As a blogger, sometimes I feel guilty about rereading books. There are so many books out there that I should be reading, and because I blog, those are all books I could be promoting. As it stands, my TBR is over 1200 books – enough to keep me busy reading for twelve years at my pace, and that’s assuming I don’t add anything else to it – highly unlikely.
So, with that virtual stack looming over me, sometimes rereading books make me feel guilty. But it shouldn’t.
Today, I want to offer three reasons why rereading books is not only something we should be able to do without guilt, but it is also something that will enhance our experience as readers. Reading a book once is an adventure, but two, three, four times? That’s when you really find the buried treasure.
Reason #1: Books Are Different When Enjoyed In Different Formats
I’ve always been outspoken when it comes to audiobooks – I think they’re a wonderful way to enjoy stories when you don’t have the time or ability to ingest the written word. To that point, I’ve found that some books I’ve read in hardcopy are wonderful experiences in audiobook format. Some books, like Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce, are read by a full cast and has the experience of feeling like a radio play. Other books, like The Lies of Locke Lamora, have excellent narrators that enhance the experience.
On the other hand, there’s audiobooks that have had rather… unfortunate narrators that aren’t suited to the material, or don’t accentuate voices or tone inflections as they read. I’ve had books where I liked the story well enough, but didn’t care for the narrator. Delving into the story where it’s just me and the book is a more intimate experience, and well-worth a reread when I know I like the story.
Reason #2: You Catch Things You Missed The First Time
For all the books I’ve reread, I’ve never had the same experience twice. Sometimes it’s the carefully woven foreshadowing I didn’t notice the first time, but I know now because I know the ending. In that case, I can appreciate the writer’s skill. Sometimes it’s a subplot I hadn’t paid attention to that feels louder and more interesting this time.
My favorite – my absolute favorite discovery I’ve had rereading a book – are the clever jokes and previously unseen connections. I’ve found these things in The Fellowship of the Ring, Tess of the Road, and Daughter of the Burning City and it’s so much fun brushing the sand off those metaphorical golden doubloons and peering a little closer.
#3. There’s Nothing Quite Like the Comfort of Curling Up With a Favorite Book
Finally, and of course my main reason for rereading a book… is just because I want to. Because every once in a while I find a character that steals my heart, or a world I wish I could step into for an afternoon. In my opinion this is a best reason to reread a book. There are self-care reasons for rereading favorite books as well – from breaking slumps to lifting your spirits on a gloomy day.
If you’re a book influencer – whether that’s a blogger, bookstagrammer, booktuber, or elsewhere – there’s a lot of pressure to talk about certain books. New books, upcoming well-marketed books. Certain authors, genres, topics. This is all well and good, but if you love a book and are aching for it… don’t let this hobby become a chore. If you want to reread a book… then it’s okay to dive in and revisit a story you love.
Are there any books you’ve been wanting to reread? I’ve been thinking I’m due for another Anne of Green Gables reread. What about you? Let me know what books you’ve been wanting to revisit in the comments.