Rereading, it is one of those topics which has least amount of arguments surrounding it, sure occasionally there are some people who claim it is a waste of time but for the most part it is a you-do-you kind of deal.
Personally I find, rereading books to be one of the best parts of reading…but I will get to that later.
Now, there are pros and cons to rereading it just like everything else in this world though as a lover of rereading I do not have any cons to talk about personally but looking at and hearing some arguments against it, here are some cons I can think of.
You already know the story
This is true, rereading book takes the quite a lot of the shock factor out of it especially if you are a person who has a great memory then rereading books in any genre will probably (that may not be the case for everyone) not have the same impact it had on you before.
Reading mysteries is something a lot of people struggle with because once the cat is out of the bag the suspense is gone, there are definitely some mysteries where the journey is sweeter than the big reveal but if that is not the case it can be difficult to get invested into the story because you know how everything is gonna happened and who is responsible for it all.
You could be consuming a new story instead
True. True. True. At a given time everyone could be reading something else than what they are but there is fact that you already know this story, is what makes some people feel like rereading is a waste of time.
Well the is thing is rereaders know this for a fact but we still chose to reread so yeah…we know what we are doing
Now with the cons out of the way, let’s talk about well not the pros but about the reasons to reread books (or why I reread books) which kinda overlaps with the list of pros I have for rereading.
Characters are a very big part of what make or break a book, their journeys, arcs, development arcs, it is all just so damn phenomenal and I love that.
In series especially, you see the characters go through so much and you actually see them grow as a person and become older, their journeys from either kids to adulthood or as adults through the quests and hard times…
and then you find some characters who you become emotionally attached to with in ways you can’t even contemplate and before you know it you have sold your soul to a demon for a portal into the fiction world so that you can spend the rest of your life with said fictional character…Harry Dresden I am coming for you just hold on a little longer…
I digress…anyway lets get back on track.
When it comes to characters, the point of majority of points is get them started at point A with some beliefs and end their journey at point B where their beliefs have been questioned, examined and changed and along the way they have turned into better and/or mature people that they were in the beginning.
Their journey as exciting to follow in for the first time has a tendency to be even more appealing the second time around because as you see them grow, you also live their experiences with them as the series/book progresses and with that context when you return back to the starting point you are able to see the character in a totally different light and the story in a clear way.
For example, in The Dresden Files series (you are gonna see me mention TDF many times in this post) Harry Dresden starts off as a lone-wolf, chauvinistic, arrogant dude who feels compelled to keep even a police sergeant out of the action because he wants to protect her, as the series progress though we see why he used to prefer the lone-wolf, pushing people away persona and thankfully the sexism in his character was written down or else TDF would have never made it to my fav series list.
But along side seeing characters grow you can also see some characters fall out of grace and once you have the context you can even pick out instances that clearly point out that said character wasn’t good from the start.
Rereading a story before the sequel or binging an entire series after the release of the last book is quite common.
Rereading a book with the knowledge of what is gonna happen next in the series leaves a lot of room to pick up on foreshadowing, Easter eggs and so much more. You can reread the exact moment when your favorite ship fell in love with each other (*cough* ACOTAR *cough*) or see the reason why they fell out of grace (eg: the Villains series).
Sometimes you can catch foreshadowing so far ahead that it’ll blow your mind.
Like, FUCK YOU JIM…HE WHO WALKS BEHIND, THOSE WHO WALK BEFORE AND SO MUCH OTHER STUFF WAS MENTIONED IN THE FIRST FUCKING BOOK OF THE DRESDEN FILES….LIKE HOW DARE YOU PLAY WITH MY EMOTIONS THIS WAY.
Loosing your mind over foreshadowing isn’t the only stuff one can accomplish after rereading, since the shock factor is less you actually find yourself picking up the subtleties that authors’ weave into the book which can really boost the theory making process…
my fangirl side is really showing in this post isn’t it.
What I have found while reading books is that I tend to forget the smallest things that can something change the way you look at the plot (eg: the brief exploration of Dresden’s Dark thoughts in book 1) to things that make me swoon and happy and perhaps even cry depending on what I read (The way Oliver protect Luc against the paparazzi in Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall was something that slipped out of my mind the first time but when rereading it, it stayed and it made my heart swoon or the mere mention of Dresden’s Dad made me tear up because reasons) the emotional attachment to a plot along with the characters has the tendency to increase once you start rereading books.
The main reason why I reread is the experience though and this is very difficult to explain tbh since the experience of reading is very personal to the reader and this stands for rereading as well.
When reading a book for the first time your or well my reaction to plot twists and reveals leave me shook but when rereading these shocking moments are less shocking but what makes the experience better is the emotions that they make me feel with context of the story ahead and the love for characters so damn ingrained into the my very bones the feelings and emotions come bubbling out in a much intense form that they did before as caring for some of these characters comes as easily as caring for your friends and family. This is what I guess makes me love the rereading even more as these is nothing I would rather do in my free time than visit a familiar world with character I already know and love.
Some books even have a tendency of being so damn homey that when rereading theme even for the 10th time feels like being back home and even though the waves get rough I always know I will brave the storm with friends who will be by my side till the end of my days, their journey’s become my own and with that so does their personality and sometimes in hard times it becomes a habit to look to a character who is so familiar to you and ask for help and with every reread this feeling intensifies and makes said characters even more integral to my life.
Well I guess what I am trying to say is that I love rereading books…
can you tell that I didn’t know how to wrap up the post? 😅😂
What is your take on rereading? Let me know in the comments.
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