Sometimes life is exhausting, right? You get busy with work or school or family, and if you're a reviewer like me, sometimes you just get swamped with review books. And your brain needs a break, and all you really want is rest. Those are the times where I like to do one of my favorite activities: rereading.
I know some people who never reread. Too many books! they say. Too little time! In the time it takes me to read a book I've already read, I could have read something new. Have you run out of books, or something? What about those huge stacks there on the floor? If you go about rereading things, how will you ever get through them?
Which are, obviously, fair points. Not everybody is a re-reading type of reader, and when you're on reading deadlines, like I am, it makes no logistical sense. But who said reading ever made sense? Here are the reasons why I am an avid re-reader.
Nostalgia. I don't just get nostalgic for that world and those characters I know and love. I get nostalgic for who I was the first time I read that particular book. It's lovely and bittersweet. Rereading a childhood favorite as an adult is a truly transporting, wonderful experience.
It's like a brain-cation. You don't have to work to keep a lot of details straight, because you remember. You can sit back and relax. Plus, if I'm rereading a book, it means I don't have to review it, which means I don't need to read as closely or as critically, which is awesome.
|Blackout drunk ON BOOKS|
You discover new things! Every single time I reread a Harry Potter book, I discover a new detail, plot point, character interpretation, hidden layer of deepest meaning, you name it. And the words become engraved in my heart just a little bit deeper. The more often you revisit a book, the more it becomes a part of you, and you get to the point where you're capable of reciting the entire Darcy proposal scene from Pride and Prejudice (yes, my mom and I do this. Yes, she is the reason I am the way I am (completely non-functional)).
|This is at least the third time I have used this gif. I care not.|
Related: Forest for the trees. The first time you blaze through a really excellent, fast-paced novel (like me with The Hunger Games), you get so caught up in the plot and finding out what in heaven happens next that you speed by. You get an imprint of the forest, but you miss the trees. I like going back and looking at those trees. Sometimes they have cool leaves or something.
Hello, old friends. Oh, how I miss certain characters. I love to hang out with them again. Rereading a book you love is kind of like returning to summer camp and meeting up with all your camp friends again. And you get to relive certain events as well.
|I missssed you|
There may be something there that wasn't there before. Perhaps I read a book at the wrong time. Perhaps I wasn't in the right mindset to appreciate it, or it went completely over my head. I've learned that second time's a charm for a lot of books that didn't work for me the first go around (particularly with a lot of the classics).
Writers are readers. Rereading an author you love is the best way to become a better writer. You really get a sense of what they're doing right and how they're using language.
So are you a re-reader? Why or why not?