Are You A “Re-Reader?”

Do you like going back and reading books you’ve already read?  Have you ever felt that in re-reading a novel, you can gain a better understanding or appreciation of it?

I normally don’t read books I’ve read before because I feel that the magic, excitement and emotions I felt the first time will be gone the second time around.  Other times I get bored with it because I already know what’s going to happen.  Another reason is because I hardly have enough time to read all the books I haven’t read, let alone re-visit books I’ve already read.

Having said that, there are 3 books I’ve read over (and over) again at different times in my life and they are:  The Catcher in the Rye, Pride and Prejudice, and A Moveable Feast.

I’ve read The Catcher in the Rye countless times because I felt that it would change everytime I read it – the book wouldn’t change of course, but my reaction and emotions toward it  as I got older would.

Pride and Prejudice I read more than once because I loved the story and didn’t want it to end; and A Moveable Feast for the beauty of its prose and the beautiful images of Paris it evoked and the romanticism of being a starving writer.

Recently I got to thinking about some books I read when I was a lot younger that I would like to read again if I had the opportunity because I feel that as an older person, I might learn more from it, gain a better perspective of the story or characters, or just understand it better.

These are some of the novels I would like to read again:

1.  100 Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

2.  The Unbearable Lightness of Being – Milan Kundera

3.  Catch – 22 – Joseph Heller

4.  Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell – Susanna Clarke

5.  Slaughterhouse-5 – Kurt Vonnegut

6.  Persuasion – Jane Austen

7.  Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte

It goes without saying that I loved all those books the first time I read them.  Numbers 1-3, and 4 I want to read again because I feel that because I read those in college or thereabouts, there is probably so many things I missed in those novels.  Jonathan Strange, Persuasion, and Wuthering Heights I want to read again simply because I  want to re-live the adventures in them.

What about you?  Do you re-read books? Why or why not?  What book have you read over and over again? Given a chance, what long-forgotten favorite would you like to re-discover or complicated classic you’d like to puzzle over again?

Feature image from: http://www.edinburghbookshop.com/index.php/2013/04/maggie-ofarrell-and-sara-sheridan-on-books/

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25 thoughts on “Are You A “Re-Reader?”

    • Wow, I loved the A Song of Ice and Fire series….I’d love to read that again someday…don’t know if I’ll ever get the time to though. I wonder if it would still be intriguing the second time around?

      Thanks for sharing!

  1. I’m not a rereader. We have the same reasons, which all boil down to the lack time. If only I had all the time plus fast reading speed, undaunting comprehension, and great concentration, I would love to reread my favorite books (probably on an annual or biennial basis). The only books that I’ve reread are The Remains of the Day (because I moderated a discussion of it in the book club), Gilead (because I love it and because it was also book club selection), The Sense of an Ending (because it’s short and amazing), and This Is Water (because it used to be always in my backpack and I read it during long bus rides).

    Next reread is Lolita, because I’ll be moderating a book club discussion of it next month. 🙂

    • I’d also like to read Lolita someday…I really liked that book and I will probably get a fresh perspective of it now that I’m older 😛

      Wow, Remains of the Day?? lol…I can’t even get through that book the first time haha. Someday…..someday……

  2. I’ve a great many that I return to from time to time. Stars in My Crown is the one I’ve probably turned to most often along with Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. I’m sharing your post with my readers this morning!

  3. Pingback: What books do you go back to? | olbigjim

  4. Pingback: Which books do you go back to? | olbigjim

  5. I am a re-reader, but I like to put a lot of time in between reads. There are some books that I love so much, I can’t imagine never reading them again. I don’t necessarily get the same feeling from them (like the excitement of reading them for the first time), but I get new feelings from that I appreciate and love just as much.

  6. Yes…I am a re-reader, if I like the book so much I will reread it more than once.
    I have read The Lord of The Rings 4 times, One Piece (manga) – I’ve lost count of how many times I have re-read it, Battle Royale twice but planning to re-read it again soon, etc.

  7. A re-reader? Describes me to a T. I very much enjoy something new but will usually follow the reading of half a dozen (new to me) books with a re-reading, often for the umpteenth time, of something I’ve enjoyed maybe even as far back as my teens.

  8. I’m a huge re-reader – although I’m often stuck by the same concern as you have, that I don’t have enough time to re-read when there are so many great books out there that remain unread! But I have what I think you’d probably call comfort books – books that I read when I’m sad that always make me happy again.

  9. Great post. Ever since my last move I’ve been thinking about writing a post about rereading books at different times in your life. It’s an interesting exercise to say the least.

    Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion are my two big rereads – they’re also my comfort rereads.
    To Kill A Mockingbird and Stephen King’s The Stand have also been read several times apiece.

    I would love to read Unbearable Lightness in the hope that I might understand it second time around 🙂
    If I could ever finish Catch-22 that would be a start! But I’ve got half way through it three times now! Each time I start off loving the humour, but by half way I go “yeah, yeah, okay, okay, I get the joke…now what?”

    • Lol, I actually know some people who feel the same toward Catch 22. I think it’s a book you either love or hate.

      The Stand? Wow! That’s a doorstopper of a book! To Kill a Mockingbird is great though. I wouldn’t mind reading that again.

      Thanks for stopping by and for sharing!

  10. There’s a good chance you might end up with this comment a few times because my computer is acting up so sorry! I never used to re-read and there are still some books I haven’t because I loved them so much the first time I’m scared in case I don’t next time around! Books I have read several times now include Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Divergent and Jane Austen’s work. You’re the first person I’ve come across who’s read A Moveable Feast – love that book!

  11. For me, it was Anne of Green Gables and its sequels. I reread them hundreds of times throughout my childhood, to such an extent that I memorised some parts of them in a way. They were key to forming my mind growing up. This is how I see it; some books can be read once, and once is enough. Other books need to be savoured a thousand and one times in order for their true value to sink in!

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