To Re-read or Not to Re-read? | Bookish Discussion


With the recent release of Victoria Aveyard's War Storm and my realisation that I could not remember a single thing that happened in the previously, I decided to marathon all three books in the series before carrying on. It started off well. I was reading them at a good pace, but when I got halfway through Glass Sword I suddenly got very bored. I struggled to finish it and I haven't wanted to pick up the next one. Which got me thinking on whether or not re-reading it was a good idea. 

That excitement I get from reading a book I am loving for the first time, wanting to turn the pages as quickly as possible to see what happened next, wasn't there. I didn't feel a need to keep on reading when my only goal was to finish it to get started on the new instalment. It just wasn't as interesting to re-read. As I have said many times, this is one of my favourite fantasies and started my love for the genre, but now I'm thinking I love it more for its sentimentality. 

Don't get me wrong, it's still a good book and one I would recommend for new readers in the genre, and I am sure once I get to it, I'll gain back that excitement when reading War Storm. But for me, I feel like a great book should be able to be re-read and re-read, with each time unravelling somthing you didn't notice before. 

The Handmaid's Tale is a book I have now re-read three times. Each time I notice somthing else. The first time I read it in my own time, the second was whilst studying it in school and the third as revision. Obviously, we went into it with a lot more detail when reading for school, annotating and discussing the important scenes, (this is a book that differently needs to be analysed further than just a basic read as Margret Atwood is so incredibly clever yet subtle with her choice of words that have such a great and meaningful impact.) But despite this, when I re-read it again as revision before my final exam, there were still things I hadn't noticed before and I still enjoyed reading it. 

I have to be honest though, apart from Harry Potter, Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda and a  handful of others, I haven't re-read many other books. There are plenty of books I want to re-read, Six of Crows and Strange the Dreamer to name two, but I haven't actually crossed from wanting to re-read them, to actually doing so. I always opt for the release that just came out. There are so many books in this world and there is no way I can read every single one I want. Even if I spent every single second of everyday reading, getting my meals delivered to me and speaking to no one who wasn't made of words on a page, it would still be impossible. So do we have time to re-read books anyway?

What I really want to know is what do you do? Are you someone who makes time to re-read those favourites every once in a while, or only ever read your favourites over and over, or has never re-read a book in your life? I don't think anyway is wrong and each has its benefits, but I think it'll be rare for me to pick up a book I've already read over one I've never read before. When I do, it's mainly as a comfort read. For example, I know Simon and his story will always make me smile. If I need cheering up or just to have a happy read it's the book I pick up and I know happiness is guaranteed. There are few books that I love so much that I know I will get the same feelings each time I read it and that what I want when I pick up somthing I already know. 

Which I think is why I am now more hesitant to pick up other books I was planning to re-read. I don't want that initial magic that I got on the first read to have vanished on the second. I don't want any of my favourite books to become less favourites. 

Re-reading can be great and you can get so much more out from that book. But in others, it seems to have the opposite effect. So to summerise that back and forth post, I really don't know what I think about re-reading... Which is why I want to discuss it more. If you have any thoughts, please comment below as I would love to talk about it with you! Is re-reading worth it?

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2 comments

  1. I don't tend to re-read often and the only books I've read more than once [other than ones for school] are one off book [not in a series]. I feel if I re-read a series I would eventually get bored with the characters as I do with TV series as well. If I was to re-read a book due to the next book in the series coming out and forgetting what happened I guess I would read the one before it and hope I can jog my memory

    Sophie | www.sophiesspot.co.uk

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    1. I think that's what's happened to me sadly! I don't rent to re watch series either - Friends being the only exception! 😄

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