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Once Upon A Bookshelf

Where Fiction and Reality Meet

On Rereading Books

Do you ever go back and reread books? I used to, all the time. I love going back and spending time with characters who have become my friends, see places that I remember dearly, and reminding myself of why I fell in love with the book in the first place. There’s something so comforting about reading a book a second, third or even tenth time – you know how it’s going to end but still love the journey of getting there.

It’s also a treat to discover something new with a book that you never noticed before… or completely forgotten about! For example, as much as I loved the Chronicles of Narnia, and even though I had known how Christian they are, I hadn’t realized the extent of it until I reread The Horse and His Boy a few years back.

One of the things that really gets me about rereading books is how parts of the book can mean totally different things to you, depending on what is going on in your own life at any given time. Depending on what stage I am in life, I find it easier to understand and relate to different characters. It gives a completely different perspective on some stories!

But my TBR is too big!


However, the past couple of years when I want to revisit an older book, I look at my TBR pile and feel extremely guilty that I’m not making my way through something new instead.

Back when my book blog was still a baby blog, I had every intention of rereading all of the books that I had owned before I started my book blog, just so I could review them here. Part of the reasoning is the fact that I don’t like to see one of the books on my LibraryThing account without a review attached to it… and part of the reason is that I had kept the book for a reason, so ought to be able to enjoy rereading it! Right?

There are so many books on my shelves that I refuse to part with because I am convinced that one day I will have an extreme need to go back to them. There’s all of Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Avalon books, Sara Douglass’s epic fantasy books, all of my L.M. Montgomery books, Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, and oh! The list goes on and on and on!

I recently revisited Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and have plans on going to Through the Looking Glass for my next reread. I’m wondering if maybe I need to set aside time every month to reread one book that I own. If I do this, it’ll only take ver a decade or so to get through all of them all… eep.

What About You?

Do you like to reread books that you’ve read previously? Do books that you haven’t read get in the way of rereading any?

Posted by Courtney Wilson @ 7:08 am June 26, 2014.
Category: Bookish Talk

  • Cynthia Hill

    When I first got my Kobo, I rarely bought books because I just couldn’t afford it, but Anne of Green Gables was on there. I ended up re-reading it, and loving it all over again, so I downloaded all of the others, too. I think as reviewers we sometimes forget that the LOVE of reading should come first!

  • Sassymonkey

    I used to have a pile of unsolicited ARCs and some books people had given me as gifts that made me feel really guilty. So I got rid of them. Problem solved. ;-)

  • Charlotte

    Oh yes, I too used to be a re-reader! And I’m trying to limit the amount of books that come into the house, so that I can be that re-reader again!

    (I just had to purge my shelves of my own Marion Zimmer Bradely books, because of the recent revelations about her….but I couldn’t bring myself to get rid of the three that I re-read the most….)

  • Jenn vanOosten

    I USED to re-read, but there are just too many books these days that must be read, I generally don’t want to ‘waste’ the time! (Even though I KNOW it’s not wasting time…I bet that I could read Jane Austen’s books a million times, though.)