Blog Hop: Reading and Re-Reading

book-blogger-hop-finalToday’s Book Blogger Hop question is: How many books have you re-read? If you have re-read books, please tell us the book’s title and why you re-read it.

I have re-read many, many books.  I’d guesstimate about a third of the books I read are rereads, which is probably somewhere around 50 re-read books a year…so I won’t try to give you a precise number or the titles!  I can try to give you the general why though.

Someone very wise (and I can’t remember who, nor is Google helping) said that you may forget a character’s name or a turn in the plot, but you remember the way a book made you feel.  This is my situation exactly–I read a lot and I read fast, which means I get to explore many, many stories, but I also forget many, many details.  I’ve sometimes re-read a book (or picked up a sequel) and realized that I’ve forgotten, say, the twist ending that showed the villain to be a hero, or which suitor the heroine chose.  You know, minor details!  But I remember how I felt.

So I re-read to revisit that feeling.  A book was relaxing or exciting or created a world I liked visiting or contained characters I loved spending time with, and I want to go revisit that.  I don’t always have the same experience, but often I do–or have a varied but similar enough experience.  As L.M. Montgomery compared it in her journal, it’s like meeting an friend again after many years, and seeing if you connect again in the same or a new way.

Beloved books I re-read, sometimes many times (I’m on my fourth–fifth? sixth? I forget–reread of Anne of Green Gables at the moment), long after I remember the major and many minor details.  But I want to re-visit the feeling, and sometimes, in the best books, I still find new things I never realized before (did you ever notice how much of Anne is actually about Marilla?  I didn’t, until now).

And then of course, in books I only re-read once or twice or at long intervals, I forget all those great swathes of things, so I can still read them to be surprised by the twist ending, or with genuine suspense about how the romance will turn out.

Re-reading books can be a surprisingly controversial question, one of those battle lines among dedicated readers.  Do you like to re-read, or would you rather keep moving on to something new?

About cherylmahoney

I'm a book review blogger and Fantasy writer. I have published three novels, The Wanderers; The Storyteller and Her Sisters; and The People the Fairies Forget. All can be found on Amazon as an ebook and paperback. In my day job, I'm the Marketing Specialist for Yolo Hospice. Find me on Twitter (@MarvelousTales) and GoodReads (MarvelousTales).
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5 Responses to Blog Hop: Reading and Re-Reading

  1. I love to re-read 🙂

  2. Jemima Pett says:

    I seem to have too many books waiting to be read for the first time. But on my shelf, Christmas presents, are some I mentioned to my brother that I’d like to reread. I haven’t even seen them since I was a teenager but they’ve been reissued. The Dr Syn series, by Russell Thorndyke. Yep, the feeling sticks with me – I hope it’s not misplaced 🙂

  3. K D Blakely says:

    I love to re-read books for the same reasons you mentioned!

  4. dianem57 says:

    Most of the time, I do not re-read books. I have limited time for reading (at least right now) and I’d rather use that time to move on to a new book than re-read a familiar one. But I totally “get” what you mean about how some books make you feel a certain way, and I do own a few books (fiction rather than non-fiction) that I can re-read if I want to recapture that feeling and visit the familiar characters and places again.

  5. Sounds like the Maya Angelou quote: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

    I completely agree with you. It’s so easy to forget details, but the feeling will stick with you.

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