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Monday, February 3, 2014

Discussion Post - Do you reread books over and over again?


Rereading Books: Why I rarely do it, but probably should.


Why I rarely reread books.
I don't have the time. Seriously, finding the time to read a book once is hard enough and finding time to read that same book again is just impossible. As much as I love some books and genuinely want to reread them, it's hard to make an argument for it. I mean, I already know how the story is going to end, and I could spend that 5 hours it will take me to reread it to read something completely new.

I guess, some of the reasoning also has to do with work and blogging. When you work as a children's specialist, people expect you to be up-to-date on the newest and best books for kids. However, they also expect you to recommend classic books that their kids may not have read yet. For example, The Phantom Tollbooth or Secret of Platform 13, which are two books I read as a kid and loved. Do I remember anything about Secret of Platform 13? Not at all. I remember I loved it, but I have no idea what it's about anymore. It's hard to recommend a book that you don't remember the plot for. I find myself regularly thinking, "I should go back and reread that book..." and then never get around to it.

I think the biggest reason I don't reread books is because I just can't commit myself to the time it will take to read something old when I have over 300 books that need to be read for the first time on my shelves. I feel like I'm missing out on the opportunity to discover a whole new world by revisiting an old one. Also, a lot of what I read is so heavily dictated by blogging and work that I feel like by rereading something I'm missing out on the opportunity to review something new that people may not have heard of yet. I know it's kind of a ridiculous notion, and something I'm really trying to get away from this year, but still. Blogging and work will constantly be in the background of my reading choices.

Why should I even reread books?
Like I said earlier, there are a lot of books that I read when I was younger and I want to recommend them to kids now, but for the life of me I can't remember what they're about. Most of my memories come from watching the movie, if it came out later. Like Holes? I read Holes when I was in like, second grade, but what I remember the most is what happened in the (seriously awesome and hilarious) movie. I should probably reread Holes, mostly for content.

As a bookseller, it's important that I don't recommend books to kids that might be inappropriate for them. When parents ask about content, I need to know what the worst part of the book might be for specific kids. Kids who get scared easily aren't going to like Harry Potter or Wildwood. They get dark, people die, there is blood. These are things that sensitive kids won't be able to deal with. Which is fine. But, it's necessary for me to know how dark the content may get so that I don't recommend those books to kids who won't be able to handle it.

Also, sometimes I know a book will be great for someone, but my ability to talk it up is compromised when I can't remember what it's about. I have to say more than, "Yeah it's awesome! There are fairies or something like that!" Would you read that book? Probably not. I have to at least remember the basic premise. Also sex. I need to know if there's some crazy sex scene in it. I don't want to give a book to a 12 year old's grandma that has an intense sex scene in it. Usually working with kids is easier because I can ask them what they've read and how they felt about it and I can judge their interests and maturity levels better. But still. I need to know these things.

Which books do I actually reread?
There are very few books I've reread in my life, but some of them include: The Great Gatsby, which I read every summer just to remind myself why I love it so much; Chronicles of Narnia, which I also read every summer, all of them; Harry Potter, which I try to read every couple of years, but it usually takes me awhile.

Okay that's it. I've reread some books, mostly for school, but I don't revisit them regularly.

*****
So which books, if any, do you reread? Are you a repeat reader?

9 comments:

  1. I'm not a big rereader for the reasons you mentioned. I'd rather read something new than something I already know how it turns out. I have reread several books, and actually loved experiencing those worlds again, but I reread them to review them (since I didn't the first time). Not just for fun. Although it was fun. I do have a list of books that I want to reread to review, and those are probably the only books I'll ever reread.

    Angie @ Pinkindle

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  2. I'm a huge rereader, which is partly why I keep almost every book I buy (though that's becoming quite the storage issue). I reread Harry Potter, Hunger Games, and a few other favorite series pretty regularly. I've read the Twilight and Narnia books a few times, I've read Gone With the Wind many times. I'm planning to reread Vampire Diaries and Game of Thrones soon. Every few years I reattempt getting through Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series, but I usually burn out around the 6th or 7th book because I get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of characters and subplots! Basically, if I rated a book highly there's a really good chance that I will reread it at least once, and likely several times. Sometimes it's just nice to revisit a world that I know and love.

    I also often will reread the first book or books in a series when a new book comes out, just to refresh my memory. Great topic!

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  3. I go back and forth between re-reading EVERYTHING and re-reading new things. I understand that doesn't make sense and stems heavily from the fact that I'm a mood reader.

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  4. Twilight. I blew through the whole saga in five days, barely stopping for sleep or food. As soon as I was done, I re read them because I'd skimmed over so many parts to get to the "good stuff" (there was none!!) and missed quite a bit.
    I did reread City Of Bones (or one of the cities) before the following book came out as a refresher, because they are really hard to keep up with. I was still lost.

    The only other book I've re read just to enjoy it again, was the Sea of Tranquility by Katja Milay. I was in a reading slump and everything seemed to be lacking, so I picked that one back up to cleanse the palate, so to speak.
    I would love to go back and reread books, but my TBR is so extensive, that I can't afford to waste the time!!

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  5. Before blogging I reread books all the time. It was more of a skim reread - quickly getting to my favorite parts.

    I don't have time to do that anymore. I have 100's of books that need to be read for the first time lol

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  6. I'm not a big rereader, mostly because I get bored because I already know everything that happens and can recite whole quotes from books I love, so if I attempt rereading it usually just turns I to skimming to my favorite parts.

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  7. I re-read. Mostly because a new book in a series comes out and I want to re-familiarize myself with the world, especially if it has been awhile. I also re-read pretty fast though.

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  8. Last year I wasn't able to reread at all, primarily because like you, my reading life has been governed by my blogging. But I missed reading Harry Potter and Jane Austen, most especially since I haven't read any book from other authors that captured me quite the way Rowling and Austen have. But your reasoning is sound! This year, I decided to take it slow though, and enjoy my reading more. :)

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  9. Hi, my name is Renae, and I am a re-reader.

    I feel better having gotten that off of my chest! :D

    I love re-reading book - especially my favourites! I like revisiting my favourite moments even if I can remember them in my head - there is always some detail where my memory fails me.

    I think the book that I have re-read the most is the Study series by Maria V. Snyder - I just love them so much and I think I have read each (cover to cover) about 7 times.... I have a problem, I need help :D

    Renae @ Rolling with the Moments

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According to FTC guidelines I must point out that all of the books that I review on my blog were either purchased by me or were given to me by the author/publisher. All words and opinions expressed are my own and I do not receive any monetary goods for writing reviews. I will state in my review which books I have received for review and which books I have purchased/borrowed. All images and synopsis are taken from Goodreads.com unless otherwise stated.
 
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