I actually first published this post way back in September of 2020, only a few weeks after I started my blog. I totally forgot about it until I went looking back to my old posts searching for something else and stumbled upon this gem instead. It’s a pretty cool post, and honestly the original wasn’t written that badly, but I decided to spruce it up and publish again, since very few people got to see it given how new the blog was back then. So, I hope you enjoy, and if you are one of the few people who’ve already read this one, well…give it a reread?
There are so many books out there–too many to be able to read in an entire lifetime, no matter how much you try. Once you’ve read the book, you’ve absorbed the plot, the characters, the world. Reading books is like having a thousand different stories running through your head. So, why in the world would you pick up a book that you’ve already read? If you know the story, the characters, the world, why read it again? Why waste the time on this book when there are so many more new stories? Today, I wanted to discuss some of the reasons that I reread, plus a few reasons why rereading can be helpful in some scenarios.
So first of all, why do I reread books? There are a few reasons for this. One of them, which I feel like is fairly common for a lot of people, is just for comfort reading. If I’m in a book slump, or I just want to read something that I know that I’ll enjoy and am familiar with, rereading is definitely something that I’ll do. There’s definitely something nice about curling up on a cold day with a book that you already know you’re going to enjoy, ready to get immersed into that world again.
Probably the second most common reason that I’ll reread a book is if it’s in a series and the next book in said series is about to come out. My memory when it comes to books is woefully bad (as I’m sure you’ve heard many times before), so rereading is a big help so I’m not totally lost when I start the next book in the series. Sometimes, I’ll even have to do this more than once, if the NEXT book comes out (aka, one reread for the second book coming out, but then another one when the third book comes out)
And lastly, I’ll reread a book just if I have no other books to read. Almost always, I have access to a library and keep a pretty steady stream of books coming to me from that library, but sometimes, especially before Christmas or my birthday when I have been banned from getting books from the library so that I don’t accidentally read a book that I’m getting (my mom claims she doesn’t do this, but I know she said it to me once), I don’t have that, and so I end up rereading books that I have at home.
Now, why might rereading be fun or even useful at times? I think the best thing about rereading is to catch clever little tidbits that the author hid in the reading that you really don’t notice until it’s been revealed later on in the book! My best example of this is in Six of Crows, which I reread recently, and I noticed so many clever things that Leigh Bardugo added in hinting at how Wylan’s father really thought of Wylan that I absolutely would not have gotten the first time around.
When you reread, you could also focus on a different part of the story you’re reading from the first time around. Usually, the thing that I pay the most attention to is the plot, because that’s just what’s happening in the story, so it fascinates me most, but turns out that there are a lot of awesome other things, for example characters and character development, as well as worldbuilding, and by rereading, you’re able to appreciate some of the other elements of a story that you didn’t catch at first because you were focused on what was going on.
Books could also help to assist with your own writing, if you are a writer. In the past, I’ve found plenty of books that I use to help me with writing style as well as worldbuilding. Obviously I’m not suggesting you plagiarize or copy parts of the book, instead I’m simply recommending studying the book for techniques that an author used to make their book better. For example, how did they introduce their characters? What is their description like and what sorts of things do they describe? I remember at one point being obsessed with and reading over and over the first chapter of Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi, just because of how much I loved the description, and attempting to recreate that in my own writing. Anyone who’s book has been published has clearly done something right, so why not learn from them?
What are a few reasons that you reread? Do you find rereading useful? What are some books that you jump to as comfort reads?