Re-Reading Books

rereading

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.

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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?

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15 thoughts on “Re-Reading Books

  1. I am half-way through my re-read of Harry Potter, and I am loving every second of it! There are so many things that I had forgotten about, because they were left out of the movies, or that I just didn’t get because I was too young at the time when I first read them. Seriously, Jo is a genius when it comes to naming people or dropping little tidbits just for those who know a little bit more about something to laugh at or fangirl over. Absolutely brilliant.

    Good luck with your re-reading! At first it is kind of weird, but some books are just like coming home, ya know?

    • I really want to re-read Harry Potter! I think I’m going to make The Philosopher’s Stone my second re-read for this year. I re-read it the first time a year after my first reading (if that makes sense)……sooo…..about 12 years ago 😛 I can’t wait to fangirl over it!

  2. I enjoy re-reading bit have definitely succumbed to the to many books so little time syndrome too. I need to do better. There’s so many books I want to experience again.

  3. This is such an interesting post. I re-read a book for the first time last year (the first Harry Potter) and I LOVED it. There is something about returning to something you know is wonderful, and getting to take your time and appreciate the small things you may have passed too quickly the first time.
    I love the idea of having a few books you would like to re-read. I may have to do a post like this myself!
    I’m re-reading the entire Harry Potter series too – so perhaps we can coordinate one of the books eventually ;).

      • I have a weird relationship with that box set lol. I love my old copies but they feel like a cherished memory I don’t want to break (plus they are falling apart). So re-reading them in a new edition is almost like revisiting the story in a new way. Make sense?
        They are really pretty. I secretly am sending you “buy-them!” vibes.

  4. I LOVE rereading books, Natalie and I actually used to do it a lot more, but recently I’ve found myself stumbling upon more and more books. Call it a hazard of shelving books for 10 hours every weekend at Chapters!

    I actually really miss rereading books and every night before I go to sleep, I stare at my bookshelf on the right side of my bed and think about all the books I loved reading but haven’t had a chance to return to because I keep finding new books to read and buy.

    I also buy books that I’ve burrowed from the library (like RED RISING!) since I just want them on my shelf.
    I used to reread HP almost every year up until a few years ago and it’s been a few years since my last reread, sadly 😦 Also LOL at the ‘every Jane Austen except Mansfield Park’! I still haven’t read that one or Persuasion…

    But what a great goal, Natalie! I feel like I want to join you in this. 🙂

    • I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who buys books after having read them from the library! One of my co-workers said I was crazy haha! And I completely understand about stumbling upon more and more books! Working at a library results in me finding new books that I want to read every single day! It’s definitely a hazard of working in a book related industry!

      PS. You should read Persuasion! It’s really good!

  5. I too freak out at the size of my TBR list and knowing I’ll never read them all. I posted a status about it last year on FB and one of my friends said, ‘read less’ – some people just don’t get it 🙂
    I like the idea of making a short list of loved books to re-read; I might just do that.
    Great post.

  6. I always had the best intention of rereading books but until last year I didn’t make it a focus. I did a Sarah Dessen reread challenge and I am SO glad I made the time to reread those books. I really did get more out of them the second time around…which was interesting since I am no longer close to the ages of all the main characters. This year I’m rereading all of Harry Potter and Jane Austen (I’ve actually never read Northanger Abbey or Mansfield Park) and so far it’s been enjoyable. I wanted to reread HP because it’s been awhile and they’re just so amazing. Austen because I can’t remember the details of the actual books anymore…just the adaptations. I also really want to reread the Jessica Darling series and the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. And the Chronicles of Narnia (erm, haven’t finished that whole series either…) and…well, probably a few others. I think I’m more into rereading classic and awesome books than any that have come out in the past little while.

  7. I used to reread books all the time! Before I got into book blogging I used to spend most summers reading my childhood favorites. But with book blogging, and the amount of books coming into my house now… I can’t find the time to read the book waiting for me, let along reread them. I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about review books lately, and hope to find a better solution for myself in the months to come, one where I actually am able to make the time to reread more.

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