Discussion | Is it okay to Re-Read Books?

There is a ridiculous number of books in the world. There is a vast number of good books in the world. The truth is, we’ll never have time to get through them all because new books are forever getting published – it would be incredibly hard to keep up – or read all the existing books in the first place! So why do so many of us enjoy reading books we’ve already read over and over again? – when we could be enjoying different, new books.

But there is no denying it, I’m sure we’ve all re-read at least one book in our lifetimes. I, for one, certainly have! And I enjoy it, like I’m sure we all do. This discussion will be about whether re-reading books is a good thing or not. Enjoy!


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– My Experience –

In all honesty, I love re-reading books. There’s something really exciting about returning to a world you’ve enjoyed exploring – sometimes it’s even more exciting than entering a brand new world!  Books I’ve enjoyed re-reading include: The Harry Potter series, Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children, Pride and Prejudice, Enid Blyton’s Malory Towers series, and the list goes on! I like to leave it a few years before re-reading a book, because it can be a little boring if you can remember everything that happened, of course. Also, I prefer re-reading books when I don’t have much else to read rather than reading something I’ve already read, meanwhile having a bookshelf full of brand new, unread books in my possession!


– Good thing – or bad thing? –

The Good things:

  • It enables you to enjoy a book several times
  • You tend to notice things that you have missed the first time you read it
  • If you remember the ending, you will see the red-herrings and the way the whole book works
  • If you read the book when you were a child, it is nice to reminisce on those times and about what books you enjoyed
  • Your perspective on the story might change as your personality sort of grows and changes slightly
  • You can look forward to your favourite parts of the story
  • You know it’s going to be good!

The Bad Things

  • You know what is going to happen
  • You aren’t going to learn anything new from it because you’ve already read it
  • You could be reading a new book and learning different things rather than going back over something you’ve already read
  • Could be seen as a waste of time
  • The fact that you know what is coming might make your reading experience boring
  • You might have remembered it to be better than you think it is the second time which can be disappointing
  • You might spot flaws, which can be irritating and disappointing

– How Re-reading can be useful –

I sometimes find that if I’m feeling a little down in the dumps, it’s quite comforting and relaxing, revisiting a book that you have enjoyed, and I do it quite often, even if I don’t re-read the entire book; just a couple of chapters or so. I do this because it’s nice to know you’re going to read something good and something that you enjoy. Also, revisiting your favourite characters can actually be like revisiting old friends, aha!

Also, my other experience of re-reading books being useful is when I started studying Pride and Prejudice earlier this year for my schoolwork. I found the fact that I’d already read it, gave me a bit of a head-start and I already had a good idea of what the characters were like, etc, so it was very helpful.


– In Conclusion… –

Personally, I see no harm in re-reading books. It can be fun, comforting and relaxing, and it is something I do from time to time when I feel like revisiting an enjoyable book. Most of the time, however, I like the feeling of beginning a brand new book, not knowing what the conclusion to that story is going to be.

However, the thought of not being able to go back and re-read certain books is really sad for me, and I love having the option of being able to do that.

I think the reason some of us buy books rather than borrow them from Libraries is so we can have that little world on our bookshelf, just in case we ever feel like returning to that place…


– Now I’m really interested in what you think! –

  • Is re-reading books okay?
  • How many times could you re-read a book?
  • How long do you wait before picking it up again?
  • What is the most amount of times you’ve read a book?
  • … or is re-reading books a waste of time?

Thank you for reading this discussion!

Please let me know what you think in the comments!

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47 thoughts on “Discussion | Is it okay to Re-Read Books?

  1. Niraja @ Fantastic Books and Where to Find Them says:

    Rereading books is definitely okay! I completely agree with all yours pros/cons, but I also find that I learn something new every time I reread a book (like with To Kill a Mockingbird, for example). Also, I feel like you only reread books that are special to you; I, for one, plan on rereading Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and All the Bright Places sometime soon – both were too sweet to forget! xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Drew @ TheTattooedBookGeek says:

    Of course re-reading books is OK, surely it’s the same as listening to the same album over and over, watching the same film again and even playing the same video game through again.

    Perhaps we all don’t reread as much as we do with those other media, but you quite often find bits you missed when you reread a book and sometimes you just want to read a book again as it’s one of your favourites and transports you back to a world and characters story you know. 😀

    Like

    • Poppy says:

      Yeah, I agree, and that is a really interesting concept thanks Drew! I suppose it is exactly the same as listening to the same song over and over again. And, I can definitely relate to that, I love revisiting a world that you know you love. Thanks for reading the discussion and sharing your thoughts! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Jessica says:

    Nice post! I agree that rereading books is an okay thing to do. There’s no harm from rereading your favorite books. I think that rereading a book helps you look into the story more and notice things that you might have not noticed the first time you read it. I love to reread the Harry Potter series not only because it’s an amazing series (duh :D), but also because I always find that I discover details that I never realized was there the previous times I read it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Poppy says:

      Thank you, Jessica! Yeah, I can definitely relate to that, it is wonderful to revisit your favourite books and notice new things. Thank you for reading my post and sharing your thoughts, much appreciated! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Poppy says:

      Awh, that’s interesting, I suppose there’s just so many new books out there, it might be hard to find time for ones you’ve already read, which is completely understandable. Its good that you’ve been enjoying rereading more books this year though! Thanks for reading my discussion post! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. lowkeydarling says:

    I re-read books all the time – especially the Harry Potter Series and I still notice things that I didn’t realize – but if I love a book, I want to experience that love as much as I can! Don’t worry, it’s normal in my mind!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. TeacherofYA says:

    Rereading books is a MUST! There are some that I read so fast I barely remember them. In my Teaching Lit to Adolescents class, we talked about how every time you reread something you come from a different perspective: so it’s NEVER a waste. Books that I read for class that I already read were torn apart and I was shown things I never noticed! At 18 to 80, our life experiences color our perception of our story and its world.
    Good topic!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Poppy says:

      Thank you! And I completely agree with you, it can’t ever be a waste of time. You do notice things you never knew were there, that’s happened to me many a time! And I can definitely see how our perspectives might change as we get older. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Lauren @ Wonderless Reviews says:

    I love rereading books, but I don’t do it nearly enough! I find it so hard to fit rereading in because of how insane my TBR is haha, but I definitely think it’s okay! I love going back to the worlds and characters of my favourite books. I’ve also picked up things I haven’t the first time around. There are a few books I don’t want to reread though because I’m worried I won’t love them as much as I did the first time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Poppy says:

      I know, it’s the same for me! I’ve got so many new books, that it’s sometimes hard to fit in one I’ve already read. And yeah, I suppose there would be a little bit of pressure as to whether you enjoy it just as much or not, the second time around. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Lauren! 🙂

      Like

  7. brmaycock says:

    When I was a teenage I used to reread things ridiculously, Roald Dahl and Enid Blyton being the most read (Matilda 21 times, very proud of that!), then as I got a little older I suppose I started reading stuff that once you knew the ending theer was no going back. Saying that I’m reading Liz Nugent’s Lying in Wait at the moment,and have forgotten Unravelling Oliver, which I really loved at the time, so think I’m going to go back to it again! There’s also some classics I’d love to read again, see if I’d appreciate them now, plus I’d love to go back to reread some of the books I read when I was younger eg Under The Hawthorn Tree and The Wildflower Girl, but, like Lauren above, I’d be afraid I wouldn’t enjoy them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Poppy says:

      Awh, I loved Enid Blyton books a few years ago and I’d read them over and over again, they just never got boring! But woah, 21 times is impressive – it reminds me of my sister who is always very proudly reminding me that she has read this one Jacqueline Wilson book 14 times, I think it’s called Lola Rose. But 21 times tops that! It’s interesting to see what you think, anyway, thanks for sharing your thoughts 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Helen Jones says:

    I am a re-reader (if that’s the correct term!), always have been. Yet I have friends who, once they have read a book, will discard it, never to read it again. For me the appeal is going back to a world I love, to characters I enjoy reading about and, as you say, picking up details I may have missed before. The late Sir Christopher Lee read The Lord of The Rings every year, around autumn time, and had a long-held dream to play Gandalf in the films. As it turned out, he played Saruman, and was the only member of the cast to have actually met Tolkien. So that’s an example of someone who actually became part of the world he so often revisited, at least in a small way 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Poppy says:

      My Mum’s like that – she reads a book once and then gives it away – I can’t understand her! And that’s really interesting, I haven’t actually read Lord of the Rings, so I might have to give the series a try. Thank you! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. beloveddaughters24 says:

    I agree with your pros as to why re-reading a book is a good thing. I have re-read some of my books. On the second go round, I tend to notice something new that I did not notice the first time whether it is something a character says that comes to fruition later or a subtle hint about what’s to come later on in the book.
    Also for me when reading a book a second time, I tend to analyze the author’s writing style. For example, how the author structures sentences, and how the author describes certain pivotal moments in the book.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Poppy says:

      Yeah, I definitely agree with you there, you definitely tend to notice things a lot more the second time you read the book and yeah, its good to have chance to appreciate the authors writing style. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! 😊 xx

      Liked by 1 person

  10. irena_bookdustmagic says:

    I LOVE rereading books! I love it even more then first time reading (of course, if I like the book).
    I used to reread a lot but since I became a book blogger, I kind of stopped, which is a shame.
    I like to reread my favorite books once a year, but when I was in school, I reread all the time, and first timeread only rarely. I remember I knew how to quote Go Ask Alice in no brain!

    And I’ll finish my comment with a thing I heard Stephen King say: A good book demands to be read twice.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Poppy says:

      That’s a brilliant quote by Stephen King! Yeah, I have found that, too; I’ve been rereading less since I started blogging, but when I do get chance to reread a book, I always thoroughly enjoy it! Thanks for contributing your thoughts. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Laurie Welch says:

    Great discussion! Yes, I reread books, but not a lot of them. There are certain ones like Jane Eyre, The Bronze Bow and Mansfield Park that have always drawn me back after a few years. When I reread them I am different and I discover different things from the first time I read them.

    I agree, though, there ARE so many books and shouldn’t I read something I haven’t already read? But I love to read, so I just figure I will read what I want!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Poppy says:

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Laurie! I completely agree, if you enjoy re-reading, then you should definitely re-read! And yeah, you definitely discover things that you hadn’t noticed before. Thank you! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. fandomloversite says:

    Oh, I love re-reading books! Yes, all of your pros and cons on re-reading are true. You know how it ends, you notice things that you miss. But, if you truly enjoyed the book, you won’t mind at all re-reading it. I often re-read favorite parts in my books, just to relive the memories.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Magini - books says:

    I don’t mind re-reading books, but I don’t really do it too often. Usually, it’s in another format – if I read a paper book before I might reach for audio next time, or if I read it in translation I might check out the original. I wouldn’t say it’s a waste of time especially if you enjoy reading it, but there are so many new books that tempt me, that’s why I usually reach for a new read instead of the old one.
    I’ve got only a few books I re-read, but the ones I reached for the most are the Discworld novels. They are funny and never boring, even if you know the ending.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. fiona says:

    I probably re-read more than I read (if that makes sense). I’ve read the Famous Five dozens of times and I have other favourites that I’ve gone back to every few years. I’m ‘blessed’ with the sort of memory that means I recall having loved a book, and bits and pieces of the plot, but generally I don’t have the slightest recollection of the who-done-its or the why-done-its.
    I try to leave a year or two between re-reads so I can enjoy a sense of familiarity through a book, but I still have that sense of wonder as it all is revealed.
    In order to be more widely-read I have tried to limit myself to one re-read for every new book but I’ve still made it through the entire Series of Unfortunate Events in the past year or so, about half of the Buffy TV novels (this time I’m doing them in chronological order), all the True Blood titles (third time around, I think), half the Harry Potters (on audio book this time), plus a lot more. And I’m also reading some Point Horrors again (My Secret Admirer and The Accident) this week – but that I am blaming on you!
    x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Poppy says:

      That’s really interesting, and you’re lucky to be able to enjoy books over and over without important details spoiling it for you. I’m currently re-reading the Harry Potter series, too, and I’m loving them, despite being able to remember a majority of what happened. Ahaha, yeah, you can definitely blame the point horror one on me! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Fiona! 🙂

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  15. thewordtraveller says:

    An interesting discussion topic! Personally I love rereading books and at the moment I actually am rereading Jane Eyre for the third time. Also it’s become a tradition of mine to read Pride & Prejudice every single year and I haven’t become tired of it yet. With Harry Potter it feels like coming home, meeting the characters that are so familiar and yet there are still so many details to discover! Sometimes I wish I had more time for rereading books but then there are always new stories that demand to be read 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Poppy says:

      Thank you, I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the topic! Awh, I’m rereading ‘Pride and Prejudice’ for the third time at the moment, for my schoolwork and it’s become such a chore! I loved the book the first time I read it, but now I’ve had to study it for so long, I’m really sick of it! I definitely agree with the Harry Potter though – I’m rereading them at the moment, and thoroughly enjoying them. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • thewordtraveller says:

        I know that feeling. After analysing “The Great Gatsby” for what felt like ages I had a hard time enjoying the story, although it is one of my all-time favourtite books 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  16. Kira says:

    I only re-read books if it’s been years since I read them the first time and I don’t remember much about them. I can see why re-reading books is appealing to some but it’s not appealing to me. I get bored reading stuff I’ve already read and since I’m a slow reader I’d prefer to focus my reading time on taking the opportunity to read new books I haven’t read before.

    Liked by 1 person

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