading Books

Posted April 10, 2015 by Inge in Features, Have I Gone Mad? // Discussions / 33 Comments

A lot of people say they don’t have the time to re-read books, which I get – there are SO MANY OTHER BOOKS to get to. However, I love re-reading books. I like to get my money’s worth out of the books I buy. If I’ve read a book and I don’t think I’ll read it again, I’ll sell it or give it away. My shelf space is limited, so I don’t want to clog it up with books I didn’t enjoy as much. If I really liked them and think I’d like to read them again someday, they’re staying.

So every once in a while, I’ll pick up a book I’ve read before, and I like to give them another read. Here are my main reasons for re-reading.

Horrible memory

I have the worst memory. Seriously, I’ll be writing a review for a book I finished that very same day, and I can’t remember the main character’s name. So imagine what happens with a book I read two to three years ago. Bear in mind that I read about 100 books a year, so there are like 200-300 books in between. Result: I remember nothing. So when I pick it up, I get to discover so many things all over again. I’ll also re-read when starting a sequel after a long time, to brush up on what I know about the prequels.

To get that same feeling again

I get it, you will never be able to read it for the first time again. But for me, that warm feeling of truly loving a book never goes away. I’m re-reading Harry Potter for the fourth or fifth time right now, and it still makes me feel fuzzy inside. When you love a book, it doesn’t matter how many times you’ve read it. It just doesn’t get boring.

To get over a slump

A lot of people will agree with me that one of the best methods to get out of a reading slump is to pick up a book you’ve already read and loved. You know you’ve loved it before, so you’ll love it now, and that might rekindle your reading flame again.

To see if I still feel the same way

After a couple of years and a few hundred books, you start to get a better idea of the things you like and the things you don’t. Or you’ll get tired of certain tropes after a while. You get older. Sometimes it’s a good idea to revisit a book, to see if you still feel the same way about it. This works in multiple ways – you love it just as much and have a happy re-reading experience; you’re not as impressed as last time; or you like it better this time, because you know about a few nasty surprises or you understand things better this time around.

Books I need to re-read

The Secret Circle 1-3, Before I Go to Sleep, The Undomestic Goddess, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, The Maze Runner 1-3, Where Rainbows End, Perfect Chemistry, Divergent 1-3, The Lightning Thief, Warbreaker, Before I Fall, The Night Circus, Cirque du Freak 1-12, 172 Hours on the Moon.

Do you re-read? Why (not)?


33 responses to “I Love Re-reading Books

  1. I love rereading books. And I, too, have a terrible memory. So, it’s like reading it for the first time! LOL I also reread to get over slumps. It really helps! The Night Circus is one of my favorite books. I need to reread it again soon.

    • Haha, sometimes it really feels like reading it for the first time again, because you’ve forgotten about certain plot twists and such! I’m also going to re-read The Night Circus soon. I loved the magical feeling of it, definitely want to relive it!

  2. I also need to reread the Divergent and Maze Runner series one more time! I am someone who likes re-reading, but I am also someone who finds it hard to find the time. But then again, my all time favourites have been read as many as five or four times – namely Gone by Michael Grant and Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. I should re-read more often!

    • You should, although I totally understand the time issue and “BUT WHAT ABOUT ALL THESE OTHERS BOOKS I SHOULD BE READING”. I’m currently re-reading Harry Potter (as you know :D) for the fifth or sixth time. It just never gets old.

  3. I sooo wish I had more time to re-read! I really do love it, though I find that there are only a handful of series/books that I CAN do it with. My reasons are pretty much exactly the same as yours. There’s nothing like re-reading a well-loved book and getting that same feeling from it you did when you first read it. 🙂

  4. One of my main reasons for rereading is that if I find a series I adore, I will speed through it. So, after that and I’ve gushed about how much I love it, I need to pick it up straight afterwards and give it a slower read through, just to make sure I have the absolute maximum out of the series. Harry Potter, I don’t even think I can count it as rereading anymore since I listen to the audio books every night to help me fall asleep. :]

    • Oh, that’s so wonderful about you using Harry Potter to fall asleep 🙂 it’s such a comforting series, I always reach for HP when I’m going through a tough time.

  5. Maraia

    Hi, this is Maraia who’s been playing Mafia with you, which of course led me to your blog.

    YES YES YES to all of this. This is exactly why I re-read. It’s oddly reassuring to know I’m not the only one who forgets things that quickly. It’s horrible, because I’ll remember that I loved a book but only the vaguest details of what actually happened. This was especially bad when I had to read books for school. On the other hand, it means I can re-read my favorite books a million times without getting bored. I get that same fuzzy feeling every time I read Harry Potter. That’s such a good way to describe it!

    The day I discovered Recaptains was one of the happiest days ever. It’s such a lifesaver!

    I re-read Fangirl the other day to get over a reading slump. It was just as wonderful and smile-inducing than the first time around. I do always wonder if I can count a book as a favorite of I’ve only read it once. Do you have a “rule” about that?

    These days I do a lot of my re-reading by audiobook. I listen to Harry Potter every year and usually Tamora Pierce’s Tortall novels. If you like audiobooks, Jim Dale narrates The Night Circus, and it’s AMAZING!

    • Hi Maraia, nice to see you here! 😀

      Haha, I absolutely understand the pain of having read books for school, only you can’t remember the details (even if you read it, like, last week!) I’m re-reading Harry Potter for the fifth or sixth time now, and that fuzzy feeling never goes away.

      I don’t have a rule about favourites – if I’ve loved the pants off of it, it’s a favourite. It becomes a favourite when it can make me smile, preferably laugh, and when it’s made of awesome. Doesn’t matter how many times I’ve read it. 🙂

  6. I used to reread books ALL THE TIME when I was younger. These days, I only reread a couple of books each year. I just don’t feel the need to do it that often with all the new books there are to read, but I do like to revisit old favorites from time to time. Part of it is also that I know that I probably won’t be able to enjoy a lot of books I liked when I was younger as much now, because I read more critically than I used to. Those books I’d rather keep in good memory!

    • Haha, I do get that! There are certain books I choose not to read again, because I know I’d probably smash them to bits if I picked them up now. So I gave them away and choose to remember how much I loved them years ago.

  7. I have to really like a book to re-read it. I usually only give 5 star ratings to books that I would re-read. There are just too many books in the world to be re-reading too many 😉 I do have a horrible memory with books as well… I just rely on the author to fill me in on the details when I read a sequel to a book I haven’t read in a long time… or I just look it up online and read a summary. lol

    • If it’s a book I haven’t read in a long time, I’ll usually take the time out to re-read it before starting a sequel. Some sequels don’t really recap (cough Insurgent cough) so I like to read the previous book and remember everything (because I forgot EVERYTHING) before diving into the next one.

  8. I re-read the “red wedding” scene recently in “A Storm of Swords”. It was a bad idea. I also avoid re-reading the later Harry Potter books because…. favourite character deaths make me want to die all over again…. I’m such a wuss :'(

    • Oh god, yes, I was reading Order of the Phoenix about a week ago and I kept dreading the scene where Sirius dies. It just hurts every single time.

  9. I love rereading. I think, like you mentioned, many readers often avoid return to a book they’ve read for fear of missing out on something else that’s just as good, but I think we should all reread from time to time.

    The two main reasons I reread feature on your list: I have a terrible memory and when needing to get out of a slump – rereading does me wonders for overcoming a slump, it feels great to return to something you know and love, comforting even.
    Life’s Open Pages

    • I love re-reading. I know there are so many other books I should be getting to, but I can’t resist a re-read from time to time. It just makes me feel all warm and nostalgic, and I remember why I loved it so much in the first place. 🙂

  10. I love rereading books so much! It’s like my favorite thing to do because every time I reread a book, I get a better picture of the story and I notice so many new details. Especially when it comes to series, rereading a series helps me better understand how all of the plot threads in each of the books weave together. Eep! I just really Really REALLY love rereading.

    • Yes! You discover so many new things when re-reading. Like I’m now reading Harry Potter for the fifth of sixth time, and when I was reading Chamber of Secrets, Peeves smashed a Vanishing Cabinet. And in Half-Blood Prince, Draco is fixing a Vanishing Cabinet. And all of a sudden the link between the two clicked!

  11. Lola R

    I enjoy re-reading books, but I hardly ever do it. One of the reasons is that there are so many books I haven’t read yet, that it feels more exciting/ necessary to read those as I haven’t read those books yet. Also I like to think I have a good memory, although that isn’t a particulary good reaosn against re-reading either as I re-read some books quite sson after readign them for the first time and was still able to enjoy them even though I mostly stil remembered what happened. I like to re-read to get that same feeing again, like you mentioned. It’s just so nice to be back into a familiar world/ book again. I think that because you enjoyed or loved a book for the first time, re-reading gives an extra sense of pleasure to be reading a great book again. I really want to re-read more, especially after reading this post I have the urge to pick up a book and re-read it, but I know I probably won’t. Maybe I shoudl join a challenge for that next year.

    • I definitely understand the excitement of picking up a new book and exploring everything for the first time. I’m re-reading Harry Potter right now and it’s just as good as ever, I do love revisiting worlds I’ve visited before, and hanging out with my beloved characters again!

  12. Me too! 😀 Mostly the horrible memory-thing xD
    Or some books I just like so much, I want to read them again! Like Harry Potter which keep being good no matter how many times I’ve read them over the last fourteen years.

  13. I usually re-read my favorite books, or book that I really liked – I haven’t re-read a book in a while though, but I’m hoping to sometime soon. I love re-reading as well, it’s a great way to get a feel of the book again 🙂

  14. I love this: “When you love a book, it doesn’t matter how many times you’ve read it. It just doesn’t get boring.” It’s so true. I’ve reread various Harry Potter books (I actually am getting the desire to go read one now). I’m also a huge fan of the Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan. I’ve reread the first book (The Ruins of Gorlan) approximately 7 times (I lost count around 5 or 6). Rereading books is almost like a breath of fresh air (ironic, I know). I love to reread the Harry Potter books to recapture the magic. That’s usually why I reread but sometimes I’ll do it to help get out of a reading slump too.

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