For the first time…in a long time….I’m re-reading a book. This might not sound like a big deal, but to me it is. You see, like many other book lovers I suffer greatly from “So many books, so little time” syndrome. Every time I finish a book and look to start a new one, I panic over all the choices before me. With so many good books to read, and my TBR list growing every day, I know that there is absolutely no possible way that I could ever read everything that I want to before I die. This freaks me out. Big time.
At the same time, however, I constantly feel the urge to re-read books that I have loved and cherished. After all, wouldn’t my reading time be better spent reliving stories that I adore, rather than wading through a pile of books that I might end up hating? I’ve even gone so far as to buy books that I’ve loved, but originally borrowed from the library, just so that I can re-read them again (eventually)!
Interestingly enough, according to a U.S. study, a book you love is actually better the second time that you read it. Researchers say that the first time people read a book, they are mainly focused on the movement and direction of the plot. Reading a book a second time, therefore, allows one to spend more time savoring the emotions that the story evokes in them, and gain a new appreciation for the story. While these findings aren’t at all shocking, they show that re-reading can have it’s benefits. Re-reading a book is like putting on a sweater. It’s comfortable, cozy, and leaves you feeling warm and happy.
Unfortunately, while I always have the best intentions to re-read a book, I very rarely follow through. I can count on one hand the number of books that I have actually re-read: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, The Hobbit, Pride and Prejudice, The Golden Compass, and Anne of Green Gables. Sadly, I re-read all of these books (except Anne), because I had to for school, and not out of my own choice.
That is going to change! At least gradually…. I’ve made myself a promise to try and re-read at least 2 books a year. While this may not seem like a lot, it’s a start. I’ve already begun re-reading my first book of the year, a fantasy called Green Rider by Kristen Britain. This was the first adult novel that I ever read, and the first book that I ever bought with the intention of re-reading. I’m actually completely surprised by how many of the plot points I had forgotten about! To be fair though, I read this book when I was 15 (ten years ago), so things are bound to be a bit hazy.
To help motivate me in my re-reading, I’ve compiled a list of novels that I want to re-read again at some point. These books include:
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
The Red Tent by Anita Diamont
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Every novel by Austen (except Mansfield Park)
Maus by Art Spiegelman
The entire Harry Potter series
The list could go on and on, but I’m going to stop it here for now. I think some of my choices are obvious, like Harry Potter and Austen, because they are beloved classics. Other books like The Song of Achilles and The Red Tent might seem a bit more obscure. Every book on this list, however, is one that I have adored, and as I continue to read and find new books to fall in love with, I’m sure that my list of books to re-read will grow even more.
What do you think of re-reading books? Do you re-read books often? If you had to pick one book to re-read, what would you choose?