Why might someone read a book again? What is the point of going through the story when you already know the end of it? In this blog post I will discuss the reasons and joys of rereading books.
Why do I reread books?
There are a few reasons that I might pick up a book and read it for a second, third or even fourth time:
- The next book in the series is about to come out
- I really enjoyed the book the first time!
- I own the book and have no other books to read
- I just want to read something familiar
The next book in the series is about to come out
Over time, more and more series’s are being written and authors cannot publish all the books in a series at once. Oftentimes, sequels will come out a year or more after the previous book. Now, as someone who reads a lot, I can’t remember everything that happens in every single book that I read a year ago. So before I read the sequel, I’ll reread the first book so I can understand the next better.
I really enjoyed the book the first time
Sometimes, I’ll just reread a book because I like it! There are books that have such a fun adventure, such amazing characters or intricate settings that I just want to pick up and live in the world again and again!
I own the book and have no other books to read
This is, “The library is closed and I’ve read all the books.” You just want to get your hands on a book and get out of your own world! All you can do is go back to your own shelves and pick a book from there.
I just want to read something familiar
It’s a rainy day and you just want something that you’re used to. Pick up a childhood favorite, a book you just finished or one that you didn’t realize you even owned but have always been longing to read again.
The uses of rereading:
Rereading can have several uses. When reading a book for the second time, you can spot small hints towards something that happens later in the book, you can focus on another part of the story or you can use the book to help your own writing.
Authors will foreshadow more often than you realize. A stutter in a sentence. A character sweating profusely. A slightly out-of-place setting. More often than not, however, people don’t catch these brilliant little add-ins. Reading a second time can open your eyes to an entire different level of the book that you might have otherwise missed.
Focusing on a different part of the story
Plot is what normally sticks out most in a story. Sometimes it’s the characters, sometimes it’s the setting but the plot is what provides the suspense, action and what makes you keep reading. But there is so much more than just that that authors pack into their book. Sometimes it’s hard to keep track of all of this in just one read. In rereading, however, you can focus on the characters, or the setting, or even the way the author writes the story! Sometimes you will find that these things are just as fascinating as the plot.
Using the book to assist your own writing
Being a writer is hard work. It’s difficult to make the writing sound good, to write the characters to pop out or to describe scenes vividly enough that the reader understands exactly what goes on around them. But books can help! Have you ever read one of those books where the writing is just so excellent that you could understand perfectly? Or maybe you felt like you saw the characters on a whole other level? Those are the books that can help you. Having already read the book for itself, you can now read it for yourself. Use the author’s writing as a model to help your own. They are a published author which must mean that they’ve done something right! If you enjoy their book so much, chances are that others will too. So why not make your book the same way? Note: I am not telling anyone to plagiarize or copy any plot ideas. I am only suggesting examining books to see what you like and therefore write what you like from their book in your own book. Here is a (very) short list of books that I sometimes use for this technique:
- Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
- All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace
- Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
What are some books that you have enjoyed rereading? What are some books that you want to reread? Will you use these suggestions the next time you pick up a previously-read book? Did you find this post useful? Please tell me what you thought in the comments!