A discussion post?
What is going on in the wold of A Dreamer’s Library? Has someone come in and decided that all the posts are becoming too similar that the blog needs a shake up?
I don’t know. It’s weird, albeit a nice weird!
Anyway, for this discussion post I want to tackle the topic of re-reading.
I find that this is a topic of contention. It is either loved or disliked and I’m not going to lie that I get a little irritated when people (normally non-bookworms) ask me why do I read some of the same books over and over again. In the past I’ve also had other book lovers (friends I’m happy to no longer be friends with) scoff and roll their eyes at me re-reading some of the same books again but that’s their loss for being judgemental and lacking understanding. Personally I think re-reading books is one of the greatest things we can do as readers and book lovers.
Our appreciation for the story and the characters grow over time.
Have you ever read a book as a child and then read it again many years later? What were your reactions to the book the second time round, having read it through more mature eyes?
I always think that full understanding and appreciation for any story can only come with re-reading. There have been times I’ve hated a book as a child/teenager, and re-read them, only to find that I’ve loved them as an adult. Examples, Carrie’s War by Nina Bawden and Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.
Picking up on details that you missed the first time.
This is certainly true with me. I read quite quickly that I can often miss certain smaller aspects of the story. On re-reading, I catch them and I see everything completely differently. One of the books this happened to was Pride and Prejudice. It might have been a couple of re-reads ago but I loved it even more when I picked up on some of the nuanced interactions between Darcy and Elizabeth whenever they were at Netherfield, Rosings Park, or Pemberley together. It sent my fangirling heart fluttering, that’s for sure.
Hearing about a book from someone else’s/the author’s perspective.
You know when you’re discussing a book with someone and you say you didn’t like it for one reason or another, but they liked it because they read it from a different perspective…
That is always a sure sign I am going to re-read a book even if I wasn’t a huge fan of it the first time round. It provides me with that distance between myself and the text and forces me to remove my own criticisms. I happened to be talking about The Graces by Laure Eve with Beth at the Northern YA Lit Fest (a book I liked but wasn’t a massive fan of) and something she said has made me want to re-read it ever since. I also kept thinking about it when I read my ARC of Fragments of the Lost by Megan Miranda but that could be due to the similar pacing of both novels.
There’s nothing more comforting than revising old favourites.
You know when you’re having one of those bad days, weeks, months etc and you can’t get into a new book, no matter how many amazing things you’ve heard about it, the only way forward is to pick up one of your favourite books and let the magic of the story and the characters comfort every emotion you’re feeling. It works. It is medicine for the soul.
Reminding yourself of the plot before a new book is released.
I don’t know about you but if there is a significant wait between a book and its sequel, I
sometimes nearly always need to go back and re-read the book to remind myself of plot points I’ve forgotten i.e The Amber Spyglass and the Subtle Knife in His Dark Materials trilogy before I start reading The Book of Dust, and yes you can shout at me for that becuase I can’t believe I’ve not got around to it either. I feel like this will also be the case with The Bone Season series by Samantha Shannon although I could just be tempted to solely re-read The Song Rising before the fourth book comes out.
However, it is impossible to avoid the couple of cons that come from re-reading.
Ignoring the increasing number of unread books on one’s bookshelf.
It’s not something that strikes me too often nowadays but I do get the odd twinge of guilt/sadness (maybe not but I can’t think of the right word to use) when I go to pick up a book I’ve read a few times before and not a new release, or an unloved book I’ve been meaning to pick up and haven’t yet done so.
I say that but my mentality now is reading what I want, when I want, and if that means an unread book continues to be unread for a while, so be it. It will be there when I need it to be.
Realising you don’t like the book as much the second time round.
Your opinion for a book can improve and worsen over time. I know I’ve found that there are some books I loved as a teenager that I don’t like as much nowadays, and it does leave a sour taste in my mouth because I didn’t always expect it to happen. However, this is unavoidable. We age, change, learn and that shifts our perspective so when we do come to re-read a book we used to love, there maybe aspects we no longer like and find a bit awkward/uncomfortable. It’s just the way it is.
I say a couple because I can’t actually think of any other cons about re-reading. Like I said, I believe it is something we can all do as bookworms to show the love we have for books and how much we are thankful to authors for writing stories we all connect with in some way.
Do you re-read books?
What do you say is one of the best reasons for re-reading books?
Thanks for reading and have a brazzle dazzle day!