The Lure of the Re-Read

So, as I near the end of my being stuck with library books that I hated, when I have many bookcases of possibilities open to me… why is it now that I want to re-read books? And not even books that it has been a long time since I read them last. I am talking Twilight and Harry Potter (both of which get a yearly re-read from me) and the Tudor series by Philippa Gregory.

Life is too short to be stuck reading the same thing over and over, but I enjoy these books, and I don’t want to deny myself the chance to re-read them and visit some old friends.

How do you feel about re-reading books? Do you set limits for yourself? Do you read whatever you want? Or do you force yourself into the realm of the unknown?


4 thoughts on “The Lure of the Re-Read

  1. I *love* re-reading my favorites. In fact, it was almost exclusively what I did until a couple years ago. This quote from The Thirteenth Tale rings so true to me, and describes exactly why I feel the need to do it:

    “I cannot pretend that the reading I have done in my adult years matches in its impact on my soul the reading I did as a child. I still believe in stories. I still forget myself when I am in the middle of a good book. Yet it is not the same. Books are, for me, it must be said, the most important thing; what I cannot forget is that there was a time when they were at once more banal and more essential than that. When I was a child, books were everything. And so there is in me, always, a nostalgic yearning for the lost pleasure of books. It is not a yearning that one ever expects to be fulfilled.”

    That, for me, is the exact reason that I have urges to re-read.. Almost all the books I have re-read a 100 times were ones that hit me so hard when I was younger. I used to get SO swept away in my books, where I would just lose myself. I have not had that same feeling in years, yet I’m constantly striving to find it again.. When I re-read I capture some of those old feelings and it just feels so good 🙂

  2. I’ve been known to re-read my favorites from time to time. I will say that the library of books that I consider re-readable is pretty selective though. It’s big enough that if I re-read a couple of them each year it takes about two or three years to get back around to each one.

    I feel like I need to wait long enough that I can’t remember all of the important details off the top of my head before a re-read is worth the time. That way I can rediscover the book in the process.

    • “I feel like I need to wait long enough that I can’t remember all of the important details off the top of my head before a re-read is worth the time. That way I can rediscover the book in the process.”

      I think this is a great benchmark for when to re-read a book. As a general rule, I find myself waiting similarly. However, sometimes I will look at my bookcase and see Harry Potter or something else, and I just… have to read it. I feel compelled. Even if I read it weeks prior.

      I have been fighting off the lure of the re-read pretty well, though. I have library books to get through and then I have so many of my own books to read.

  3. I re-read books constantly. Harry Potter, anything Tolkien and favourites like that are re-read a few times a year (literally). I’m currently re-reading the Septimus Heap series, and reviewing them as I go along. This blog is a great excuse to re-read things. The Hobbit is up next. Then some more Tolkien I think. Please check out my blog and see. 🙂

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