Books · Uncategorized

Re-Reading Books

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.

Why?

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!
xx

12 thoughts on “Re-Reading Books

  1. I very rarely re-read books, but when I do it’s nearly always for nostalgia reasons. I love going back and reliving that first experience of falling in love with a book. I’ve also gone back and read some books that I loved in my early teen years. These were books that were usually aimed at older teens so when I read them at the appropriate age I did find things I didn’t like about them. Great post😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. I love that feeling too.

      In my early teen years, I read a lot of classics and adult books and I often re-read them from time to time. Sometimes I find details that make me love the book even more but sometimes I also find things that now bother me. It’s just the way it is.

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  2. There are only a few books I re-read, not because I’m not interested in re-reading, but because I feel that I just on’t have the time. THere are so many new books that are coming out that have caught my attention and I’m scrambling to catch up and keep up. But that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy some rereads. I’ve read a few books more than a few times (*coughTheHost*) for simple reasons: just to see the characters again or to reread some parts that made me smile or feel good. There are even some free kindle books that I end up rereading because they just have that reread vibe to them. I’m currently rereading The Mortal Instruments series to brush up on some things, but this is the first time I’m rereading them all and it’s amazing how many things I’ve learned the second time around. Also, it’s a great feeling knowing that the books are as good to me the second time around as they were the first time! I’m planning to do some more rereads in the future 😉 Great discussion idea!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve re-read The Host a few times too but it has been a while. I also love that aspect of re-reading when you pick up on more details. I should probably do that with The Mortal Instruments as well. The last time I re-read it, I only re-read the first three books. I ought to do the whole series though because I re-read The Infernal Devices and the short stories often enough.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh phew. Makes me feel a bit better that I’ve reread The Host so may times, although it’s been a while for me too. I think the first 3 books of TMI were the best, to be honest. Very much worth a reread! The Infernal Devices as well! I’d love to read about Will, Tess, and Jem again ❤

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      2. I think it is such an underrated book. I remember exactly the last time I read it – in a novel cafe down a Lancaster side street. I must have read half the book before realising I needed to be elsewhere.

        I think I’d like to re-read the last three TMI books because it has those few details that connect it to TID, and I’d like to revisit them.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Oh that’s always nice isn’t it? To be so caught up in a book that you forget where you are 🙂 But yeah! It really is very underrated even though it’s a much better product than Twilight in terms of writing and character development at least haha

        I definitely need to reread the last TMI books as I don’t think I ever finished the last one haha. Also, so much ties in to the Infernal Devices and Dark Artifices by the end of TMI, so it’d be helpful to revisit them!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I rarely re-read books, I do understand why some people really love re-reading and I’m actually doing that right now with the Harry Potter series, actually the first books I re-read in a long time mostly because I know I won’t hate them or change my opinion about them😂 it really scares me to hate a book that was special for me when I was younger!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I can understand that. There are some books from my childhood I’ve not re-read either and I don’t want to re-read. I tend to only re-read the books I read as a young teenager and as they were mainly general adult fiction books, I don’t really have that sense of nostalgia towards them.

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  4. I used to reread books all the time. A had a handful of series growing up that is keep going back to. But now, and I think this has a lot to do with book blogging, there are just SO MANY new books that I want to read and won’t ever get around to that I can’t bring myself to go backwards and reread books often. Sometimes it happens (I’m looking at you All For The Game) but it’s very rare now.

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    1. Yeah, I mean I do sometimes feel guilty when I go to re-read a book and stare at all the unread books on my shelves. However, at the same time, I’ve personally given up caring what popular books are doing the rounds and prioritising them over those books I’m in the mood to read. Unless I decide it is not a book I will ever read, that unread book will always be there when I want it. I find there is nothing worse than reading a new book that you’re not in the mood for and struggling with it when your heart is telling you to re-read that book you’ve read a thousand times before.

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