Saturday, 13 October 2012

Opinion: To re-read or not to re-read?

Before starting this blog, one thing I did an awful lot was re-read old books. There's something comforting about going back to an old favourite but for me there was always a lot more to it than that.

I've mentioned occasionally on my blog that I find reading quite difficult because of health problems that I have. Some of the symptoms of M.E - the illness that I have - are difficulty concentrating, poor memory and headaches, as well as severe fatigue. For me that means reading in short bursts and taking rests between reading sessions. But there was a time when I couldn't read at all, for a few years.

When my health started to improve a little I went back to reading. The easiest way for me to get back into it was to go back to books I was already familiar with. This meant my brain didn't have to work as hard to process the information because I already knew what would happen. Gradually I started adding in new books to my reading routine but I always found them a lot harder to read.

Over the past few years I've really broadened what I read. This is mainly down to borrowing books from friends that I wouldn't usually buy, and being able to get books at the library without worrying about buying something I won't like. Starting this blog has shown the biggest shift in my reading, though. It's made me really focus on discovering a wealth of new titles. Through following other book blogs and utilising Goodreads I discover more and more books every day that I want to read, and in a mission to keep this blog fresh and interesting I often go for new and exciting titles and mix up what I read (okay, my enjoyment may come slightly before the blog...).

Recently, though I've really missed re-reading books. I always have a re-read of all or part of the Harry Potter series each year but I don't think I've even gotten round to doing that this year! Luckily I have 4 of the books on audio book so I might have to dig those out soon. I'm currently listening to The Hunger Games on audio which is the first time I've gone back to that book since I initially read it early last year. It's so nice to revisit it!

You can get so much out of re-reading. There's always something you didn't spot the first time round. Plus, if it's a book in a series, there's nearly always some foreshadowing that you only notice when you've read later books. I'm finding that to be the case with THG at the moment! There's something wonderful about immersing yourself in one of your favourite books and rediscovering your love for it.

Of course there are some downsides to re-reading, The main one for me is my inability to throw away books. I'm so short on space for them and so every book I keep is less space for a brand new book! I think cutting down on how much I re-read has given me the opportunity to read some amazing new books I wouldn't have discovered yet if I spent all my time on old books.

What do you think about re-reading? Do you go back and revisit books? Or are you a read it once and move on kind of reader? I'd love to hear from you!


  1. First off, let me offer condolences for your illness and say that it's amazing that you've decided not to let it steal your love for books.

    I love to reread books. There isn't a year where I don't go back to old favorites multiple times in between new additions. I absolutey agree with you, sometimes the reread can be even more magical than the first time around.

    I honestly can't imagine claiming to adore a particular book and not going back to it at least once.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! <3

      Oh I absolutely agree with you! I think even the most observant reader can't possibly spot everything on the first read, there's always something to be gained. There are so many series I can't wait to re-read because I know it'll increase my love for them. I've read quite a few people lately saying they never re-read books and I just couldn't believe it! I think the sign of a good book is one you go back to over and over :)

      Thank you so much for your comment!


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