I read a lot.
Just in case you didn’t catch it in the title or haven’t read my blog, reading’s my jam. I love it.
And if there is anything I’ve learned in my reading life is that for every book I read there are at least 50 that I won’t read for a variety of reasons (no time being the biggest). It makes me sad to think that there are authors out there who put there hearts and souls into creating something that I can’t or won’t read, and I hope every book finds its reader. But often I’m not that reader.
So, with all these books out there that I won’t have time to read, why do I take time to reread a book? That’s a question with only one real answer: Because I want to.
But let me dive into that a little deeper. There are a myriad of reasons as to why I would read a book a second time, to let an already read work take a much coveted space on my currently reading pile.
Or virtual pile.
To be clear, my favorite way to reread a book is to listen to it – usually at bedtime or while I work. I put the book on my Echo and listen away. If it’s at bedtime, I set a sleep timer and let the words lull me to sleep. If I think I missed something, I might rewind a little the next time I listen – but, since I’ve read it before, I don’t feel like I’m missing too much.
And, even though it’s a listen rather than a physical read, it’s still part of my reading list, and those spots are special. As much as I would like to, I have work and family, so I can’t spend my whole day reading or even listening to a book. So the books I decide reread need a good reason. So, in case you’re wondering what a good reason might be, let me enlighten you:
The first and foremost reason I reread a book is the memories associated with that book. It may have struck a chord during a particular moment in my life, making it special in an emotional way. A passage remembered, a character who understood, or lived, my pain.
It could be that a book made me smile, and I need some happy in my life. Or maybe I suddenly remember a setting or a family and I feel the need to revisit them.
Whatever the reason, I return because of the good memories.
I Hated It, but Others Have Raved About It
We all know reading is very subjective and personal, so this is a tough one. There are times, though, I’ll give a book another try. If someone with whom I usually agree loves a book I hated, I consider a reread.
I might not make it all the way through, but I’ve been known to reconsider my dislike.
I have been known to change my mind on a dislike — usually it’s a classic I read in high school and appreciate in a totally different light as an adult.
It’s a Seasonal Thing
Certain books call to me in certain seasons. Like now. I’m rereading (through Audible) the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness. I just finished A Discovery of Witches, the first of the trilogy, and I’m onto Shadow of Night.
Although the series isn’t necessarily seasonal, A Discovery of Witches is, at least for me. It takes place in the early fall, September and October, mostly in Oxford, England and upstate New York (although the short time spent in France is memorable). And, it’s about witches and other creatures (vampires and daemons), so pretty perfect for Halloween.
(FYI, it’s an incredibly smart magical series, well researched and very engaging. And Jennifer Ikeda is wonderful, and the voice I associate with Diana Bishop, the protagonist and main narrator of the books). I talked about the books earlier: Finding Balance and The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness.
It’s a classic
There’s always a good time to reread a classic. I’ll read an article about the book that makes me think of it in a new, deeper way. Or I may find just want to find something new, or look at it from a different perspective.
And may have been canon I disliked or even HATED and I’ve decided to give another chance. In THAT instance, it falls under two of my rereading categories 🙂
It’s Stephen King
I will pretty much always ALWAYS reread Stephen King. Not everyone of his books, but I have a few that I come back to again and again. It’s usually because I feel a need to revisit his characters. This last summer, it was because I finished The Dark Tower Series at realized how many of his books related to the worlds in this wonderful opus of books.
But there are many other times when I’ll circle back to one or more of his books just because I want to.
For me, Stephen King is always justified as a reread (relisten). And BONUS!, he usually has great narrators.
Now you have it — for me, these are the reasons for rereads.
What are your thoughts on rereading? What’s your favorite reread? Let me know — I might add it to my list!