Do you reread books? I reread (or is it “re-read”? Can the hyphen police jump in?) books all the time. I just have too many favorites out there. (When someone asks me what my favorite book is, it feels like asking a mother to pick a favorite child. How do you choose?) I can’t just let them gather dust on the shelf – that would be mean. So every couple years or so I pick up a favorite and read through it again. It’s kind of like coming back to an old friend. Even though I know how the book will end, I’m there to enjoy the ride rather than just to see what happens.

Rereading does more than entertain, though. A reading experience is never the same twice, even if you’re reading the same book. Picking up a book again, years later, shows you how much you have changed since first reading it, creating a whole different perception of the book. It reflects your growth back to you. A good way to test this, though more drastic than many rereading experiences, is to pick up a book from childhood. I 100% guarantee that it will not be the same as you remember it. I’m willing to bet you on that.

Actually I’m also willing to bet that many childhood books were more disturbing or creepy than you remember. I read The Giver for the first time in about, oh, ten years, recently, and there was some stuff in there that had NOT hit my radar as a kid. There were babies involved. It was not pretty. Also, does anyone remember that book where this girl’s brain was put inside the body of an ape to save her life? What was up with that?

But anyway. I digress.

I may do a more in-depth post about re-reading in the future; I went to the library yesterday and there are whole books about rereading! Apparently it’s a subject fascinating enough to fill whole books. 

Are there any books you just love to reread? Are those books careworn from love with dog-eared edges and cracked spines like mine?


6 thoughts on “Rereads

  1. I used to frequently re-read, especially Harry Potter which I practically knew off by heart! I agree you can get new things with a re-read. Now I’m a blogger I don’t re-read often, I feel like I have to read new books to post on the blog, and my TBR pile is so big that I don’t feel I have time to re-read!

    The book with the girl who gets her brain put in a monkey is Eva by Peter Dickinson, one of my favourites as a teenager. It’s just been re-released as well! I would really like to re-read that one

  2. Pingback: Rereading 1493 By Charles C. Mann | Consilient Interest
  3. Ooh, yes! Rereading is wonderful, but I feel guilty when it keeps me from reading something new. There isn’t enough time for all the books I want to read. Last spring, I reread Watership Down for the first time in years. I had forgotten a lot, and it is still one of my favorites. But definitely the one book I reread the most is the Bible. This one will keep me preoccupied for the rest of my life, and it always gives me something new to think on every time I open it.

    • I feel guilty too, but some books I love so much I can’t help but read them again (and again and again). Do you still consider WD one of your favorite books after reading it again? I remember you really liked it in high school.
      I can see why reading the BIble is worth rereading! It has so much to study in it that I’m sure, as you say, it can be studied for a lifetime, and still leaving room for more study.

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