Weekly Blogging Challenge: Re-reading

Posted October 15, 2020 by Nicky in General / 5 Comments

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge

Welcome to the Weekly Blogging Challenge blog hop, hosted by Long and Short Reviews. This week’s topic is “rereading books: why or why not?”.

The answer for me is that I do, of course — as I think most people around here have noticed, ahaha, since I always write a new review. I’m on my umpteenth review to write of Katherine Addison’s The Goblin Emperor. I have a whole list of reasons, so… let’s make it a list.

  1. For fun. Reading should be fun. I find that I get easily focused away from that fact, and see it happening for other bloggers too. So if rereading a book sounds fun to you — if you’re like, gah, “I can’t remember the ending of XYZ and I really want to reread it” — my answer is pretty much always going to be “go for it!”
  2. For comfort. Familiar literature can be a really different experience to a brand new book. You know what’s coming, so you’re not bracing yourself for the next awful thing that’s going to happen to beloved characters… at least not in the same way! You know what to expect, which makes it a much less daunting prospect when you have had an awful day.
  3. Because it’s better the second time. Maybe that’s because it’s a really complex world and you were totally lost the first time; maybe it’s because the writing is really clever and when you read it the second time, you get to appreciate all the clues; maybe you notice different things, because you’re a different person between now and then.
  4. To prepare for the next book in the series. I’m constantly having to go back to earlier books to remind myself what the heck’s going on.
  5. To share the experience with someone else. I’ve had some great buddy reads where I’ve read the book before, but I also get to see someone experience it for the first time. Lots of fun.
  6. Because it sticks in your head. I’m glad I reread Mira Grant’s Feed, and Marie Brennan’s A Natural History of Dragons, and Mary Robinette Kowal’s Shades of Milk and Honey, because… I didn’t like them that much the first time. But something in them stuck with me, and honestly, they’ve probably all gained two extra stars out of five — or even three — since I first read them. Some alchemy kept happening in my brain after I read them, and when I came back to them because they niggled at me, they opened right up and really worked for me.

I can honestly probably keep going and come up with more reasons. I know some people feel that there are so many books in the world, they can’t possibly justify rereading a book they’ve already read. But it’s not possible to read all the books in the world, even if you never reread even a single page, so if you can find enjoyment in rereading a book… why not?

(I know there are some people who can’t, who hate the predictability, and that’s cool too.)

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