Ask the Readers: Do You Re-Read Books?

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One of the problems loving books is that there is just never enough time to read everything you want. It’s even worse when you also like to re-read books, as I do. 

But even for all the new books out there that I want to devour, I wouldn’t give up re-reading. 

Re-reading serves different purposes. Some books are comfort reading. You know what’s going to happen, you don’t expect to learn anything new, but you re-read because it’s the book that gives you a comfort of familiarity or the company of beloved characters when you need it. 

Another reason for re-reading is to discover things you missed the first time. There are books where you can learn something new every time you read it. 

You can also re-read because some books change their meaning, as you change. The Alchemist was one one of those books for me. The first time I read it, it was an interesting story, but no more. The second time I read it, at a much different point in my life, it was of immense inspiration. 

You can also re-reading just to explore a book, explore words in detail. 

There are also craft/learning reasons. If you are a student, you can re-read to get a better grasp on the material you are trying to learn/understand. As a writer, you can re-read to learn what works and what doesn’t. 

There are as many reasons to re-read as there are people. 

Do you re-read? Why do you do it? Share your reasons, and your favourite re-read books in the comments below. 

3 Responses to “Ask the Readers: Do You Re-Read Books?”

  1. Adam (THAT one) May 18, 2014 at 3:47 pm # Reply

    I need at least a couple of years to pass before I can reread, usually. I like to have forgotten large chunks, so it’s surprising again. 🙂

  2. Michael May 18, 2014 at 5:55 pm # Reply

    I reread for all of the reasons you’ve gone over in your post. Comfort reading for authors I really love (David Weber and Elizabeth Moon in my case) is one. Re-reading to gain further understanding (Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash is a recent example). To find something new from each re-reading (Lord of the Rings is one I try to read once a year because it’s so rich). I tend to re-read non-fiction, philosophy or economics, to gain further insights and learn the material better (Wealth of Nations, for example). Also I re-read books because the author just strings words together in ways that just amaze me every time I read (Jack Vance is one example).

    When learning, I tend to skim a book first, then re-read it in more detail, which might not count as a re-read since it’s really part of a systematic way of understanding the material.

    • Dolly Garland May 31, 2014 at 11:50 pm # Reply

      Michael,

      I love your answer. It makes perfect sense to me, because that’s how I think. There is a different purpose for re-reading different material. Thank you for giving your examples too. I love to find out which books and authors other people find interesting, and love.

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