The Joy of Re-Reading || Blogmas Day 3

03 - header

Hello, and happy Sunday to all you lovely readers. Today I’m talking about re-reading books – inspired by a post that the wonderful Lydia did at the end of November (here).

In that post (which you should read because Lydia is lovely and her blog is amazing) she talks about how she reread Fingersmith by Sarah Waters because it was comforting – not in the sense that the plot is a happy, fluffy affair – but that she knew the ending was one that satisfied her and she knew it would make her feel comforted in that it ultimately ended on a happy note.

Re-reading is a pastime I have a very bizarre relationship with – I love it, especially in the winter months, but I often feel like re-reading is wasting time. I’ve already read the book, and I have hundreds of books on my shelves that have never had that first read, and I feel guilty for revisiting those books I love and ignoring those I’ve never had a chance to love.

However, recently I’ve been thinking that any reading is good reading. Having picked only one book up in November I’m thinking maybe revisiting old favourites is a good way to get myself back reading, and from now and into 2018 I’m going to ‘allow’ myself to reread more regularly because, honestly, I think telling myself I shouldn’t want to reread a book and I should be reading new books is so much more damaging to my overall desire to read.

Reading has become a lot more target driven and competitive, and if any of you are like me then your goodreads goal for the year becomes quite consuming. Rereading books – until recently – meant you had to remove books from one year, that you couldn’t read the same book twice in one year because it only counted for your goal once. Now, at least, I could read one book 50 times in a year and it would count each read of that book as 1 towards my annual goal. Target driven reading is a whole other kettle of fish that I will talk about another day. I also dislike rereading books I have already written a review on – which is stupid. Feelings change on second reads, you can find different things and I don’t know why I felt there were so many issues with re-reading because honestly I can’t find one legitimately good reason to not do it!

As it stands, there are a mountain of books I would love to reread – some of them I read recently, others not so much, but I’m going to reread them when I feel the urge to. I’m no longer going to be denying myself the enjoyment of a reread for statistics. On that list are some of my childhood favourites, Roald Dahl books and things like The Secret Garden, but also books like Middlemarch which I last read 2 or 3 years ago, didn’t enjoy all that much but have since fallen in love with the author. Taking inspiration from Lydia, I’d like to re-read all of Sarah Waters’ books!

Honestly, the list goes on and on and I cannot think of one good reason why I shouldn’t enjoy rereading. There shouldn’t be guilt involved with reading a book you love, however many times you’ve read it before. It doesn’t matter how many unread books are on your shelf, the important thing is enjoying what you are reading. Those unread books will still be there when you come to pick another book up.

So, do you like rereading? Do you feel guilty rereading at all? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!

6 thoughts on “The Joy of Re-Reading || Blogmas Day 3

  1. Little fox reader says:

    Hi there! Well, a year ago I would’ve said I’d never reread a book also because I saw it as a waste of time. But this year I found myself rereading some books (despite the fact that my non-read books keep adding to my shelf). And I realize is good fun rereading. Yes, you might know the ending is good or bad. Yes, you might know the characters and who falls in love with who but there’s always those details you forget. So, rereading is like rediscovering that book you loved before and having all those good memories back.
    I don’t like the idea of rereading 10 books in a row but 1 once in a while is a good idea I believe.

    • ashleighmuses says:

      I think once in a while is the best way – means that you get to experience the excitement of a reread and notice all the smaller details less regularly so the novelty doesn’t wear off! I definitely couldn’t do a year I’d just rereading or anything but when the mood takes me, I’m going to settle down to a reread. Yes, there’s a chance you won’t enjoy it so much with age on your side or whatever, but there’s every chance you’ll enjoy it more as I often find I do!

      Thanks for the response! Happy re-reading

  2. lydiaemily says:

    Gosh I feel so honoured that I’ve inspired anything!! You have soe really excellent thoughts on this subject, and I basically agree with you on everything.
    I hope that you enjoy any books you choose to re-read. It’s a wonderful way, I find, of helping you “get back into” reading if you’ve been in a bit of a slump. Sending love ♥

    • ashleighmuses says:

      Awh! Well when I reread Tipping the Velvet because of your post/video, it made me realise that rereading isn’t a “waste of time” at all (as I so often thought!) and actually it can make new memories as well as being back old ones! Next on my reread list is actually either Fingersmith or Affinity, both of which I read about 10 years ago when I was far too young and it all went over my head – so I’m certain I will love (and appreciate!) them both a lot more now!

      Thanks for the inspiration! ❤️

  3. Susana_S_F says:

    I haven’t reread a book in ages. I have so many “new” books that I’m really curious about and that I really want to read soon rather than later that I feel like I would be “wasting” time, although I know I wouldn’t. But most of all I’m afraid of not loving my favourite books as much as I did the first time.

    • ashleighmuses says:

      I think that’s a lot of the hesitancy with rereading – the fear of not enjoying it or losing that memory. Some books I know are best left to my fond memories. I know for certain I wouldn’t enjoy some books now that I did 10 years ago, but then some books are so familiar and comforting that I just get swept away and enjoy them all the more a second or third time around! Though, interestingly a book I consider one of my favourites (Rebecca) is one I am increasingly hesitant to reread (I must have reread it 4 or 5 times) and I’ve loved that book since I read it at 16!

      And I think the “wasting time” feeling is common among a lot of people who read a lot – people who don’t use things like goodreads, or take part in a bookish community, who I have had this conversation with (in “real life”) don’t have this hang up/stigma attached to rereading!

      But, from doing it, it’s definitely worth it once in a while as a little “treat”!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.