What Makes You Re-read a Book?

I’ve talked a bit about how I struggle to re-read these days as a blogger but today I’m curious WHAT it is about a book that makes you decide to reread when you do? There’s always a bazillion new books coming out and even more that you haven’t read that have already been published years and years ago so the choice to re-read is a very deliberate one.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what calls out to me in a book to be re-read. There are, without a doubt, books I really liked but I could never see myself reading them again. I’ve been looking at the books I’ve been drawn to re-read and I’ve come to some conclusions about myself and what things make me re-read a book or at least on my list of books to re-read:

1. It’s a comfort thing: There are some books that just make me feel so safe and secure. That might sound weird but I find myself able to just get lost in certain books that I loved before — it feels like getting wrapped in a big, comfy blanket. A lot of times it’s cute, happymaking stories but other times it is just a childhood book that makes me nostalgic. Knowing a book won’t break my heart sometimes is what I need.

2. A lot of the books I reread are ones that were of the more life-changing variety: I tend to gravitate back to those books that I felt had so much wisdom in them — those passages that I just dog-earred forever. (Shhh..you know I commit book crimes). I want to go back and relive all those moving words that changed my life or made me think. I just want to feel moved and inspired again so I decided to pick these kinds of books up. I just KNOW I’m going to glean more from these kinds of books that I might have not have the first time around.

3. I want to re-visit characters I really connected with: There are some characters that I just can’t help but stop thinking about even years later and I have to just re-read their story.

4. I tend to revisit the more quiet books: I love plot-based, action-y novels where a lot is going on but, for me, MOST of the time I don’t have the desire to reread it again unless it’s an all time favorite and it’s been a long time in between now and my first reading so I might not be as keen on the details. But a lot of the time it’s the quiet books I come back to. They had a decent enough plot the first time around but there was something more in those pages that draw me to it.

5. I don’t tend to reread books in a series unless it’s a favorite book ever: I know a lot of readers will re-read a series before a new book comes out but I just don’t ever do it unless it’s an absolute favorite. I just don’t have that draw to do so. I will sometimes skim so I have a clue of what is going on or look at the last chapter but I rarely do a full reread.

6. I like to re-read a favorite to see how it still stands years later: I like to pick up a book that I deemed a favorite years ago and then reread it to see how it holds up. I like to see how I changed and how that affects how I see the book now. I love this because I see books in new ways and have new thoughts. Sometimes this isn’t always for the best because I see a book maybe as not that great anymore. It could be a case of this.

So now I’m just really curious as to what makes a book something you want to re-read!! Please tell me because I’m sure everyone has such interesting reasons for what makes them re-read and what elements in a book draw them back in! Is it characters? Is it because you loved the story so much? The writing? You love the author? Is it a series reread?

Adding A New Bookish Goal/Resolution…In March!

So this week I talked about, in my latest installment of Before & After,  how I used to be an avid rereader and how now that I’m a blogger I really don’t do it anymore. I LOVED all your comments and different habits, I have to say, and some of you cheered me on after I mentioned that I should have added made this one of my bookish resolutions for the year but that I will try to reread 5 books for the rest of this year.

I decided that I needed to be intentional about it and write it out — for accountability and for myself. After all, I’ve completed my resolution of starting a book club and sort of completed my resolution of culling my books (I still have a little bit more culling to do). So, I’ve done some thinking and here are the 5 books I plan on rereading this year:

  • Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins: I LOVED this book and I’ve been waiting not so patiently for Isla and the Happily Ever After so I figured it would be fun to reread this one because I adored it — despite my adversity to it at first because of the cover.
  • On The Road by Jack Kerouac: This was my favorite novel through high school and college but I haven’t reread it since then. I think I need to reread it to see if it still has a place on the favorites shelf.
  • If I Stay/Where She Went: Ok, so technically this will be SIX books because I’m counting this as one for the sake of my list but I’m really craving some Gayle Forman after reading Just One Day. I actually want to reread Just One Day, even though I just read it in November, but I just want to read it over and over again because I loved it so much.
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry: This was my favorite book as a child and I mentioned in my post about re-reading that I read it probably 10-15 times. I haven’t read it in a LONG time and I never knew it was part of a series so perhaps I will pick those up now.
  • The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky: This was my favorite book in high school and watching it come to life on the big screen was quite incredible. I finally got around to watching it recently and it was definitively THE BEST BOOK TO MOVE ADAPTATION I HAVE EVER SEEN. I  wept, I laughed and remembered why this book was so important to me and still IS so important to me even as an adult. Bonus points for the fact that Will, who has very different movie tastes than I, enjoyed it along with me. I cannot wait to reread this one!

I will say that I’m nervous to reread because what if I don’t LOVE it the way I used to? I mean, I think that’s ok to have a favorite in a different stage of life but I want to remember it as such rather than reading it now and thinking it doesn’t measure up to what I thought it was. I am hoping this doesn’t happen to me. Typically though I find I label FAVORITES as books that really had a profound impact on me and I think they will still speak to me. Some of my favorites are purely based on how FUN they were to read and how much I loved them but most resonated with me in some way.

What books have you re-read this year? Do you PLAN on rereading any this year? Have you read any of the books on my reread list? Have you ever reread a book

Before & After #4: Cozying Up With Old Friends

So you guys. Since early 2012 I’ve been working on this post I wanted to do about the differences between myself as a reader before I was a blogger and after I became a blogger because my habits have changed SO MUCH. I kept putting it off because of wedding plans. I wanted to make this cute graphic that was a list but, when I finally started to work on it this year, it was just looking TOO crowded with about 30 different things and overwhelming and not AT ALL what I had in mind. Then I decided…why not make it a series? The more I thought about it — it would lend to a better discussion if I just give you one at a time. I’m kind of glad my original idea didn’t work out because I’m liking this better. Check the end of the post for previous Before & After’s.

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 I reread books ALL the time. As a child I reread books probably 5-10 times among other quirky reading habits. I read The Giver by Lois Lowry 10 times for sure. As I got in college I wasn’t really reading a ton of new books but was revisiting classics I had read before. I reread without abandon and really enjoyed how different the story felt each time or the new things I would pick up. I also enjoyed spending time with “old friends.”

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It’s a rare day in hell that I reread a book which is SAD because I would love to revisit favorites. The most revisiting I do is of my quote notebook or pulling out a book just to reread a passage I know I loved when I’m in a slump. But reread a WHOLE book? My book blogger brain thinks:

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 It’s not that I DON’T want to reread or don’t find value in rereading. I totally do — if anything I believe rereading is such a crucial part of my reading experience. I think I’ve lost sight of that. But then I look at my shelves of unread books that have accumulated (especially those ones I HAD TO HAVE) and all of the new releases to come or the review books I’ve committed to willingly and I just think BUT WHEN? I WILL FALL BEHIND. I WILL NOT DISCOVER NEW STORIES. And I hate that feeling. I SHOULD reread because I enjoy cozying up with old friends. I don’t know WHY I didn’t make this one of my bookish resolutions for 2013! So here we have it.  Right now. I’m making it. I will REREAD 5 books this year. I will. You heard it here!

 

 

Let’s Talk:

If you are a blogger — has blogging changed the amount of books you reread per year? Do you find yourself less likely to reread because of your blogging schedule and the new releases? If you aren’t a blogger — do you reread? If yes, have you always been a rereader?  For everyone –How many books per year do you usual re-read? Does feeling like you need to discover new stories keep you from rereading? When you are in a reading slump do you find yourself rereading? Do you find you discover new layers of books or pick up on things you never noticed in your initial reread that makes you love books even more?  I WANT TO KNOW ALL OF YOUR REREADING HABITS AND QUIRKS AND FEELINGS ABOUT IT!

Previous Before & After’s:

The Time In Between Two Books – 2/27
Being Up On New Releases — 3/6
Book Real Estate — 3/15

Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down: Rereading

I decided to start a new feature on my blog. If you are a loyal follower of my blog, you know that I put a big emphasis on interaction and discussion and my favorite posts are the ones with a lot of interaction. I also like a good healthy debate where opinions are shared and respected. You may also know that I like talking about random bookish things. Put all of that together and you get my inspiration for this new feature. Every other week I will give a topic to be discussed. You can give your vote on whether or not it is a thumbs up or a thumbs down for you and then explain why. The topics will cover anything related to reading, blogging, the book industry, etc. etc. Basically whatever is on my mind!

For the first edition, I’m starting out easy but I assure you that there will be more controversial topics in the future. Anyways, I’d like to talk about re-reading!  I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately because I feel so conflicted about re-reading. I WANT to re-read all my favorite books because they are awesome (I’m looking at you Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close & The Bell Jar) and I know there is much yet to glean from the pages of them. However, I get frantic thinking about all the books out there that I haven’t read; particularly the zillion of books I own! I don’t want to give re-reading a thumbs down but at this point in my life it has become a thumbs down because I feel like I’ve missed out on a lot of reading years in my life when I stopped reading a lot during the end of high school and early college.

What about you? Do you re-read? How often do you re-read? What makes a book worthy to re-read?

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