The Prompt: How many times is enough? Why re-read at all? Is re-reading just a comforting pastime? Or is there excitement to be relived? What kind of books do you re-read? Do you ever re-read books you don’t like in hopes that it will be better the second time? Were there any books you didn’t like as a child but liked as an adult, or vice versa? (Suggested by FIVES @ DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE)
I absolutely love rereading books! Although I admit I find the “How many times is enough?” prompt a bit funny because I largely reread books for myself, because I know I enjoy those books and want to dive back into and experience the story again. I’m not trying to achieve or accomplish anything, so there’s no set amount of times I would ever reread a book; I just do it when I feel like it. Some books I have reread only once; some books I have reread two dozen times.
And my opinion is that the best books can be reread indefinitely: they always have something new to offer the reader, and their value doesn’t rely on the reader being surprised or not knowing what happens next.
I have reread books I didn’t actually like, however. Generally I do this with classics. I think to myself, “Ok, I didn’t like Wuthering Heights as a teenager, but maybe I would get something more out of it now,” and I give it a shot. Or someone tells me something about a classic that makes me think about it in a new way, and I reread it to see if I like it more with that perspective. Sometimes I do like the book more the second time. Sometimes I don’t really enjoy it, but I “get” it more than I did as a younger reader. Sometimes I still just hate the book. It’s interesting to give some books a second chance, though.
As a child, I used to reread the books early in a series before reading the next one, but I don’t do that anymore because I simply don’t have the time, and I have a lot more access to books and books on my TBR list than I did as a kid. I’m not going to invest the time in rereading something simply to remember what happens. So, honestly, while I read a lot of middle grade and YA and adult fantasy, I don’t generally reread those books because I don’t expect to get a lot out of them the second time. My rereading now is largely relegated to classics.