To Reread or Not to Reread?

Reread or not

With all the series that are ending this year, or just coming out with the next book, I’ve talked to a few people about their habits and opinions on rereading. I’ve gotten mixed answers, but I’m always surprised when I hear someone say they don’t like rereading at all! I think my mom is the number one advocate of this – she actually doesn’t like buying books, just because she reads it, and then won’t pick it up again. So when she says, “I’d read this again!” I basically have to stop everything and find out what was so fantastic about that book.

Now me, on the other hand, I love rereading. So much so that I read the entire Pushing the Limit series in January, and then read them all again in the beginning of May before Take Me On was released! The same goes for the Grisha books; I read the first two in November of 2013, and I sped through both of them just a few weeks ago before Ruin and Rising is released. I also plan on reading the first three books in the Throne of Glass series (counting Assassin’s Blade) before I get to Heir of Fire, and potentially reading Anna and Lola before Isla and the Happily Ever After is released.

I know that this may be a “waste of time” for some people – I mean, I could be reading so many new books, but I can’t help it! Rereading my favorites is like visiting an old friend. It’s comfortable, relaxing, and even therapeutic. I don’t have to pay as much attention to the details; I just let the story wash over me and take me away for a few hours. Harry Potter is the ultimate reread for me; I think I’ve gone through the series at least ten times over, and the Goblet of Fire maybe fifteen times? My poor babies are falling apart at the spines.

Another benefit to rereading: catching all the little details or bits of foreshadowing you didn’t see before. When I reread the Divergent books before Allegiant, I was astounded the complexity of all the themes I saw and how they were woven into the story. And TFiOS? I was cursing John Green’s name because it was so CLEAR what was going to happen, but I had missed all the signs my first time around in ignorant bliss.

And then there’s the simple issue of my horrible book amnesia. Well, my memory in general pretty much sucks all that is suckable. That whole cliche of “you can’t remember what you had for breakfast”? Yeah, totally me. So no matter how much I love a series – I mean, it could be my absolute favorite – I will forget something. Sometimes, even when I write reviews, I have to glance back to remember a character’s name. This is also a good time to make a PSA to any blogger I talk to: if I repeat questions, or say something twice over, I am so sorry. Gently remind me and laugh at me and I’ll correct myself. Case in point: I was talking to Francine @ Fluffy Reads the other day, and I mentioned how excited I had been to be approved for Heir of Fire. Not twelve hours later, when she commented on an instagram photo of mine, I told her again, completely forgetting that I had already mentioned it. So, rereading stuff: a MUST for this poor old brain of mine.

There are two exceptions to my reread habits: The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Me Since You. Both were so special to me in that moment I read them, and impacted me in so many ways, that I’m afraid if I read them again they won’t be as influential or important to me. Those are the books that I see on my shelf, smile fondly, maybe run a finger down their spine, and move on. Someday I’ll read them again, but when, I’m not sure. They’ll always be there at least!

What about you? Reread or not?

Also: a super happy birthday to my mom! Love you so much mommy ❤

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29 thoughts on “To Reread or Not to Reread?

  1. I love rereading too. I don’t think you can call a book a favourite of yours if you’ve only read it once. Since I started blogging, one of the main things I miss is rereading my favourites (so many books so little time), so this year I started a reread challenge to read 10 of my favourites. I’ve only managed two so far, but I’m determined to do it. 🙂

    • Oh I like that challenge! When I first started blogging, I never reread either. But now I’m about a year in and I’ve learned how to balance rereads with ARCs and such 🙂

  2. I will re-read now, but I used to not. It wasn’t until I found some series that just stayed with me and I wanted to own that I started. I figured that if I was going to commit all this shelf space to these authors and books, not to mention the money in buying them in the first place, I should read these titles more then once to justify owning them. So once I year I pick a series and re-read it. Last year it was a huge series just before a highly anticipated release. It was so worth it. There were 30 some stories to get through and I think I appreciated the new book more because all the plot threads were fresh in my mind. I get what you said about some books being so special that you are worried about the story changing in a re-read. If only there was a way to re-read those titles for the first time again…

    • 30 books?? Wow! That’s quite a commitment O_O

      I wish I could read everything for the first time too. I mean, it’s nice to revisit old stories, but there’s really nothing like that first time you meet your favorite characters.

  3. I love rereading! My aunt was the first person who told me she never rereads and I just don’t understand that 🙂

    Yes, it’s totally like visiting an old friend, comforting and relaxing like you sad. It’s nice because you know what you’re going to get. So if you’re sick or in a bad mood or feel like something lighthearted and fun or just need something that will make you laugh – you know where to find it. Also, I see greater depths in the characters or learn new things; understand the foreshadowing with brings depth to the story, again like you said 🙂

    I don’t reread as much as I used to since I have a great library that makes discovering new books a world of fun. But I still reread quite a bit too.

  4. Happy birthday to you mom 🙂

    True story: I almost never re-read. In my entire life the only books I’ve re-read are Megan Whalen Turner’s Queens Thief series, Ella Enchanted, The Hundred Secret Senses. I will skim but sometimes I more like owning a book for reference than for knowing I’ll really re-read it. I am finishing a re-read of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before but that stemmed more from reading an arc and knowing it was different from the finished copy.

    • Thank you! She says thank you as well 😀

      I can understand that as well; I know I’ll be reading the Heir of Fire ARC but I’ll need to read the finished copy when it’s released.

  5. I haven’t reread anything in a while, and the only reason I haven’t is because it’s time-consuming and I have so many books I want to experience for the first time. But I mean, I rewatch TV show episodes and movies ALL THE TIME. It really isn’t any different to me, except reading takes longer.

    • I rewatch all my TV shows all the time too! I think it’s just easier because you can put an episode on and do something else while you watch it.

      But I understand; it’s especially hard if a book is like 500 pages long and you want to reread that.

  6. I’m stuck in the same boat, especially with Throne of Glass books. I read both Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight close to when they came out so I could use a refresher before Heir of Fire. Plus I still have yet to read the Assassain’s Blade so it would be nice to reread them all starting with that one. I just feel bad because there are so many other books to read, you know?

    • I think it’d help to read at least the Assassin’s Blade, to get back in it, but reading the other two books will help too since I’m sure things are going to get really complicated in book three!

  7. I love the idea of rereading because like you say you get so much you missed on that first read through – but I haven’t reread a book in ages – because I’m trying to get a handle on my TBR list. I saw there is an official reread of the Throne of Glass books coming up though and I really want to participate, so hopefully I’ll do that! Otherwise, I think I find it hard to motivate myself to pick up a book I’ve already read, when there are so many I still need to!

    BTW, Goblet of Fire is my fave of the HP books! 😀

  8. Oh, Kayla, you just keep getting awesomer and awesomer because YES, HP is the ultimate re-read. It’s the only series I’ve been re-reading through the years, even when I don’t have time. In fact, I always make it a point to re-read the books at least once a year to keep my love fired up… not that it’ll ever die, of course. 😉 Personally, I don’t think re-reading is a waste of time, even though I rarely do it. If the book is good, and if it is re-read-worthy, then by all means, go ahead and read it again. And again. It’s not time wasting if you’re enjoying it, right? Which is what I’m planning to do with the Grisha series once my copy of Ruin & Rising arrives. CAN’T WAIT.

    And about the book amnesia: omg, that is SO me. Maybe not the forgetting-what-I-ate-for-breakfast part, but the bit where even the main character’s name slips my mind. And most of the time, I forget stories almost completely within a week. It’s crazy. I’m sincerely hoping this problem doesn’t come and haunt me in the future… somehow. Don’t worry, I repeat things all the time, too. Everyone must be annoyed by now.

    Btw, most of my books are yellow with age and that many of my HP books require several layers of tape to keep them together, too. Shows that I luuuurve them lots, though! ❤

    • I’ve been certified awesome ❤ I feel so special!

      I haven't done my yearly HP reread yet… I want to though, especially since I got that new set! They need to be broken in, I think 😛

      AHHH I just got R&R today and did my reread a week ago! I CAN'T WAIT.

      We can be repetitive and annoying together, Meg. And maybe you can remind me what I had for breakfast.

  9. YES TO THE REREAD.
    You can pick up on so many more things with the rereading! And certain things may have more meaning once you know what happens later on in the book. God you’re right, SO MANY THINGS IN TFIOS #rollercoaster #watchingthemovieontheplane #stairsvselevator #parentsyellingatgusbeforetheflight

    lol to book amnesia. The book twin-ness even extends to that 😛 Sometimes I will forget the first name of the protagonist literally 5 minutes after having read the book. Or I’ll forget how exactly it ends the day after having read the book. SO TERRIBLE.

    • “Osteosarcoma likes to take a limb, and if it likes you, it’ll come back.” *drowning in tears*

      Okay, this is getting kind of scary now O_O I do the same thing if it’s a book I was meh about!

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  12. I have serious issues with rereading – I love to do it, NEED to do it because like you, my memory is so shocking. I haven’t read CoHF yet because I can’t, for the life of me, remember what happened in the last book.

    But then I’m also on the other side of things – I think it’s a waste of time and I could be hacking into my TBR instead of rereading an entire series!

    I have issues. I think I’ll compromise and read like, the last 50 pages of CoLS. Fingers crossed it works!

  13. I’m pretty picky with my re-reads. I re-read my specifically designated re-read books (seriously, it’s quite an odd phenomenon), and also the books before the newest series release (but only if I ADORE AND COVET the series, otherwise I’ll push through my series amnesia and just accept the fact that there are things that will fly over this pretty head of mine 😀
    I definitely do not think that re-reading is a waste of time. We get to re-experience the love and feels that we had when reading the book for the first time – and that’s fantastical and amazing.
    Also, HAPPY BIRTHDAY KAYLA’S MUM!!

  14. I know I was just talking about possibly rereading Me Since You, but I have the same fear as you… We both read that at very specific points in our lives, and I’m worried, too, that it just won’t have the same impact that it did the first time around. So maybe we should put that one aside for now. I have such strong memories of reading that book…I would never want to ruin it. And it was so special. Those moments could never be recreated.

    But you totally & single-handedly convinced me that I need to re-read the Grisha series before R&R. Even though I just read the first two books in the fall, I ended up really wanting to reread them because I felt like the last book would just be more powerful if I was able to re-immerse myself in that world right before diving into the new one.

    Usually I’m pretty anti-reread, though. I get scared, like with Me Since You, that a book won’t live up to it’s original greatness, especially if I have good memories of reading it for the first time. But lately I’ve been wanting to reread more…probably because I’ve been listening to you! 😛 I think that, next year, one of my reading goals is going to be to do one re-read each month.

    • I was fearing the same thing too after we talked about it 😦 Like, what if it’s not the same for either of us?? I think I need to put it off as well. So glad we can agree on that!

      SUCCESS. HELL YEAH. I feel like I can die an accomplished book pusher now 😀

  15. Oh, yes, I love rereading! I used to think it was a waste of time — I could be reading a different book that I haven’t already read! There are too many books I want to read that I’ll never get to if I keep reading books I’ve already read! — but I also couldn’t deny the simple pleasure it gave me. Starting a new book is always a gamble, but returning to old favourites guarantees (almost!) a positive reading experience.

    I try to even it out a bit and give it a full year between reads. That way, I still let myself reread favourites, but I still have plenty of time to work through my never-ending TBR list!

    • Very well put – I think you summed up my whole post in one paragraph!

      I try to give a year, but sometimes I just can’t. Some I’ve barely waited three months before reading a book again!

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