That is the question… My bookshelves are full and I’ve read every book on there at least once, but only a few have been read time and time again. I’ve never been a big re-reader, and only my Harry Potter books can claim the title of ‘regularly re-read books’ on my shelf. Lately I’ve seen a lot of mention of re-reading on twitter, in chats and on blogs so I thought I’d share my thoughts.
So why do I rarely read a book for the second time? Quite simply, time. I just have far too many new books that I want to read, so I put my focus on those. That’s not to say I don’t like reading a book again though. I ran a little poll on my twitter, and it seems like most of my followers on there only re-read occasionally, with the regular re-readers coming next, and those who never do it coming last. This doesn’t really surprise me to be honest!
How many of you re – read books? #bookbloggers
— Katie Louise (@Katehlouise) March 3, 2016
The thing is, lately I’ve been really wanting to read some of the books on my shelves again. In January I re-read Fangirl, and fell in love with it all over again. That’s what it’s all about right? I mean, I wouldn’t have read the Harry Potter books so many times if I didn’t keep falling in love with the characters and the stories.
Thinking about my reading habits as a child, I was a regular re-reader. I had around 6 of those Enid Blyton Popular Rewards short story books and I read them so many times. Same with St Clares/Malory Towers, Goosebumps, Horrible Histories, Jacqueline Wilson, Georgia Nicholson etc. There was even this non-fiction book that I remember so well (and was gutted when I discovered we’d sold it at a car boot!) about children around the world. It basically showed photos of them, their family, their foods, their houses… and so on. I loved reading about what children around the world were like! (And I found it! Children Just Like Me) It was a huge book – for my size. I’d read a few pages and then put it at the end of my bed under the covers, ready to carry on the next night! Once finished, I’d have a little break and then just start over. This is where my love for reading started – back when I was a child and reading before bedtime was a way to stay up that little bit longer! (Now I just end up waking up from the book hitting my face on it’s way down!)
Nowadays, we’re spoilt for choice. If I could manage my own book spending, I probably would re-read books a lot more. As it is, I like buying new books. And new books I do buy. Way too often. It means I always have something new to read, because my TBR list of physical books never gets below zero.
I’ve decided that I’m going to make time to re-read at least one book each month. The main thing that got me thinking about this is Half Bad. I tried reading Half Wild in February, and realised that I just couldn’t remember anything from the first book. Reading the second after a two year gap (I hadn’t realised it was that long!) is a bad idea… As I write this, I have around 100 pages to go and I’m loving Half Bad. Reading it the second time feels familiar, and whilst I still can’t remember the ending, I feel like I understand everything more. Maybe that’s why people re-read?