“There’s nothing wrong with reading a book you love over and over. When you do, the words get inside you, become a part of you, in a way that words in a book you’ve read only once can’t.”
― Gail Carson Levine, Writing Magic: Creating Stories that Fly
I love rereading books like many other readers out there. So I have often wondered why we return back to our favourite stories when there’s a multitude of books out there waiting to be read. Many people do not attempt to do so for many valid reasons. They might see it as a waste of time or perhaps they fear they might lose that wonderful feeling when they first read it. And they have a point. I actually shared the same views until I decided to reread Harry Potter way back in secondary school and realised what a marvellous experience it really is. I appreciate the fact that everyone is different and what works for me might not really be appealing for others. But if you’re curious or want to fall into the habit of rereading books, I will be focusing on the many reasons why a number of people do so.
- I believe that one of the most common motivator to reread books is to have the opportunity to revisit your favourite characters and those special moments that made you laugh, cry or that inspired you in your life. Nothing can truly compare with the feeling of meeting your beloved characters once again like old friends. We form a very intimate bond with them especially if the book is well written and they read like actual living people. Unfortunately we cannot send them a text to meet up at our favourite café so we have to make do with rereading the book and hoping against hope that they would one day become real! (I wish)
- It is undeniable that books inspire us and make us feel a multitude of emotions that we had no idea we were capable of feeling! So it’s natural to want to read your favourite passages again and allow the words to suck you back into the story and make you feel things in a raw and open way. It is so comforting to be able to envelope yourself amongst the pages you could call home. This is honesty how I feel every time I reread Harry Potter. If I’m going through a rough time I always turn back to it because I know that it would welcome me back with open arms and somehow comfort me in ways that other things can’t. And it’s also the best remedy for a reading slump!
- We change as humans. There’s no denying that because it’s in our nature, even if the changes are subtle and not that conspicuous to the naked eye. Rereading a book you first read a couple of years ago is a totally different experience because now you have all those years behind you that have probably changed your perspective and the way you think. Since then you’ve read countless books, seen many films or TV shows and met with loads of different people, and all these somehow change the way we see things around us and thus make you see the story in a whole new light. You may now connect with a certain character that you hated before, understand a quote on a much deeper level or you might also hate the book entirely…which would totally suck big time! But on the bright side you would at least have discovered something new about yourself!
- Quite often it feels good to reread a book knowing exactly what will happen next. Why? Because you’re not itching to see how the story will progress and you can just focus on the details and read it at a leisurely pace. You won’t have to focus on trying to figure out who the characters are or what their motives might be and instead you can try to discover any new references or connections that you missed the first time you read it. Having said that, this is the reason why I don’t reread thrillers. Not only because I don’t have a favorite book from this genre but also because most crime/thriller books focus heavily on the plot and the anticipation of what will happen next and this is what drives me to read them in the first place. Having no puzzle to unravel the second time round, I find that it loses the scope to read it again. However I guess it would be fun to look out for those details that make more sense when you already know the ending.
- Lately I’ve discovered how helpful it is to reread a book before it’s sequel comes out. I couldn’t for the life of me remember what happened in A Darker Shade of Magic, even though it was and still remains one of my all-time favourite books! So instead of resorting to Recaptains (which is a great site btw!) I decided to reread it and ended up enjoying it even more the second time round! I also reread books before the movie adaptation comes out so I could spend those two hours complaining how the filmmakers didn’t even come remotely close to my expectations!
If you don’t like rereading books that is completely fine; after all everyone is different and that is the beauty of life. But I think it’s something worth trying and if it doesn’t work out for you then it wouldn’t be the end of the world ! x