To reread or not to reread?

Discussion - rereading

Last month I reread a couple of my favourite books (ahead of the release of the last book in a series) but before I did this I had a real internal struggle about whether or not this was the best way that I could be using my reading time. Here are some of the pros and cons I debated over.

Pros:

  • Rereading is comforting. I know I’m going to enjoy it. There’s usually a reason I loved the book in the first place. The characters are familiar and it can be great escapism – like watching Home Alone every Christmas.
  • You notice things you never noticed the first time around. The first time reading, I’m usually focused on the plot and what’s going to happen next. The second time is for all the tiny details that I might never have noticed if I hadn’t committed to a reread.
  • It helps refresh your memory of books and revive your enthusiasm when there’s been a gap between releases. I’m particularly bad for forgetting everything that happened in a series and feeling totally lost when I pick up the latest release.
  • Personally, rereading books can help to lift me out of a reading slump. Sometimes I can’t decide what to read next or struggle to get excited about anything, but falling back on an old favourite for a bit of a break can be really helpful in pushing past this.

Cons:

  • You have less time to spend on discovering new authors. I have so many books sat on bookshelves that I’ve bought but haven’t got around to, not to mention the library books that keep getting renewed and the endless depths of my Kindle. Realistically I know I’m never going to read all of the books I currently have in my possession, but if I spend time rereading it feels like I’m not even trying.
  • You feel guilty that about prioritise reread books over others with more pressing deadlines. This includes as library books that need returning or ARCs from publishers, which should ideally be read and reviewed shortly after their release date.
  • If you’re a book blogger, you have less material to use for review posts. If you’re rereading, you’ve likely already reviewed these books in the past. Plus if you use Goodreads (you can connect with me here), you have less books to count towards your overall reading total for the year. The part of me that’s competing with last year’s me for most books read doesn’t handle this well.


Do you reread books? If so, do you have a favourite that you like to come back to again and again?

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17 thoughts on “To reread or not to reread?

  1. Oh, I’m notorious for re-reading…but I’m okay with that, other than the fact that my TBR list is constantly growing. I don’t re-read genres but specific books, the ones that are usually my 5 stars. “The Little Prince”, “Winnie-the-Pooh”, “Darkest Powers” trilogy, “His Dark Materials” trilogy, “The Outsiders”…I think that’s about it. Possibly some others but definitely those. I really want to re-read Harry Potter though! I did a long time ago but I want to now when I know I will have a week or two of freedom 🙂

    • I have a couple of specific books I always come back to as well, Ballet Shoes is one that I’ll never get tired of reading, it’s like a comfort blanket! And definitely re-read Harry Potter! There’s so many details in there that you pick up on the second time around 🙂

  2. YES! I agree with all of your pros and cons. I’ve known a few people who would reread the same things many times for comfort, rather than discover new books.
    I don’t generally re-read because there are just so many books out there and not enough hours in a lifetime to get through them all! It’s interesting though, because once I’m a couple of chapters into a book, I rarely give up. So I’m not sure why I don’t mind wasting my time reading a book that I don’t really like, while I won’t “waste” my time re-reading something I loved.

  3. I do re-read books and I honestly love it so much! I started to re-read The Mortal Instruments towards the end of last year and I’ve gotten up to book 3 before I took a break and decided to read different books for a change! I love getting to dive back into worlds I already know and love and being re-introduced to characters I love! Though sometimes you realize exactly where the flaws lie with some books and it makes you wonder how you didn’t pick up on it before – that was basically me while reading how annoying Clary is in especially City Of Bones!

    But then I was re-reading both ACOTAR and ACOMAF to prepare myself for the final book to be released and I realized just how much I really love re-reading books! I got to pay so much more attention to different characters this time around and I could really see the hints Sarah J. Maas had dropped from the very beginning for some characters and it was fascinating! I feel the same way whenever I re-read The Infernal Devices! That trilogy is my everything. I love it so much!

    About Goodreads, they have added an update a few months ago now that actually counts re-reads which was the best thing to happen to me! I hated whenever Goodreads took books away from previous reading years because I was re-reading them! But now I don’t even have to worry about it anymore!

    • I used to reread more before I started using Goodreads and doing monthly reading wrap ups on my blog, I think something about writing it down in black and white makes me feel more guilty! I also reread ACOTAR and ACOMAF though and it was definitely worth it! I love how there’s so many details to find on the second time around – the first read I’m all about the story and read way too quickly!

  4. This post really captures my conflicts about re-reading books. I recently re-read American Gods and I went through a massive internal struggle before allowing myself to re-read it. I was so aware of my TBR that it felt wrong to be re-reading a book I had read previously, even though it was one I really enjoyed. This post captures the to re-read, or not to re-read struggle perfectly.

  5. Pingback: Blogger Recognition Award – Darque Dreamer Reads

  6. Hey! This was my discussion topic this week, too! 😁 And I’m not personally a re-reader. I find the cons to be too important and they heavily outweigh the pros. If I read faster it might be different, but until then, I’m still digging my way out of my TBR pile. 😉

    • Rereading in a different language is a great idea! I’m trying to brush up on my Spanish so have bought the Philosophers Stone in Spanish, but haven’t got too far with it yet! I’m always so jealous of people who can speak more than one language! 🙂

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