Are You a Re-Reader?

I’ve been thinking about this lately – the fact that I’m a re-reader, I mean.

It used to make sense, back before I began blogging about what I read, and discovering other bloggers doing the same thing. Back then, I actually went through periods during which I ran out of books in my TBR.

Yes. It’s true. I’m not making this up. I used to go through dry spells where there were very few books in my TBR, and then there would be whole days when I had nothing to read, and not even a browse through my library’s shelf would net me anything of interest.

Nowadays, though, I can’t go online without adding yet another new title to my i-want list. My TBR has grown into several minor mountains (I’m thinking of naming them according to the location of each pile – oh, I think that book is in Mt. Outside-the-Upstairs-Bathroom. And this title? Yes, here it is, in the middle of Mt. Beside-the-Office-Bookshelves.)

So why is it, I have to ask myself, I find I sometimes can’t resist the urge to re-read a book?

I’m not even talking about things like signing up for the Harry Potter reading challenge; after all, I have a good excuse. I haven’t listened to the books in audio, and anyway, I’ve been yearning to read the series from beginning to end ever since I put down book seven, floating in a blissed-out state but awfully sorry the series had ended.

CIMG2608 I’m talking about being immersed in two or three really good current reads, and suddenly thinking, you know, I’d really like to re-read L.M. Montgomery’s The Blue Castle (and then I promptly did so). Or P.D. James’ The Murder Room, which is sitting on my desk right now because yesterday I was getting together a bunch of books to add to the Giftaway Shelf, saw The Murder Room, thought I would add it to the pile and then, for some reason totally unknown to me, decided to re-read the first page. Which is why it’s sitting next to me right now on my desk, and not in the stack of books destined to be added to the Giftaway Shelf.

Every time I do this – decide to re-read a book – I swear, all the books in my TBR piles give a collective groan, whip out their Daytimers and rub out the date they each figured they’d finally get read by me.

And despite this, I still do it.

What about you? Do you find yourself re-reading books even though the state of your TBR threatens to overwhelm you? Or are you really good about books you’ve already read, able to give them away or put them away and never think about them again?

21 thoughts on “Are You a Re-Reader?

  1. Mary

    I love to reread! Actually, I tend to read a book I’m excited about super-fast so a re-read for me is actually more of a slower read for details. And when I’m in a dry spell-no books I’m into, nothing I want to read in TBR pile-I re-read a favorite book.
    .-= Mary´s last blog ..1st Draft of WIP DONE!!! =-.

  2. Memory

    I’m a big rereader. I’ve cut down over the past couple of years because I really do want to get through my TBRs, but sometimes I just can’t resist the urge. I come to a point where I desperately need to revisit a particular premise or a beloved cast of characters, and that’s that. I’ve just gotta tug the book (or series) down off the shelf and reread it. I had some wonderful spur-of-the-moment rereads earlier this year, along with an utterly phenomenal planned reread, but now I’m bound and determined to put all that behind me… for a couple of months, at least. Maybe I’ll start rereading again when la TBR hits, oh, 125 or so.
    .-= Memory´s last blog ..Weekly Geeks: Successful Adaptations =-.

  3. Julie

    I re-read on vacations. Since I don’t have a Kindle (yet), I don’t want to get stuck on a 9-hour flight with a book it turns out I don’t like. So I take the safe path and choose a book I know will hold my interest. Usually one of the Diana Gabaldon titles.
    .-= Julie´s last blog ..Well, That Didn’t Exactly Work Out =-.

  4. Emily

    I love to re-read books. I have hundreds of unread books in my library (and thousands of books I’d like to read but don’t own yet), but I still think it’s important to make time to re-read favorites.

    One month last year I actually decided to devote the entire month to re-reading favorites. I re-read many personal favorites that I had not opened in a while: Pride and Prejudice, The Great Gatsby, and also some more modern favs: A Girl Named Zippy by Haven Kimmel and The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson.
    .-= Emily´s last blog ..Devil’s Food Cupcakes =-.

  5. Fran

    I’m a constant re-reader. Even stuff from when I was a kid. It’s interesting to see if our views change with the passing time. This is the reason I cannot get rid of favorite books – I know I’ll come back to them. And isn’t this what all writers long to hear about their books?

  6. Tam

    Great post.
    I just wrote about this on my blog not that long ago. I am not really a re-reader, there are just so many books out there to try and get through. But a few years back I re-read The Catcher in the Rye because I had previously disliked it, but really appreciated it the second time around.
    Of course, right now I am re-reading Pride & Prejudice for Everything Austen and am truly enjoying it. So I am beginning to rethink my positive, and even as my own Mt. TBRs grows, I think I see more re-reading of books I loved and want to love again in my future too.
    .-= Tam´s last blog ..The Well-Traveled Shelf =-.

  7. Bookwormom

    Add me to the list. I reread regularly, despite having an enormous TBR. Rereads are comforting and welcoming, and sometimes it’s nice to sit down and become reacquainted. :) My “permanent collection” is composed completely of books that I love to reread. I have been known to purchase or repurchase books I traded or returned just because they made more of an impression on me than I thought they did. Make any sense? :)

    Happy reading this weekend~ Amanda

  8. Debbie

    It sounded like you were describing me at the beginning. I would sometimes run out of books to read so I’ve reread some of my books at least 50 times and I’m not exaggerating. But ever since I found book blogs my TBR pile is out of control. I haven’t reread books in a long time except for a few short YA books like the Vampire Diaries which I read in the 90s and a new book just came out so I wanted to refresh my memory. Right now my TBR pile is just too crazy to be able to spend much time rereading.
    .-= Debbie´s last blog ..New Book Blogger Discovery July 24 =-.

  9. Joanne

    My tbrs piles grumble and growl too when I decide to re-read something. And I do it quite often, sometimes because I remember a book but not clearly, other times it’s an old favorite – and it’s comforting to return to a book I adore.

    Oh and I totally didn’t forget that you tagged me in the “State Of The TBR” – I’ve been avoiding it in the hope that all those books will miraculously shrink or possibly even get a little tidier 😉 But I promise I’m gonna have it done this week – and I won’t even clean up first!
    .-= Joanne´s last blog ..Review ? Tunneling To The Center Of The Earth =-.

  10. Ann-Kat (Today, I Read...)

    Can’t say I’m a big re-reader, but I do re-read favorites every so often. Just like Joanne said, it’s nice and comforting to return to an old favorite (or even a more recent favorite).

    Sometimes I’m not in the mood for any of the books in the TBR pile, so I know the feeling. In fact, last night, I decided to grab Pride and Prejudice and give that another read (see what you went and done, Belle?) because I was staring at my TBR pile, reading the blurbs and nothing struck my fancy…I was in the mood, apparently, for an Austenesque romance and didn’t have one handy, so I had to settle for the original. :)
    .-= Ann-Kat (Today, I Read…)´s last blog ..Recent Arrivals: The Last Bridge by Teri Coyne =-.

  11. Carrie K.

    I’m a big re-reader, especially since I started listening to audiobooks. I like listening to books that I already loved in print. Plus certain books – usually series books like Mitford or Anne of Green Gables or Harry Potter – are comforting to me, and so if I’m going through a stressful time, I will turn to those familiar books.
    .-= Carrie K.´s last blog ..Book Review: The Widow’s Season by Laura Brodie =-.

  12. Debbie F

    I’m not much of a re-reader. Never have been. But I will re-read a series if it’s good and a new book has come out. To re-fresh myself.

    Great Blog!


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