To Re-read or Not to Re-read

That is the question… My bookshelves are full and I’ve read every book on there at least once, but only a few have been read time and time again. I’ve never been a big re-reader, and only my Harry Potter books can claim the title of ‘regularly re-read books’ on my shelf. Lately I’ve seen a lot of mention of re-reading on twitter, in chats and on blogs so I thought I’d share my thoughts.

to re-read or not to re-read

So why do I rarely read a book for the second time? Quite simply, time. I just have far too many new books that I want to read, so I put my focus on those. That’s not to say I don’t like reading a book again though. I ran a little poll on my twitter, and it seems like most of my followers on there only re-read occasionally, with the regular re-readers coming next, and those who never do it coming last. This doesn’t really surprise me to be honest!

The thing is, lately I’ve been really wanting to read some of the books on my shelves again. In January I re-read Fangirl, and fell in love with it all over again. That’s what it’s all about right? I mean, I wouldn’t have read the Harry Potter books so many times if I didn’t keep falling in love with the characters and the stories.

Thinking about my reading habits as a child, I was a regular re-reader. I had around 6 of those Enid Blyton Popular Rewards short story books and I read them so many times. Same with St Clares/Malory Towers, Goosebumps, Horrible Histories, Jacqueline Wilson, Georgia Nicholson etc. There was even this non-fiction book that I remember so well (and was gutted when I discovered we’d sold it at a car boot!) about children around the world. It basically showed photos of them, their family, their foods, their houses… and so on. I loved reading about what children around the world were like! (And I found it! Children Just Like Me) It was a huge book – for my size. I’d read a few pages and then put it at the end of my bed under the covers, ready to carry on the next night! Once finished, I’d have a little break and then just start over. This is where my love for reading started – back when I was a child and reading before bedtime was a way to stay up that little bit longer! (Now I just end up waking up from the book hitting my face on it’s way down!)

Nowadays, we’re spoilt for choice. If I could manage my own book spending, I probably would re-read books a lot more. As it is, I like buying new books. And new books I do buy. Way too often. It means I always have something new to read, because my TBR list of physical books never gets below zero.

I’ve decided that I’m going to make time to re-read at least one book each month. The main thing that got me thinking about this is Half Bad. I tried reading Half Wild in February, and realised that I just couldn’t remember anything from the first book. Reading the second after a two year gap (I hadn’t realised it was that long!) is a bad idea… As I write this, I have around 100 pages to go and I’m loving Half Bad. Reading it the second time feels familiar, and whilst I still can’t remember the ending, I feel like I understand everything more. Maybe that’s why people re-read?

It just feels like a good idea to revisit my bookshelves more often and rekindle a little book love. What are your thoughts?


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