I’m not sure where the majority of people fall on the topic of re-reading. My general impression is that most people don’t particularly re-read, because they still remember a story and wouldn’t have that same feeling of discovery and surprise when reading it a subsequent time. Or maybe for some people, they just can’t stand to spend time on something they already know when there are SO MANY OTHER GOOD BOOKS that are always coming out!
However, I’m definitely a re-reader. I usually borrow my books from the library (cost effective and saves space – my S.O. appreciates that!), so if I deliberately go out and purchase a copy of a book you better bet I freakin’ love it and will want to read it again!
Reasons I will re-read something
I want something wholesome and familiar
This is a common reason for me. Books I’ve already read and enjoyed become like a comforting blanket. I already know what to expect, more or less, so I know I can just relax and read it as quickly or slowly as I want, and look forward to my favorite moments. This is common with romance novels and the first books in a series. Romance because I love the feeling of falling in love, and the first book in a series because I get to see the character when they were still clueless and the moment they first discover The Inevitable Secret About Themselves is always so good!
I’m having a bad day and my favorite comic will cheer me up!
You can probably tell even just by the artwork that this comic, Roar Street Journal, is unfathomably wholesome, and yet what you can’t see is that it’s also funny, relatable, sweet, and addresses some unexpectedly difficult topics in very approachable ways (ex: our reasons for living, adoption, growing up in a warzone, struggling to run a business, navigating a negative relationship with your parents). The author and artist, Bonnie Pang, has acknowledged before that she writes this comic in part because she’s so cynical about the world and it’s state, so she creates something positive because it’s something she can do to help.
I just read a crappy book and want something I know I’ll enjoy
Pretty self explanatory, I think? Maybe I just read a book that was super disappointing. Maybe I just read a few books that were okay, but not particularly amazing. That’s when I turn to an oldie-but-goodie kind of read, that I know will get the job done!
I want to see if it’s still as good as I remember
Something blew me away the first time I read it. It’s been a while, maybe even years, and I want to see if it’s still as good as I remember. Good examples of books like this for me are The Art of Hearing Heartbeats and The Outsiders. (And, PS, yes, they’re still amazing.)
It’s just incredible and I want to experience it again!
I mean, this is the simplest, really. This book was simply amazing. It doesn’t matter how much I remember or forgot, it will be an incredible experience regardless of how many times I read it. It’s a fantastic story, and I’m going to keep coming back to it.
So what books have I actually re-read?
Picked this up at a used book shop because it was such a weird cover. Laughed so much while reading it – while I was working at the library – that I easily convinced my manager to buy a copy for the library. Guess what ended up being checked out A TON and my top recommendation to anyone who happened to ask?
Re-reading: yes or no?
I think it’s also a good measure of a recommendation: if someone suggests a book to me and tells me they’ve read it four times, I’m probably more likely to pick it up. I figure at the worst, I know I’ve got someone who will be happy to chat about it with me! If you’ve re-read anything, let me know what it is in the comments so I can check it out!