I’ve met people who tell me they never watch repeats. That if they’ve seen a movie once, they never want to watch it again. Even if they’ve enjoyed it! Doesn’t seem to work that way with music (maybe because most songs are short and you don’t take up a lot of your time?) but sadly (to me anyway) it seems that there are folks out there who read a book once and never want to revisit that world or characters.
I could understand if you didn’t enjoy the story and had to read it for a class, forcing your way through it, but what if you really enjoyed it? What if it was book one in a series and the next book came out a year later? Do these people just have better memories than me and don’t need to re-read the book to remember all the little details that could be important in the next book? Perhaps.
People sometimes are envious of my speed reading but, in truth, I often miss little details. It’s one of the reasons I enjoy re-reading, to catch those small things I might have missed the first time around. Not to mention I read well over one hundred books a year so after the fact, stories can get jumbled in my head and I forget exactly what happened in which story. By the time the next book in a series comes over a year or more later, I’m ready to re-read that story so I can jump into the new one remembering all the important bits and pieces of the last one(s).
I certainly can’t deny that I love a good story and if I love something, why wouldn’t I want to revisit it? Even if I know how it ends, I can’t possibly remember all the beautiful turns of phrases an author might have used or the powerful dialog between two characters that literally leaves a pain in my chest. Sometimes re-reading a book can be even more painful for me if I know who the main character ends up with and I see how the other person in the triangle is putting themselves out there all for naught. Knowing the ending can have me going in with a different perspective which will have me focusing on different parts of the story that I may not have found as important the first time around.
Lives are busy and I get that some people rarely have time to get through a book once, let alone multiple times, but should you find yourself itching to read something, don’t be scared to pick up something you’ve already read and enjoyed. I bet you find you enjoy it just as much, if not more, the second time around.
I can only hope that people enjoy my books enough to want to read them a second or third time. To me, that’s an amazing compliment.
What are some of your favorite books to re-read?