Do you ever finish a book and instantly wish you could forget about it so you can re-read it all over again? No? Is it just me? Okay, then let’s break down the reasons why I like to reread my favorite books.
Despite being a common practice among bookish people and the book community in general, re-reading books is a trend that not everyone likes to take part in. I’m one of those readers that instead of picking up a book from their ever-growing TBR pile, will look at a book they have already read eight times and think, “I might re-read you again this month.” To be perfectly honest, I have never stopped and asked myself why I like to re-read books so much. For so long, I just did it without really thinking about it, but today I will try to answer that question. You can think of this article as an opinion piece, a one-person interview, or another one of my several internal monologues. I would say the first option is the least embarrassing for me, but whatever tickles your fancy! Either way, let’s dive into my brain!
Re-reading books: why do you do it?
Good question that I’m sure by TBR List would love to have the answer to, so I will try my best to give one.
We’re all human – last I checked, I am too – and humans are creatures of habit. We – and by “we” I mostly mean “I” – like routine and stability; to be able to come back home to something familiar, someplace safe. For me, books are that something familiar, that safe place I go back to whenever I feel too overwhelmed or whenever I’m losing my grip on life. When everything around me gets too overwhelming, I hold on to the one thing that I know will have remained unchanged: my books.
But why re-read the same books? Why not pick up new ones?
I do pick up new ones, sometimes. Other times, I feel the need to re-read a book I know will not disappoint me. New books are exciting, and full of possibilities, but old books are familiar, and sometimes, familiarity is what I need. There is something comforting about re-reading the same books, a kind of satisfaction from knowing how it all ends.
are you sure you’re not just a control freak?
I am a control freak, however, that is a different issue altogether. The thing is, I get too involved in books, to the point where I don’t sleep, spam my friends, cry on my bedroom floor, and google spoilers to end my misery. So, when I re-read a book, I get to enjoy the story and the characters, without the extra stress that comes with not knowing how it ends. I don’t like surprises, so when I get too frustrated by a new book, I tend to spoil the ending for myself. It’s not ideal, I know, but that’s just how I roll. But when I re-read a favorite book of mine, it’s a whole new experience. I’m not as stressed out about the ending anymore, wondering if my favorite characters will make it out alive, so I get to focus on other aspects of the story and enjoy the journey.
don’t you think re-reading books is a waste of time? there are so many books out there you could be reading instead.
Nothing is a waste of time if you take pleasure in spending your time on it. A waste of time implies regretting dedicating time to a particular thing. I don’t regret re-reading my favorite books. They are my favorite for a reason after all. Besides, there are lots of benefits to re-reading books. Some books are actually meant to be read more than once. Books like J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings have such a complex story-world that it is impossible for the average reader to wrap their brain around it and grasp all of its details without re-reading the books.
We all have our reasons for re-reading books. Maybe it’s a classic you couldn’t enjoy the first time around because your middle school teacher forced you to read it. Maybe you’re in a reading slump and need something to get you back on track. Or maybe you’re simply yearning to go back to your favorite story worlds for a few hours. Whatever your reason may be, you will certainly benefit from re-reading books!
So, which book will you be re-reading this month? ;)