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books, books, and more books! > to reread or not to reread?

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message 1: by jessi (new)

jessi (infinitevantage) | 157 comments Do you guys tend to reread books, or do you prefer to keep trying new material?

For a while, there wasn't much that I would reread, with the Harry Potter series being a big exception (because I have read it several times and will probably continue to read them through about once a year for the rest of my life). There were a few things I thought I should try again, like To Kill A Mockingbird and other classics that I read in high school (I thought I would get more out of them now that I am older, and I was right).

But this year I have reread a few books (I just finished rereading Fight Club, for instance, and I am now rereading Hairstyles of the Damned), and there are several more that I want to revisit again very soon (Life of Pi, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, and a few others are on my short list). Typically, this would bother me, because I own hundreds of books and I still need to read about half of them. Plus, I am always acquiring more, and life is short, and there is so much I want to read! Sometimes I feel like I am wasting my precious reading time by rereading a book.

What do you guys think about rereading?


message 2: by Tami (new)

Tami | 3103 comments Mod
I am with you, it totally depends on the books. Some I have really enjoyed rereading, others not so much, but I finish once I have started. Maybe that is a tell sign of a good book: it is a good book if you enjoy rereading it!


message 3: by Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner), The Founding Bookworm (new)

Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner) (perpetualpageturner) | 4407 comments Mod
I am not a big re-reader to tell you the truth. I feel as though there are SO many books that I want to read that I don't have time to re-read. The only books I've ever re-read or considered re-reading are 3 of my favorites: On the Road, The Bell Jar, and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close...because I absolutely love them and know I will get something new out of them every time. I think some classics that I read in middle school/high school I might re-read again because I can't even remember any details about them. But for the most part..unless it becomes a really special book to me..I doubt I will re-read.


message 4: by Tenderine (new)

Tenderine | 13 comments I'm always thinking between the same lines: do I have enough time for rereads, will I be wasting my time etc. Usually a new book wins this fight but there are several authors whom I cant help rereading. I will never part with Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Remarque - with time they get only better. I will definitely reread (and not once) Harry Potter =)


message 5: by Drew (new)

Drew Hamilton (drewhamilton) I am mixed on it. I really like discovering new material and expanding my personal library, but I also have a few select books that I reread. The Giver is one I read every summer, for instance.


message 6: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly (kimberlywithat) | 2140 comments Ha, I'm completely different from all of you. I love rereading books. I get attached to the characters and its like getting to visit old friends everytime I read the book. (Kinda like you all said that you'd reread Harry Potter.) I've read probably 80% of my books at least twice.


message 7: by Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner), The Founding Bookworm (new)

Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner) (perpetualpageturner) | 4407 comments Mod
Ooh The Giver! I used to re-read that every year but I haven't in a few years. Definitely time for a re-read of that too!

Also with me..I think that it depends on how long the book is if I'll re-read it.


message 8: by Kellie (new)

Kellie (kellieag) Right now I can only think of a few books I've re-read, and it's because they're some of my absolute favorites: The Bell Jar, The Catcher in the Rye, and a Tree Grows in Brooklyn.


message 9: by Molly (new)

Molly (slinkyxo) | 153 comments I re-read occasionally if I know I need a certain type of book to either cheer me up or make me laugh or just to comfort me. It's like watching a favorite movie for me. I know the lines all by heart but it doesn't make a difference. It can make be just as happy or laugh just as hard as the first time I watched it.


message 10: by Jessie (new)

Jessie (Jessie08) | 128 comments I really don't like to re-read. I just have too many books that I haven't gotten to yet. However, To Kill a Mockingbird is the one book that I will return to occasionally. I agree with Jamie, in that there are a few books from high school that I would like to re-read. I think that there are a number that I would appreciate more now that I'm older and also that I'm not assigned to read them.


message 11: by Jen (new)

Jen (wishesandwanderlust) | 696 comments I do reread books from time to time. Usually only if a long time has passed since I read the book.

Lately I have been interested in rereading books from high school to see if I still feel the same about them (for example Great Expectations was painful to get through in 10th grade so I wonder if I'd actually enjoy the book now).


message 12: by Lori (new)

Lori Walker I love rereading my absolute favorites and Harry Potter because it's like I pick up on something new each time I read it. Probably because each time, I'm in a different frame of mind and different things jump out at me. I also definitely want to reread those books from high school that I didn't want to read, like 1984, Brave New World, The Scarlet Letter and a few others because I think I've grown enough to realize that they are good pieces of literature and I was being a snot-nosed brat. All in all, I'm not against rereading because I do a lot more first time reading.


message 13: by Silvia (new)

Silvia (silverware) | 436 comments I've only re-read one book ever so Ill classify myself in the non rereader section!!! :P


message 14: by Tahleen (new)

Tahleen I like rereading sometimes. I have always said that To Kill a Mockingbird is the kind of book I can open to any page and start reading (actually, maybe I'll do that tonight...). I also used to reread Kathryn Lasky's A Voice in the Wind every summer, and last summer finally bought a copy used online (since it is so obscure and now out of print).

It's also interesting to reread a book you never thought you would, like when we did the group read for The Secret Life of Bees I reread that and didn't like it as much as I remembered liking it (I had read it in the summer after 10th grade the first time).

So those are my thoughts on rereading.


message 15: by Lori (new)

Lori Walker It's funny because my professor started talking about rereading yesterday. I think he's a proponent of it because he mentioned that however many times you reread something, you're different so it speaks to you differently.


message 16: by Melissa (new)

Melissa  | 33 comments To me, rereading is a crucial part of the reading experience. It is true that there's an overwhelming amount of books to be read out there (with more being written every day!), but it is so important to take your time with books and read them again if possible. This is especially true with classics. The first time you read a book, you are focusing mainly on the plot, trying to keep the characters straight, etc. The second time you read a book it is so much more relaxing. You can appreciate the writing, the complexity of the characters, the subtle things that you didn't notice on the first read. Often a novel will linger on in my subconscious for a long time after I read it, and so when I reread I get a totally different take on the same book.

Although it is tempting to read as many books as possible (because you don't have a lot of time, because you own so many, or because you just want to cross off a bunch on your TBR list), what is the point if you can't really appreciate them and remember what happened in them?




message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

It's quite simple, really. If I like a book, I re-read it, if I don't, I won't. For some books that I absolutely love, I re-read them, or parts of them constantly. Like Wuthering Heights. I know parts of that off by heart now.


message 18: by Keara (new)

Keara Clifford (KearaClifford) | 22 comments ohh i almost will never re read!! i even have a hard time reading a book and then watching the movie because i get bored during the movie since i know what is going to happen!

although books that i read when i was younger and i read now... its amazing the stuff that you suddenly understand now but didnt back then.


message 19: by Janet (new)

Janet I really haven't ever re-read a book. But lately I have really wanted to. I want to re-read the Harry Potter series. Also, now that I am student teaching in a middle school I am re-reading a lot of YA novels to be caught up. My teacher is also giving me a lot of newer YA books to be up to date. I don't mind re-reading, but I have never done it but I think I am going to start on some books.


message 20: by jessi (new)

jessi (infinitevantage) | 157 comments Harry Potter is great for rereading. Once you know what will happen, you catch all this foreshadowing in the earlier books that you probably missed. You also catch characters in passing in the earlier books who you didn't know who they were the first time, but then since they are developed later, it can be rather interesting. And, if you're a nerd like me and you have read Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, etc. you pick up on things too.


message 21: by Daniel (new)

Daniel Clausen Lately, it's been all about rereading. Mostly, I think it's because I'm still hung up on being a writer, so I want to start reading books like a writer. I'm not sure how many of you guys are hung up on doing the writer thing, and reread books for that reason.

Rereading Beloved for the fourth time really gave me an appreciation of how hard it is to put together a long, cohesive work.


message 22: by Tahleen (new)

Tahleen I need to reread Beloved.


message 23: by Kayla (new)

Kayla | 604 comments I hardly ever reread books, but I enjoy it when I do because the books that I reread are favorites of mine and I like to revisit the characters. Usually, a lot of time has passed from when I last read the book, so when I reread it there are many scenes and even some characters that I don't remember, so it still feels new in some ways.

I am also beginning to consider rereading classics that I read when I was younger, of which I loved (like To Kill a Mockingbird) and of which I hated (like Great Expectations) in order to see if I get anything different out of them now that I'm older.


message 24: by Amy (new)

Amy (signgirlamy) Jessi wrote: "Harry Potter is great for rereading. Once you know what will happen, you catch all this foreshadowing in the earlier books that you probably missed. You also catch characters in passing in the earl..."

I can highly recommend reading the HP series in reverse order. I realized how much foreshadowing there was by reading the books backwards - even little things that didn't really matter. I actually enjoyed it more than reading the books the right way :)




message 25: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly (kimberlywithat) | 2140 comments Amy wrote: "I can highly recommend reading the HP series in reverse order. I realized how much foreshadowing there was by reading the books backwards - even little things that didn't really matter. I actually enjoyed it more than reading the books the right way :) "


I've actually done that! You're right, you do catch a lot more.



message 26: by Lori (new)

Lori Walker Do you ever find yourself rereading the same books each year? I know that it's not uncommon to read a book more than once, but to reread a book pretty much every year like clockwork (calendar-work?): is that uncommon?

I've noticed that I've read Peyton Place the last 2 years and I plan on reading it again this year.


message 27: by Tahleen (new)

Tahleen I do that with A Voice in the Wind; I used to read it every summer and recently started doing it again.


message 28: by Alicia (new)

Alicia (kalypso) | 214 comments I have a few books at home that I want to read again but there is so little time and I have a million books I haven't read also!


message 29: by Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner), The Founding Bookworm (new)

Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner) (perpetualpageturner) | 4407 comments Mod
I feel the same way Alicia! I want to go back and reread but my tbr list grows all the time!


message 30: by Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner), The Founding Bookworm (new)

Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner) (perpetualpageturner) | 4407 comments Mod
I just started a new feature on my blog called Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down where people give their opinions on bookish things. The first one I talked about was re-reading so I wanted to bring this back up.

I have had such an urge to reread lately but I'm just having such a hard time when I have SO many books I want to read..especially those ones that I own!


message 31: by Joyzi (new)

Joyzi (jOiT) I love rereading, actually I think a person will understand a book more if they reread it, I've only reread books that are my favorite and sometimes I don't reread the whole book just the parts that I love


message 32: by Tahleen (new)

Tahleen I like rereading books when I feel the urge to go back to something. I don't think you should feel guilty for reading things you want to read, especially when you don't have any deadlines! If you do, then maybe read the ones you have to first, and then reward yourself with your favorite that you want to revisit. And I also believe you find new things with each reading, so it's well worth it to reread.


message 33: by Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner), The Founding Bookworm (new)

Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner) (perpetualpageturner) | 4407 comments Mod
Tahleen wrote: "I like rereading books when I feel the urge to go back to something. I don't think you should feel guilty for reading things you want to read, especially when you don't have any deadlines! If you d..."

That's a good idea! Do it when I feel like rereading. I'm really wanting to reread a few of my favorites again! I think I'm going to!

Joyzi wrote: "I love rereading, actually I think a person will understand a book more if they reread it, I've only reread books that are my favorite and sometimes I don't reread the whole book just the parts tha..."

See, that's where I struggle so much! I want to read because I know there are so many things that I haven't gleaned from the pages of those books so I want to go reread them since I loved them but then I look at the massive TBR pile at home and I panic. lol


message 34: by Joyzi (new)

Joyzi (jOiT) Haha sometimes I've also reread books when the sequel will come out or a movie adaptation will come out to refresh my memory


message 35: by Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner), The Founding Bookworm (new)

Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner) (perpetualpageturner) | 4407 comments Mod
Joyzi wrote: "Haha sometimes I've also reread books when the sequel will come out or a movie adaptation will come out to refresh my memory"

I think that is why I always end up waiting to read series when they've already come out! I'm so impatient AND I want it to be fresh in my mind. But when I do wait for a series to come out, I tend to reread as well. I have to or I really will forget who people are.


message 36: by Spencer (new)

Spencer (spencerafreeman) I never really considered rereading books until recently. I used to feel the same way as you, Jamie, which was that there were too many books I wanted to get through and felt guilty if I were to go back and reread something. Also, I also used to think that I wouldn't enjoy rereading a book because I'd already know what was going to happen...

However, because I am a speed reader, one of the downsides to that is that I often miss a lot from quickly consuming a book -- I don't let it digest, and often forget things about the book, aside from the basic plot (and sometimes even that).

That being said, I've decided to start rereading books that have sparked my interest -- starting with the Harry Potter series. I've never reread them and it'll be the first time I've read them since '98, when they first came out. Luckily, since it's been so long, it's like reading the for the first time all over again!


message 37: by Tami (new)

Tami | 3103 comments Mod
Anastasia, I reread them all in August of 2009 and started again a little while ago. It still seems so new to me and I am into the double digits on times read at least for the first few.


message 38: by Kayla (new)

Kayla | 604 comments I also plan to reread the Harry Potter series soon. I've never reread any of the books yet and I'm excited to revisit them all!


message 39: by Neen (new)

Neen I used to re-read all of my books, I just found a few I really liked and would re-read them stuck in a comfort zone, but now I am trying to branch out more and find new books.. but I still see no harm in re-reading when it's a book you really enjoy, what's the point of denying yourself it when you really liked it.. Just now I'm seeing it as, as long as I do read more new books than I re-read that's OK and hopefully I will find more books I really enjoy and want to re-read just as much.


message 40: by Irene (new)

Irene Hollimon | 30 comments When I had limited access to the kind of books I like, I reread. Now that I have unlimited access to kind of books I like, I don't reread anymore.
I have books that are good enough to reread but... ah so many books, so little time...


message 41: by Samantha (new)

Samantha (samhanson) | 179 comments I never reread books since there are so many books I haven't read yet that I want to. Maybe when my list gets smaller (which it probably never will) or when I have more time (which I probably won't for a while) I'll reread some books. I really should because there are a couple books I remember really liking but barely remember what happens in them.


message 42: by Agnes (new)

Agnes Samantha wrote: "I never reread books since there are so many books I haven't read yet that I want to. Maybe when my list gets smaller (which it probably never will) or when I have more time (which I probably won't..."

Amen I could not agree with you more :)


message 43: by Nikki (new)

Nikki I don't often reread books. The only books that I've read several times are very easy and fun to read, like the HP and Twilight books. More serious, adult books I usually only read once.


message 44: by Jen (new)

Jen (wishesandwanderlust) | 696 comments Have you reread any books lately?

At some point this summer I want to reread a few of my favorite books. For some of them its been so long since I've read them I'm getting a little fuzzy on the details.


message 45: by Annie (new)

Annie Hartman (anniebananie) | 242 comments I like to re-read things that I haven't read in several years. I just bought a used copy of House of Sand and Fog and I can't wait to read it because it's been so long! It's almost like reading it for the first time again!
There are a few favorites I read over and over: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass, The Great Gatsby, and of course, Jessica Z.!


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