Discussion Time: The Benefits of Re-Reading

My to-read list is a mixture of books already released that I want to read, books still to be released that I can’t wait for, and books I loved that I want to re-read. Granted it’s more the former two than the latter one, but I think we all have books on our TBR lists which are re-reads and which probably keep getting passed over in favour of books we haven’t already read.

This year I made a resolution to re-read more of my old favourites, books I’ve been saying I want to re-read for years, and honestly it’s made me wonder why I haven’t made it an aim to do more re-reading before. (That’s kind of a lie, I know why and it’s because of all the shiny new releases I’ve been swayed by).

The Benefits of Re-Reading

The Benefits of Re-Reading

It helps refresh your memory. Given how many books I read in a given year, and given how long the wait between releases can sometimes be, no matter how well I think I know a story there are always small details I’ve forgotten. Obsidio was one of my most anticipated releases of this year, but before I picked it up I re-read Illuminae and Gemina and discovered that doing that actually helped me enjoy Obsidio a little bit more.

Obsidio

It can sometimes be like reading a brand-new book. There are childhood favourites of mine, like His Dark Materials, which I haven’t picked up in so many years that I’ve forgotten more than I can remember. When I re-read Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass it was like reading the trilogy for the first time all over again because while I remembered the major events I’d forgotten almost everything else.

His Dark Materials

It could be just what you need when you’re slumping. Whenever I’m not in the mood to read something new, or maybe just not in the mood to read anything at all, I’ll go back to old favourites because it’s easy to connect with the characters and their story.

It allows you to binge read and avoid unpleasant cliffhangers. This is what I plan to do with the Shades of Magic series. The wait for A Conjuring of Light was torturous, so I plan to re-read the whole trilogy and jump straight from one book into the next with no waiting required. It doesn’t matter that I’ve read the whole trilogy before, I want to get to the end of A Gathering of Shadows and know that this time I don’t need to wait a year to find out what happens next.

shades-of-magic-uk-series

It could end up surprising you. Sometimes, and maybe it’s because of how old I was when I first picked it up or because of the mood I was in when I first read it, I’ll re-read a book or series only to enjoy it more. My original rating of maybe three stars could jump to four or even five stars simply because this time around I was able to appreciate the story more.

It can be just as magical no matter how often you pick a book up. I think this is rare, but there are some books out there that will always be incredible whether you’ve read them one time, two, or twenty. For me these are books like The Night Circus, and the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series, books that are full of magic and nostalgia and just have too many happy memories associated with them for me to ever not love reading them.

The Benefits of Re-Reading (1)


That’s not to say there aren’t cons to re-reading and I think the main one for most people, it was certainly the main one for me, is time. When there are so many amazing new books being released that you want to read do you have the time to go back to an old book that, yes you’ve loved, but that you’ve already read? You know what going to happen; there’s no surprise in the shocking twists that left you open mouthed the first time you picked it up, there’s not that same sense of worry over whether your favourite characters are going to survive in chapter six when you know they make it to the epilogue.

A re-read is never going to be quite as exciting as a new read where you don’t know what’s coming next (unless you skip ahead).

The other con is how our reading tastes change with time. A lot of my favourite series from when I was younger, even favourite series from a few years back, which I’ve said I would like to re-read I know I wouldn’t love as much today. I really enjoyed the Splintered trilogy when I first picked it up, but I know if I read it again today I wouldn’t rate it more than three stars (if that). It isn’t a book for me today, and if that’s that case isn’t it better for me to not to re-read it and to instead keep loving it in my mind looking back?

Splintered Series


When it comes down to it I don’t think picking up a book you’ve read before (maybe more than once) is ever going to be as exciting as picking up a brand-new story, but since I’ve started re-reading more and more I’ve realised just how fun it can be going back to old favourites.


Now Onto the Discussion Part of This Post:

Do you enjoy re-reading, or are you the type of reader who can pick up a book once and find that’s enough for you?

Have you ever re-read a book and found you didn’t enjoy it as much as you remembered? Or did it go the other way around and you re-read something only to enjoy it more?

Is there a book or series out there that you feel like you could re-read a hundred times and never get bored of it?

Let me know in the comments below.

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69 thoughts on “Discussion Time: The Benefits of Re-Reading

  1. Definitely agree that it can help with refreshing your memory! And yeah I totally get what you mean about it sometimes feeling like a new book if you can’t remember much of it. And I also think it helps when I’m in a slump. And so get what you mean about how it can end up surprising you- although I get what you mean about reading tastes changing over time.
    Lovely post! ๐Ÿ™‚ โค

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah I plan to re-read all of the Throne of Glass series before picking up Kingdom of Ash, just because it’s been ages since I read the first book and going into the last I want to make sure I make the most of it.
      When I’m slumping re-reading is all I can do, I want something easy and familiar and that means a re-read.
      Thanks so much. ๐Ÿ™‚ โค

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sure, a reread can never be as wondrous than reading the book for the first time but I enjoy rereading some of my fav books, especially before a new book- because it is true, we do end up forgetting a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I absolutely LOVES rereading ! It always feels like im going back home, and I love it xx
    Currently binge-reading a whole serie I loved as a teenager as we got a 9th tome after 8YEARS!! so of course the rereading was definately a must ahha..

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes! Ahaha though the last book was a surprise and not something we were actually waiting for .. the author just tweeted that she actually ยซย  falled forย ยป and wrote a 9th book back in october. Which I flipped out !!! I just NEEDED it!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Last year most of my reads were re-reads. I have a lot of books I “read” in college that I have re-read/actually read all the way through, and it is a shame I didn’t get more out of them while I was learning about them. But better late than never, so it goes.

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    1. Definitely, also I feel like when you’re reading something for college or uni or for anything other than enjoyment it can be hard to get the most out of it because it’s not something you chose to read you know? There’s a reason after my GCSE days that I can no longer read classics after all. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  5. This is my first time here and I’m so glad I found your blog! It looks really pretty, and your posts seem very thoughtful. I can’t wait to read more!
    I really like rereading character-driven books. I find that I usually discover new things about the characters and see details I missed before.
    If the book is really plot-driven or a mystery, I don’t like reading it again a second time as much because I already know what’s going to happen.
    I love rereading fantasies, because they usually have a lot of detail and world-building and I really start to understand them the second (or third!) time around.
    And sometimes rereading a favorite book can be comforting.
    Anyway, wonderful post. You brought up some really good points. ๐Ÿ™‚
    -Grace

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you so much. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m really glad you discovered my blog and that you’ve enjoyed it so much. Hopefully you’ll continue to.
      I don’t think I’ve ever tried re-reading a character driven book, but maybe it’s something I should get onto. I have a few favourites in mind I’d probably love to get around to again.
      No I’m the same with re-reading mysteries, I think once you’ve reached the end it’ll be hard for it to surprise you re-reading it again, and oh fantasies are always going to be my genre of choice.
      Thanks so much. ๐Ÿ™‚ โค

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hey Beth ๐Ÿ™‚
    Love this discussion post! You bring up some great points for and against rereading! I am the type to forget so much about the books that I’ve read, that when I actually do reread, I would be surprised by characters I didn’t know existed and plot twist I didn’t know happened lol ๐Ÿ™‚
    I haven’t done all too much rereading because I am too excited to pick up a new and shiny book haha. But I think there is value in rereading. Although I am excited about new books, some of them turn out to be underwhelming or slow or boring, and I don’t enjoy them as much as I thought I would. On the other hand, books that we’ve enjoyed before have a higher likelihood of being enjoyable the second time around!
    However you are right that sometimes our tastes change. There are books that I loved five or ten years ago that when I do get around to rereading, the story and/or characters don’t appeal to me anymore.
    Great post Beth โค Wishing you all the best for the holidays and the new year!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Sophie. โค๏ธ Iโ€™m really glad you enjoyed this post, and yeah my memory is terrible so a lot of the time re-reading is more a necessity than anything else. Especially if Iโ€™m supposed to pick up the next book in a series or something. ๐Ÿ™‚ Oh shiny new books are always going to be what I reach for first too, but this year Iโ€™ve kind of discovered there are so many old books I love that I was glad to dive back into and Iโ€™m sure there are even more sitting on my shelves too.
      My tastes have definitely changed. Even if I look back to three years ago when I started blogging there are books I read back then I know I wouldnโ€™t like now. I leave those as is, theyโ€™re perfect in my mind and I donโ€™t want to risk that by attempting a re-read. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Thanks so much Sophie. I hope youโ€™re having a brilliant time, and I hope you have a happy new year too. ๐Ÿ™‚ โค๏ธ

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are right that some books are better left as perfect in our minds ๐Ÿ™‚
        There are definitely books that I want to get around to rereading too, especially the Night Circus since it comes up again and again, and it’s been so long since I last read it ๐Ÿ™‚
        I’m doing well! I am excited for the new year since I am trying some new things like rock climbing. Hope that you’re doing well too ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The Night Circus is one of those books I will never get tired of re-reading, it’s been over a year since I last re-read it so I need to get around to it again soon.
        That’s good to hear, and oh rock climbing sounds like it’ll be so much fun as well. Thanks Sophie, yeah not doing too bad at the moment. ๐Ÿ™‚ โค

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I don’t do a lot of re-reading, mostly because of time as you mentioned but also because I find that going back to a beloved book will always make it lose a bit of its initial magic somehow… Not always, I mean, there are books that I re-read as tradition (like Wuthering Heights) because they’re just so good I always end up more in love with them than I was before, and happen to find something new every time.

    But those kinds of books are rare! For the most part, I’d say I don’t particularly care for re-reading an entire book, but I do love to go back and skim through favourite passages or moments, just because I loved them so much and want to revisit them as much as possible to get all the feels again!

    You made some very good points here, though, Beth, on both sides. I will probably continue not to re-read all that much but I loved your post! โค

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel like time has to be the biggest factor when it comes to how much people re-read. It always used to be mine and it still was a little this year even though I did more re-reading than I had ever before. Oh thereโ€™s nothing we can do about our reading tastes changing, I guess we just have to hope most books can stand the test of time. ๐Ÿ™‚
      I skin favourite passages or moment or chapters loads, in fact if I counted those as re-reads I would have smashed my GR reading challenge this year! ๐Ÿ˜€ I guess re-reading isnโ€™t for everyone but there are always going to be parts (for me itโ€™s cute and fluffy moments) we canโ€™t resist going back to.
      Thanks so much, and yeah if re-reading isnโ€™t for you it isnโ€™t for you. Just leaves plenty more time for all the new releases you still have to get through.
      Thanks Sophie! ๐Ÿ™‚ โค๏ธ

      Liked by 1 person

  8. THIS!!! I love rereading so this spoke to my soul ๐Ÿ˜ Rereading feels like coming home for me, it can be so relaxing to read a familiar story and it is definitely something that can keep the reading slump at bay! Time is of course always a factor that is in the back of my mind, but this year I have gotten better at not caring about it that much – when I felt in the mood for a reread I just did it … and ignored the rest of my TBR pile ๐Ÿ˜… My greatest fear and biggest disadvantage of rereading still remains not liking a book as much though ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

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    1. Oh thatโ€™s a great way to describe it Caro, especially when itโ€™s one of your favourite books which you practically know all the words too but still canโ€™t resist re-reading again and again. ๐Ÿ™‚
      I feel like for me this year I focused too much on time and my TBR list, and thatโ€™s something I need to work on next year because I want to try and do even more re-reading in 2019. Yeah there are always going to be books we donโ€™t like as much when we finally get around to re-reading them, but hopefully theyโ€™re few and far between right?! ๐Ÿ™‚ โค๏ธ

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I enjoy rereading. Some books are just fun and always will be for me. I also have comfort reads, usually Sherlock stories, or Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes.

    My reading habits have changed as I’ve grown older. I managed to cull 14 brown grocery bags’ full of books for donation to our local library.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah I feel like no matter how our reading tastes change over the years there are always going to be books we love.
      And wow that sounds like a massive cull, but I know what you mean because I did the same in December. I got rid of so many books, honestly I wish Iโ€™d counted them or something because there was a lot but I just wasnโ€™t interested in reading them anymore.

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  10. I love rereading books! Some books are either so well-written and thoughtful (like Hesse’s classics) or have some other amazing qualities, like lovable and complex characters, worldbuilding, or dialogue (Six of Crows definitely has all of that ๐Ÿ˜Š) that a reread seems to make me fall in love with the story even more. It’s true that nothing can ever beat the exciting first read-through of a book, but I love sitting back and analyzing every little bit of stories. Great post, Beth! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Six of Crows is definitely on my to re-read list, mainly for the reasons you mentioned too. The world building and the character development was incredible I just want to experience it all over again, even though Iโ€™ll know whatโ€™s coming in the next chapter because Iโ€™ve already read it once. I feel like the first time you read a book youโ€™re in a rush to take it all in but when youโ€™re re-reading you can take your time and yeah analyse every little bit of the story. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Great post Beth! ๐Ÿ˜€ I re-read The Picture of Dorian Gray every year because it’s my absolute favourite book. I also recently re-read the Hunger Games trilogy and I loved the first book and realized that I didn’t really love the last book as much as I did the first time around. I love going back years later to see what my thoughts are (if they’re still the same or changed).
    I really enjoyed reading this! ๐Ÿ˜€ โค๏ธ

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Meghan. ๐Ÿ™‚ Oh I’ve read my favourite book loads of time but I’ve never re-read The Hunger Games series, I probably should because it used to be a favourite series of mine but it’s a shame you didn’t enjoy it as much the first time. It’s a risk with re-reads isn’t it? ๐Ÿ™‚
      Thanks so much. ๐Ÿ™‚ โค

      Liked by 1 person

  12. What a great post! I always tell myself there are books I want to reread, but somehow I don’t get around to many rereadings. It’s such a great way for us to revisit and see how our thoughts have change over the years since.

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    1. Before this year I never re-read previous books in series when new ones were released. I’ve started doing that this year and it’s been so helpful because yeah there’s a lot I forgot. I think it ended up helping me enjoy the sequels more too.
      Lord of the Rings is a classic right? I imagine you’ve re-read it a lot of times now right?

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  13. This is such a great post, Beth! I have to say that I’m not too fond of re-reading, because there are so many books to discover for the first time, I tend to turn to them rather than to my old favorites. I also can’t help but be WAY too nervous to get back to these old reads, because what if I don’t love them as much now? :/ I know I want to re-read His Dark Materials soonish though, I love this series so, so much and would love to revisit this world โค
    Wonderful post! โค

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Marie. ๐Ÿ™‚ โค Oh I used to be like that, I kept saying I wanted to re-read more but I was always distracted by new books and felt they should be my priority. New books are always going to be what I read for first.
      I think so far I've been lucky that all the books I've re-read I've loved as much as the first time I picked them up, but there are books I loved in the past that I won't go back to because I know I won't love them now.
      His Dark Materials is one of those classic books people will always love, and I think you'll love re-reading.
      Thanks so much. ๐Ÿ™‚ โค

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I love this post! I reread books constantly, and sometimes, I feel a little guilty because I’m not reading anything new…but now I’m like WHATEVER if I enjoyed it then I enjoy it โค It's helped me get out of so many reading slumps like you said and often time it is as magical!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much. ๐Ÿ™‚ Oh you shouldn’t feel guilty, as long as you love what you’re reading it shouldn’t matter whether it’s a new book or one you’ve re-read a hundred times before.
      Yes, there’s nothing like old favourites to get you out of a slump. โค

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  15. I love rereading! I always find myself wanting to return to old favorites and sometimes even have to limit myself on how often I reread so that I actually get to newer books! ๐Ÿ˜‚ I agree – there are so many benefits to rereading books! I wish you luck with all your rereads!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh see I used to have the opposite problem, there were so many “new” books I wanted to read I never managed to re-read any old favourites. I love re-reading don’t get me wrong but I’m always going to be more drawn to books I haven’t read before. Thanks, I want to try and do even more re-reading next year. ๐Ÿ˜€

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  16. I really wish I loved rereading! There are very few books that I have read more than once. I think I just get caught up in my ever growing TBR and feel guilty for rereading when I could be reading something new! That is something I should work on because there are a lot of benefits to rereading.

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    1. I used to be that way too. I mean in our defense there are so many amazing new books being released, and so many interesting books which have already been released we haven’t gotten around to that we always want to read something new right? I managed to get more re-reading done this year despite all the “new” books I needed to get around to, so you can do it too. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  17. I find I can always re-read the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning or anything by Ilona Andrews. I plan to do more re-reading next year, including the October Daye series by Seanan McGuire. I’m actually re-reading The Cruel Prince by Holly Black to get ready for the new one coming out beginning of January. I also re-read the Twilight series a few years ago.

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    1. I’ve re-read some of Ilona Andrews books, and one of Seanan McGuire’s books as well. I haven’t read her October Daye series but I love her Wayward Children books. I need to re-read The Cruel Prince for the same reason as well, I can’t wait for The Wicked King it’s going to be amazing. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  18. I love re-reading! It gives me something different from reading a book for the first time. It’s comforting, like a familiar blanket. I love it! I will even be posting a re-read TBR for 2019 soon ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. Oh I find it rare to pick up books I didn’t enjoy much the first time around and enjoy them more the second time, like you did the Blue Bloods series but it’s always great when it does happen because it’s almost like discovering a story for the first time.

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    1. Oh I had that when I was a child. Me and my sister had loads of Disney films on VHS and we’d re-watch them all the time (Jungle Book was one we’d see again and again and again). I’ve never read any Agatha Christie or Dickens but J.K. Rowling is a โ€œmustโ€ re-read for me too. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  19. Great post, I’m a massive rereader and have reread some of my favourite books 6 or 7 times so far. I think there is something so magical about jumping back into your favourite worlds and spending time with your favourite characters and I always come across things I missed the previous time ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ

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  20. I reread constantly! I find that I crave rereads of certain books, even! I did have an instance where I reread a book after 4 years and found it wasn’t as awesome as I remembered, but because I loved it so much back then, it didn’t really ruin it for me.
    I actually reread pride and prejudice every christmas, it’s my little xmas tradition with myself. and I’ve reread The Hating Game like 4 times this year and I’m not tired of it yet lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. After re-reading a lot more this year I get what you mean. I want to try and do even more re-reading next year. Yeah it’s a shame when that happens, but at least you still love that book. I guess the nostalgia helps in that case.
      There are some books I’ll never get tired of, and it must be nice having that xmas tradition with yourself. I need a book like that. ๐Ÿ™‚

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