Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Rereading is Magical

I never used to be a re-reader. Most of the time, as soon as I was finished reading, I’d close the book and start another immediately afterward. I devoured books, especially in high school. I don’t think I even really stopped to think about what I’d been reading, or let anything about it sink in. I was also only reading like two genres in high school (inspirational fiction and thrillers/mysteries, as if the two of them aren’t wildly different), so that could have been part of it. But even when I first started blogging, I’d kinda looked down my nose at rereading. I thought: why the hell would I wanna read a book when I already know everything about it? and I figured it’d just be boring that way. But boy, was I ever wrong. How could I have thought it anything other than magical?

The only books I’d ever reread before 2015 was my all-time favorite series, the Circle Trilogy by Nora Roberts. I couldn’t let that one go. And even after finishing The Archers of Avalon series by Chelsea Fine, I had to restart the first book because I didn’t want it to end. That was all the rereading I’d done. But in 2015, I managed to reread around 8 or so books. And you know what? It made me want to reread MORE! Of course, most of those books I’d reread were because my memory is shitty and I needed the refresher before finally finishing the series. But I want to start rereading more for the fun of it than because my brain hates me. And since last year, I’ve thought a lot about WHY I reread, or what it does for me that I love doing it so much. These are a few reasons that I came up with. :)

  1. I catch things I missed the first time around. Sometimes I’m a REALLY fast reader, and I don’t always absorb things that are pretty important to the story. I’m also a *little* oblivious at times, and if it’s an author who’s very good at being subtle and not overtly obvious, I have trouble catching that (lookin’ at you, Maggie Stiefvater). I also really do think it’s easy to miss something the first time around. I find this happens with movies for me. The more I watch one, the more I catch something I hadn’t noticed before. I don’t know why this happens, but it’s transferred over into books. Sometimes I think I’ll never catch everything in The Raven Cycle, no matter how many times I reread it.

  1. It makes me fall even more in love with the story and its characters. This doesn’t ALWAYS happen, but in the cases last year, it had. Most of the time, I’m rereading books I’d loved the first time around. And most of the time, that love ends up expanding. It grows, as does my obsession with the characters (The Raven Cycle is a huge one for this). I know people would think I’m crazy if I talk like this about FICTIONAL CHARACTERS, but I KNOW you guys get it! There are those characters, there are those books, that you just cannot stop thinking about, no matter how many you read afterward, no matter what other stories you fall in love with. I love becoming even more engrossed in a certain book or series. I love becoming even more invested in whatever and whoever I’m reading about. I mean, who cares if they’re fictional? THEY FEEL REAL TO ME, OK, AND I LOVE THEM SO MUCH.

  1. There is something very comforting about reading a book you love. Do you have those things you go to when you’re having a bad day? Something that you reach for when you just CANNOT with the world and you need comfort and an escape?  A favorite movie, a certain kind of coffee or tea, a favorite dessert? I haven’t really used it thus far FOR this reason, but I do find it very soothing rereading a favorite book. It’s one of the reasons I picked up the Circle Trilogy for the 3rd time back in 2014 (oy vey, it’s been so long since I’ve been with these characters, TOO LONG). It was a less than stellar time, and I’d been in a huge reading slump, so I reached for my fave series. I felt so much better being back in that world and with those characters, and it reminded me WHY I love reading so much. It was very nostalgic for me, which I think is another fairly large reason why it’s fun to reread.

I'm sure there are some other reasons, but those are biggest for me. It’s also a little telling that all of my rereads have been for series, and not an individual book. I don’t know why, except that series just make me become more invested in characters and their stories. Having more books means more time to fall in love with them (though I have grumbled about the amount of series before, I love them). Anyway! I’ve already reread 4 books this year, and it’s only February. Of course, all of them were because I’d finally wanted to finish the series and needed a refresher (see #1). That’s honestly going to be where a lot of my rereads come from this year since I’m taking the whole “series a month” reading challenge very seriously (I have too many I’ve started/need to start that it’s ridiculous). But I do plan on rereading some just because. Because I miss the characters. Because I find the stories comforting, and the familiarity with reading something that I already love cannot be equaled. Because sometimes I just need to read a book that I don’t feel like I have to review (which I actually think could be another huge reason why I reread. I don't feel pressured to write a review or put thoughts into words since I've already done it).

And here are some of the books I’m definitely planning on rereading this year: (minus the ones I already have: Finnikin of the Rock and Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress).

The Scorpio Races
A Darker Shade of Magic
Six of Crows
The Kiss of Deception & The Heart of Betrayal
The Wrath and the Dawn
Harry Potter
Circle Trilogy (of course)

Of course, I’m not sure if I’ll be able to give myself time for all of them, between the ARCs and the backlist titles on my TBR and all of the other amazing-sounding books coming out this year. And I don’t know whether or not I’ll add more to the list. Some of these are because I’ll need refreshers before the next books come out. But some of them are just because. And that’s the best reason. :) I never thought I was a re-reader, but I’m becoming one. I want to up the number I reread last year, and I want to spend more time doing it. Rereading is magical. It is wonderful and comforting and something I can’t believe I’ve missed out on because I thought it’d be boring reading a story I already know everything about. But apparently not because I love it! :D

Are YOU a re-reader? If you are, why do you reread? Are you planning on rereading any books this year? Which ones? LET'S TALK! :D

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