Today I thought I’d talk a bit about one of my favorite topics–rereading books! To reread or not to reread? That is the conundrum, especially when you’re a book blogger and you may have other book ‘commitments’ like ARCs/review copies or you need to read to write reviews so you can create content for your blog. Even if you’re not a blogger and just a reader with a huge To Be Read pile you may consider carefully whether to you want to spend time rereading a book when you have so many other ones waiting for you, calling your name (or shouting at you in an accusing manner as the case may be).
There are many reasons someone might want to reread a book:
- The next in a series is coming out and you need a refresher
- Your book club is reading it and you decided to join in (this has happened to me a lot)
- Doing research for a post you’re writing (am I the only one who has done this?)
- Some other fun event like a read-a-long
- Comfort reading
The thing I really want to focus on here with this post is that last bullet point: comfort reading. What is comfort reading? Well, I think of it as something that makes you feel good. Something that can make you escape the real world for a bit and bring you some joy in the process.
Despite my huge TBR (it wasn’t always as big as it is now, but it’s been a very long time since it was less then fifty books) I still reread several books each year (in 2018 I reread 18, in 2019 I reread 7). Back when I had a smaller TBR pile I reread a lot more than I do now, percentage wise at any rate (I was also reading a lot less books per year). There were probably two or three books that I’d revisit almost every year. One of those is In Pursuit of the Green Lion by Judith Merkle Riley (I’ve written about her here before, and what her books have meant to me over the years). Another favorite to reread over the years has been Damia by Anne McCaffrey–something about that one I just love even though there is some…weirdness in it too.
These days I’m mainly rereading romances (something I’ve always done since falling in love with the genre–they can be great comfort reads since they focus on emotions so much) and keeping my SFF books fresh and new (that TBR pile isn’t going to read itself!). But every once in a while a book will still catch me into the rereading for comfort from SFF. Twice I loved a book so much that right after I finished it I immediately reread it. The first time was The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo. I was in a mess of a book hangover after finishing that novel and the only way to get over it, apparently, was to read it again, right away. Same thing happened with The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison. It’s such a lovely book full of feeling for the main character and there’s nothing I love more than a book that makes me get the warm and fuzzies.
But why is rereading for comfort such a big deal?
Well, we all have bad days. Sometimes the world is shit. For me, books can be like friends. Or like coming home after a long time wandering. The light at the end of a dark tunnel. A warm hug. I’ve fully embraced the fact that I’m an emotional reader. Yes, sometimes I love the intricate details of plot or world building and I can appreciate some fine prose, but how a book makes me feel is always going to be the end all be all for me as a reader. Because I connect to books on this emotional level, revisiting an old favorite can really lift my spirit when I’m feeling down. That’s why I’ll keep rereading books despite my huge TBR, even if it means I’ll never finish all of those books that I have on my list. I’m okay with that. Sometimes you just have to do what makes you happy, and for me that’s rereading.
Do you reread books? Why or why not? Leave a note in the comments, I’d love to chat!