A bookish thing that I am almost ashamed to say I struggle with.
Also I had to look up whether or not “re-read” has a hyphen. The internet was not clear. I’m not sure there’s a 100% accepted form. I don’t like the way the hyphen looks. I’mma leave it out for the rest of the post. YOU GUYS CAN JUST DEAL.
When I was younger, I was a rereading MACHINE, you guys. I reread my favorite books so.many.times. I honestly don’t know how many times I’ve reread the Harry Potter series – probably at least 20, possibly more.
That was essentially how I spent my summers. Momma had to work, so I was probably only going with her to the library on Saturdays, maybe only every other Saturday – the horror! So if I finished my library books early in the week, tough luck kid. Better pick something up from your own shelf, even if you already know the ending.
As I’ve grown older, I’ve started feeling guilty about rereading. Some other book nerds out there are positively screeching, “BUT WHY? Why would you ever feel guilty for rereading a book? Especially one that you LOVE?”
Well. I mean. Guys.
I REGULARLY despair about the number of books and films and television shows that I can’t consume simply because I don’t have enough time to consume them all. I lament all the beautiful places in the world I won’t get to see outside of a picture on a screen or all the wonderful people I won’t get a chance to meet (particularly since there are some people I would have preferred to not have met, but let’s not focus on that…).
So how can I possibly justify “wasting” my time by reading something that I’ve already read?
Those in the book community can come up with a thousand reasons.
If you love the book, it’s not a waste of time, because you’re enjoying it.
Even if you reread a book immediately after finishing it the first time, you’re still reading it as a different person in a different time and can glean new things from it.
Especially because it’s difficult, if not impossible, to catch every little nuance a book has to offer with only one reading.
and what about if it’s been awhile since you’ve read the book but a friend has recently read it and wants to talk about it and you’ve forgotten some details?
Or the film adaptation is about to come out – how can you possibly criticize it properly without a fresh reading on your mind?
I could go on and on.
An infinite number of valid reasons to reread would not lessen the guilt I feel. What am I missing out on? What new exciting novel could I be exploring?
I do have the same guilt relating to re-watching a movie or TV show, or going back to the same restaurant, but it doesn’t seem as strong or as…sinful, almost!, as rereading a book.
But every now and then I ache for an old friend, like A Wrinkle in Time or The Giver or The Secret Life of Bees. Every now and then I don’t have the energy that a new book requires – I don’t want to make the effort to introduce myself to new characters – especially when there’s a million of them like in Game of Thrones!
So this week, I said screw it. I just don’t feel like something new right now, especially with us moving into the house this weekend. (!) I’mma reread something! or somethings!
And I am. Though admittedly, I didn’t actually say “screw it, I do what I want! Get thee away from me, Guilt-Face!” No. I choose to reread two books with purposes in mind. Because I think if I didn’t have reasons other than I’m lazy and I love them, I think the guilt would outweigh the pleasure for me.
I’m rereading Shatter Me, because I have yet to read the second installment, Unravel Me, or even the novella in between the two, and the third installment comes out fairly early next year, I believe. I have catching up to do! and it’s been so long since I read the first one, that I don’t think I can comfortably jump into the sequels.
Similarly, though not exactly the same, I am rereading Catching Fire, because, oh yeah, the second Hunger Games film comes to theaters soon and I must be prepared!
I have not decided if I will blog about these as I do new books. Maybe the blurbs will just be shorter, or only focus on new things I noticed. We’ll see!
Anyway, I would love to hear from others about their feelings on rereading! Do you also feel guilty? Or are you completely shameless in your rereading? How much of your reading time would you say is spent rereading? Tell me tell me tell me.