Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Why I Like Rereading Books

I have friends that generally only read books once. They love to read, they just don't really see the point of reading a book once you already know what happens. I'm not like there. There are books on my shelves that I've read a double-digit number of times. I fully expect that someday I'll read 100 reads on some of them (wouldn't be surprised if Wild Magic and Realms of the Gods by Tamora Pierce are already there). 

Books can mean different things in different periods of our lives. I'm going to use Paper Towns by John Green as an example for this one. I first read it a few years ago in high school and, without spoiling it for those who haven't read it, I cried through the ending. I couldn't understand why I was crying but I knew that it hurt. Fast forward to last week, when I read it again. I didn't cry this time, because the ending meant something different to me this time around.

(This paragraph may imply spoilers, I'm not really sure.) The first time that scene made me think of loss. The idea of meeting someone who you love and makes a huge impact on your life and then the loss of them leaving you. The second time made me think that maybe it's more about letting them make that impact on your life and that not everyone you love is meant to stay.

Another reason I love rereads is because I notice more detail and foreshadowing the next time around. The Harry Potter series is the best example for this. When I was waiting for the next book to come out, I would go back and reread the others because I was determined that the clues had to be there. It was true again after I'd finished the series, because I realized how many clues really were there the whole time (like, for instance, the locket that makes an appearance in Order of the Phoenix or the diary in Chamber of Secrets).

Finally, some books I just like to go back to for a comfort reading. Tamora Pierce's books are especially special to me. I like to read the Immortals quartet during finals week because they're quick reads that I've gone through more times than I can count, but always manage to pull me in again anyway.

Do you reread books, or is one time enough? 


Laura W. said...

Ooh, I always liked Tamora Pierce too! Kel's books are my favorite. I re-read that quartet over and over. I think I liked her best of all Pierce's heroines because she doesn't have powers, just a really strong personality.

So, yes -- I love to re-read!:)

Sometimes, I find my opinion changes when I re-read a book. Since you mentioned Paper Towns, I liked it the first time I read it. The second time through, I hated it (for a few reasons which I won't get into here). I mean, I had several huge issues with the ending the first time through, but I was too interested in the story the first time to care about the flaws I found the 2nd time. It's not a terrible book or anything, it's one of those books that the ending ruined for me, I guess.

On the other hand, I like some books better the more I re-read them. :) A good example would be books I read when I was younger that I now I have a more mature perspective on.

Alyssa said...

I love rereading books. It's so much easier to go back to a good book that you know you'll love, rather than start a new one in hopes that you'll fall in love with it.

It is interesting how tastes change. I read Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac three times, all years apart. The first time I couldn't get through it, I think because I was too young for it still. The second time I loved it, the third time I really disliked it. I love how you changing as a person affects how you perceive books.

Laura W. said...

It's sometimes a wrench re-reading earlier books in a series where you know the end. Like Harry Potter or A Song of Ice and Fire. I sometimes catch myself thinking, "...You're all going to die...*sob*"