My past 3 reads have been rereads, and so far this year I’ve reread 9 books. That may seem like a lot to some people but in reality I’ve read my favorite series 4 times, my favorite short stories handfuls of times, and my most loved book I’ve had for over 12 years and have read at least twice a year. I am the queen of the reread.
This isn’t just books either; I rewatch movies ad nauseam, and I listen to the same albums until the people in my life want me dead. A lot of people simply don’t understand this and I thought I’d explain 5 of my personal reasons for rereading books.
1. I already know I like it.
This may seem like a cop out answer but its true. Sometimes I read, not because I want to be absorbing new content, but because I have a need to be reading, like an itch to be holding a book and taking in words. I don’t always want to pick up something new and unknown. Maybe I don’t want the risk of feeling emotions I wasn’t prepared for, or plain ol’ not liking the book. An old favorite is the easiest solution.
2. It’s relevant to my life
This sort of goes along with the last part; sometimes I pick up a book that I already knows contains themes or emotions that I find relevant to my life. Recently I’ve been in a writing mood so I reread Write Naked by Peter Gould because I already knew it would be about what I was in the mood to hear.
3. It’s been a while and I’ve forgotten details
Here’s the thing: I have read an average of about 30 books a year for over a decade. I don’t remember them all. Not even a little bit. Sometimes I remember the idea of a book and I know I liked it 5 years ago but for the life of me I can’t recall the details. Solution: give it a reread. I did that recently with Tuck Everlasting and damn if that book wasn’t completely different than I thought it was.
4. I forgot I read it already
See above. This happens to me a surprising amount. Twice this year I’ve started reading “new” books only to realize part of the way in that I had, in fact, read them before. At some point in my past I read Cleopatras Daughter and at least started Miss. Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children. Oops.
5. They’re like visiting old friends
I said in the introduction that there’s a book I’ve read at least 24 times and that’s true, its Across the Wide and Lonesome Prairie I got it in a subscription box when I was 9 or 10 and I read it several times a year. Its comforting. Its homey. Its so many memories from my life that come up each time I read the words and remember other times I’d read those same words. The characters are familiar to me now and it doesn’t matter how many times I read their stories it feels like checking in on them to make sure they’re all right.
Why do you reread?