After finishing Just Listen by Sarah Dessen for the millionth time, I started to think about why I reread books. The story is still there. That hasn’t changed since I last put the book down. There are also so many more books out there to read. There are at least 20 books on my bookshelf right now that I am dying to read, but instead of picking up one of the many books that I haven’t read, I picked up Just Listen. For many people, the idea of rereading a book is ludicrous. In some ways, I agree with them. You already know the story why would you want to read it again. However, I reread constantly. There are some books that I own that are so battered and worn that they fall open to my favorite pages. I can pick up at any point in the story because I know it so well. I’ve decided I reread because I miss the characters. The most important part of a story for me is characterization. I want to get to know the people in the stories and relate to them. Once I’ve finished the book, I get sad that I can’t revisit them. (This is part of the reason why I love series books so much, you get to return to these amazing characters again, at least once more for the very first time.)
In the case of rereading, it’s not that the book changes but that you, the reader, changes. Each time you approach a book, it’s a new experience because in addition to reading the story, you bring all of your new understandings to the reading, which can change how you interpret the text and the ideas behind them. Rereading also allows you to slow down and enjoy the intricacies of the book. In my case, I read FAST. I want to know what happens and I want to know RIGHT NOW. Because of that, I tend to miss some of the minor details and nuances of the text. Rereading allows me to enjoy the quality of the writing in addition to the storyline.
I guess the point of this post is to justify to myself why I reread my books and to plead the case for others to do the same. In the light of my ever lengthening list of to-read, I sometimes get overwhelmed and want to curl up with something familiar, something that says, “Good to see you again.” when you open the book. So, take a chance on an old friend and reread one of your favorites.
The Top 10 Books that I’ve Reread the Most
10. To Catch a Pirate by Jade Parker
9. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
8. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis
7. Protector of the Small Quartet by Tamora Pierce (but really anything by her)
6. Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
5. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
4. The Mallory Series by Johanna Lindsey
3. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
1. Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling (Specifically number 3, but in reality I’ve read them all multiple times.)