Literary Musings · To Read or Not to Read?

To Re-read or Not to Re-Read

My current Goodreads list of books I want to read contains over two hundred titles. And yet I still sometimes find myself re-reading books I’ve already read. This may seem like a silly idea. Why read something old if I can read something new? But sometimes I just feel the need to read something familiar. Other times, I have other reasons for my madness.

So let us get into more specifics about why I re-read.

  1. Nostalgia. Some books just have certain memories attached to them. Case in point: Harry Potter. I grew up with those characters and they shaped a large part of my bookish life as a teenager and as an adult. And reading those books is like going to a school reunion and only seeing the people I want to see/or at least knowing that those I don’t want to see won’t be there for long. It’s like returning to my childhood.
  2. Comfort. When I’m not feeling well I usually still like to read but I’m not always in a condition to really absorb new information. But when I’ve read something a few times I don’t need to create the whole world in my head because it’s already there.
  3. When life gets in the way. I feel better when I get a chance to read but when life gets busy (around the holidays or during a trip) I don’t want to/have the time to escape into a fictional world as much as I would like. So a reread it is. That way I can get my reading fix but I don’t have to say “hey, I don’t want to go to the beach because I have to know what happens next in my book” because I already know what happens next.
  4. Series. I have this bad habit of reading books that are in series that haven’t been completed. And sometimes I don’t feel the need to reread before the next one comes out. But other times, when I really really loved the first book or two, I decide I need to read them again before I can keep going. With trilogies this isn’t too big of a deal but sometimes that can be a massive undertaking.

The above are just a few reasons why I am an advocate for rereading books. What about you? Do you reread or is life too short for that?

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