How often do you reread?

Son of the Shadows Kindle

I just started rereading one of my favorite fantasy novels, Son of the Shadows by Juliet Marillier. I decided to reread it because my good friend Maggie started the Sevenwaters series recently and has been raving about the books. It reminded me of how beautiful Marillier’s writing is and I wanted to experience it again. Also, I haven’t reread any of the Sevenwaters novels since I first discovered the series back in 2010. This got me thinking about how seldom I get reread books. I always feel like I want to read ALL THE BOOKS and that I don’t have enough time to read all of the titles in my TBR pile. There’s just something about the potential of discovering a new book to love that draws me in, so I have this tendency of picking up a new book instead of revisiting an old favorite. This is why I don’t get to reread favorite titles even though there are times when I really want to. Another reason that prevents me from rereading is that most of the books that I’ve loved have been reviewed on my blog and when I reread, I wouldn’t have anything new to write about. Although that’s not such a major issue since I don’t want to pressure myself when it comes to blogging.

I’ve been better about rereading books this year because of the no pressure policy. Some of the books that I’ve reread are:

Silent Blade and Silver Shark by Ilona Andrews
Graceling and Fire by Kristin Cashore (for YAckers discussions)
The Chocolate Thief and The Chocolate Kiss by Laura Florand (influenced by Amour et Florand)
A Rose in Winter by Laura Florand
Son of the Shadows by Juliet Marillier

I know that still doesn’t seem like  a lot but it’s better than nothing. Some of the titles I want to reread if I find the time for them:

Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith
A Countess Below Stairs by Eva Ibbotson
The Touchstone trilogy by Andrea K. Host
His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman
Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
Something About You by Julie James and maybe some of the other books in her FBI series
The Queen’s Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner, but I’m planning to reread this when the release date of the next book has been announced
Pegasus by Robin McKinley, but closer to the release date of the sequel
The Raven Boys and The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater, in preparation for the next book
The Abhorsen trilogy by Garth Nix, in preparation for Clariel

Let’s see if I get to reread any of these titles. I know some people have traditions of rereading certain favorites every year so I’m curious about what the rest of you have to say about your rereading habits. Do you allocate time for it? Are there books that are part of a series that you reread right before the latest installment is released? Do you ever feel like you don’t have enough time to read/reread?

26 thoughts on “How often do you reread?

  1. Great discussion today! I definitely try to re-read because my memory isn’t great. I also feel it lends immediacy and makes you CARE again. You’re not wondering, “Who was that character?” and you’re seeing hints of things to come that you wouldn’t notice before.

    That said, how often do I have TIME to re-read? Not nearly enough!

    Sometimes, I don’t get a chance to read a book before the second comes out. At that point, might as well wait a year for the final book, right? Likewise if I DO read the first book and don’t get a chance to read the second right away. May as well wait and just re-read ONE book.

    I did TTT today and there were actually quite a few series on my list this time. I just finished re-reading Kat Zhang’s first book and first reading two and three. I’m currently re-reading the Percy Jackson books as the date for the finale approaches. I’ve been waiting on Alexandra Bracken for three years and can finally read all the books together. Etc, etc.

    Sometimes, this works to my detriment. I STILL haven’t had time to read the third UNEARTHLY book because I haven’t had time to re-read books one and two. I didn’t get to read PRODIGY right away and decided to wait for CHAMPION for a big Legend Series re-read. Hasn’t happened. I waited to read Jennifer Armentrout’s Lux series, and now I don’t have time to read five books.

    I just bought the third Brent Weeks book and was GOING to read the series this year–until I heard there was one more. Gonna wait now! I won’t even start a big series like Game of Thrones because I can’t make time to re-read 4000 pages before book 5 comes out (I decided this before DANCE OF DRAGONS had a date), then 5000 before book 6, 6000 before 7, etc. I will just wait. So far, I’ve been pretty good with spoilers. They still scare me, though!

    • Bonnie, wow, thanks for the detailed comment. I also don’t have a good memory when it comes to books that I’ve read. When a book has become a favorite, I remember the characters and certain scenes but not all of the details. For books that I found meh, I sometimes even forget that I’ve read them.

      I do that too! I usually read the first book in the series to see if it’s something that will pull me in. But if it’s a trilogy then I feel like waiting for the third book to come out so I can read it together with the second one. I still haven’t read the sequels to Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor and Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan even though I enjoyed reading both those books.

      Ideally, I would want to read the earlier books before reading the latest installment but there’s not enough time for that so I usually just read my reviews or recaps I find online. Sigh, I wish they just released series books in one go. This is why there are times when I feel like it’s better to start on a series when all of the books are already out, no need to worry about waiting.

    • >Sometimes, I don’t get a chance to read a book before the second comes out. At that point, might as well wait a year for the final book, >right? Likewise if I DO read the first book and don’t get a chance to read the second right away. May as well wait and just re-read ONE book.

      Absolutely! I find myself doing both things all the time.

  2. I re-read all the time. It depends on what mood I am in and if my current TBR list doesn’t appeal at the moment. Personal favorites to re-read include LoTR by JRR Tolkein; Megan Whalen Turner’s Thief series; most of Georgette Heyer’s books; the Amelia Peabody series (Elizabeth Peters); Sarah Addison Allen’s books; Jennifer Crusie’s books; Robin McKinley…and many more.

    It’s like visiting with old friends and remembering favorite times. I do try to read books by new to me authors but I prefer standalone books to series for the most part and most YA books (have I mentioned I like YA books? LOL) seem to be written as series. I don’t mind if a book I read and like turns into a series as long as each book can stand on it’s own. An example is Troubled Waters by Sharon Shinn. It started out as a standalone book but is now developing into a series.

    • Yeah, sometimes my TBR just doesn’t seem appealing even though I have a lot of interesting books in there. Yay for rereading MWT’s books! I would love to reread Sarah Addison Allen and Robin McKinley’s books too.

      I agree, rereading old favorites is like hanging out with old friends. It feels very comforting to do that. Hmm, do you mean YA fantasy? Yes, most of the ones that are being published lately are part of a series. But if it’s YA contemporary or other genres, I think there are plenty of standalones.

  3. I WISH I had time to reread more. I try to reread The Queen’s Thief series every year. I tend to reread romance novels more than anything else because they are easy for me to get through. I would love to be able to reread some of my favorite fantasy series more often but that requires such a time commitment.

    • I’ve seen you rereading MWT’s books and I also want to do that every year. I want to wait for the next book before rereading them but since we haven’t heard any news, it might be a while before that will be released. Yes, romance novels are a lot easier to reread than fantasy. They’re not as long and they tend to be lighter reads. Rereading favorite fantasy series does take a lot of commitment, which is why I’m just rereading Son of the Shadows now instead of the whole series.

  4. I used to reread more pre-blogging but once I started my blog I almost never reread books. Then I went through burnout and did nothing but reread. I decided then that I could just reread and review books again because why not? sometimes your opinions about books are different or you discover things the second (or third) time you reread something. 🙂

    • Same. I used to reread a lot more before I started the blog. This is mostly because my TBR pile expanded to mountainous proportions when I started getting recommendations from bloggers and authors. That’s a good way of thinking about things. I’ve never felt the urge to write a new review for an old favorite but you should definitely go for it if that’s something that you feel like doing.

  5. I used to reread a lot (my Howl’s Moving Castle is battered), but when I started being more conscious of the amount of new reading I do in a year, I stopped because I was constantly chasing after that quota. This year, I purposely lowered my usual 50 book quota to 35, but then I ended up surpassing that by midyear so I returned to 50. But despite the lessened pressure to read more, I still ended up reading new books more rather than going through my Reread TBR. Blame the proliferation of new and new-to-me books, I guess.

    • Oh hey! Howl is another book that I could have included in my list. LOL I hate having a quota as well, that’s why I purposefully set mine to just 60 this year (which I’ve already completed). I think a big factor of why we read more new books is because we’re also more aware of what’s out there because of ineractions with other readers. I would probably stick to rereading old favorites if I don’t hear about new books from authors and bloggers.

      • Plus books are more accessible now. It’s so easy to purchase a new book as soon as it’s released now, versus having to wait months for the local bookstores to start carrying them. And yeah, we hear of new titles more than we used to. I have to admit, in the pre-internet / pre-blogging age (SHITE, AGE SHOWING!), my sole decision for buying books was IRL friend recos and what looks nice in the brick and mortar bookstores.

      • Yep, it’s a lot easier to get copies of books now. Especially when you have a Kindle or any kind of e-reader, you can buy a copy of whatever you want anytime, anywhere. I actually have another discussion post in mind regarding getting recommendations from friends IRL in the past compared to recommendations from bloggers or other online connections.

  6. I see someone has said something similar above, but I agree–it can be really interesting to discuss what a second reading of a book was like. Often it shows so much about how you’ve change, but yeah, sometimes you see new things, etc. I would read a post like that.

    As for rereading, I go through phases…rereading tends to be a comfort thing for me, though I usually like to wait until enough time has passed that I dont remember every single detail. I reread all of PK Dick’s work regularly, every few years at this point. And I go back to favorites again and again. Particularly the books of Walter Moers. I love listening to Jim Dale read Harry Potter, which means I have relistened to those more times than I can count. This year so far the only rereading I’ve done though was of the Dealing with Dragons series by Patricia C Wrede, which Id read as a kid. I have a lot of fun rereading my childhood favorites and seeing how they stand up to my adult self.

    • I definitely agree, we can have a different experience of the same book depending on our mood or current situation. So yes, our reactions to a book may change when we reread it depending on so many factors. Like I said in my reply above, I usually feel the same way about the books that I reread. I mean I notice different things in old favorites but I still love the books as a whole so I don’t change my reviews.

      I would love to reread my favorite books as a child like the Roald Dahl and Newbery-awarded books that I read while growing up. It would be interesting to see how I’ll react to them as an adult. Sigh, I really wish I had more time to read!

  7. I love re-reading. I think I re-read as much as I read new books. My attitude about new books vs. old favorites is kind of the reverse of yours–why take a risk on something that might be really boring when I already know, not only that this book is good, but also that I’m in the right mood for it right now?

    But then maybe I’m weird in that I really follow moods in what I choose to read next. And sometimes I’m actually in a new-book mood. Those times I’m feeling risky and adventurous. Yeah, its just a book, but there are only so many hours in a day!

    • I really think that if I didn’t have a book blog, I would probably reread a lot more. Because then I wouldn’t be distracted by other readers raving on social media or trusted bloggers reviewing new books that look so good. But yes, if I’m in the mood for a certain author, I give in to that feeling and reread their books. I just need to let myself do that more often. I think a lot of us base our reading choices on our moods! There really isn’t enough hours in the day for reading.

  8. I used to reread ALL the time. I’d read my favorite books and series over and over again. Now, I do feel a lot more pressure to keep up with the newest books, plus life is just busier than it used to be. But I do still think of myself as a rereader, and I try to intentionally reread some of my favorite books from time to time. Plus, sometimes I’m just craving a particular book or author and nothing else will do!

    • Life has been busier for me since I moved to Singapore. LOL but that was two years ago so I feel like I’ve gotten used to things. Yes, when you’re in the mood for a particular book or author then you just have to read them! There are also times when I’m in the mood to discover new books that are similar to old favorites so I would ask for recommendations (e.g. I want something like Eva Ibbotson’s writing).

  9. I gave up on keeping up with All The New Books, so I still re-read a lot even though I have (like everyone) an ever-expanding TBR pile. When you’re in the mood to re-read BEAUTY by McKinley, then nothing else will do!

    • I should make more of an effort to reread. I guess I’m always just willing to give new-to-me authors a try to see if I’ll discover a new favorite. Like when I discovered Laura Florand last year. But yes, I would love to reread Beauty too!

  10. I think I have reread all of Bujold’s books so many times I have parts memorized. And when I know a favorite part is coming up I get so impatient. But I still find new things in her books each time I read them, and different parts resonate differently with each reading, depending on where I am mentally and emotionally. Right now I am rereading Martha Wells Rakshura series (for the third or fourth time, depending on which book it is in the series.) I have a love/hate thing with series. If I really like the author, I want to reread the series every time a new book comes out, but if the series is getting too long (Mercy Thompson/Kat Daniels/the Elantra books by Michelle Sagara,), this can be a major time commitment. Plus you end up reading the early books in the series way too often. And you start to notice things that irk you in reading several books that wouldn’t be so bad in standalone (is it absolutely necessary that Mercy to sustain devastating injuries in each book? It starts to feel like an author’s ploy to elicit a response and not so organic to the overarching story.)

    So yes, I love rereading. As much as I love new books. (Maybe more – I know what I’m getting in to when I’ve read it before, and I can count on the quality.)

    • I also get impatient when one of my favorite scenes is about to come up! Yes, I’ve mentioned in one of my replies above that we have different reading experiences depending on our moods so we also tend to notice other things when we reread. I love your point about noticing things that irk you when rereading several books that normally wouldn’t bother you if you read the series one book at a time! That’s happened to me as well, like I would notice that an author uses the same phrase over and over again, which can get annoying.

      I think I love rereading old favorites just as much as reading new books. I like how I can count on well-written novels when I get frustrated with trying out new books.

      PS: I should check out the Rakshura and Elantra series. I think I have them on my wishlist but have not had a chance to read them.

  11. You know I reread often and with abandon. Laura Florand’s books have proved to be lovely rereads for me this past year. I always reread SUNSHINE in October and THE SCORPIO RACES has become an annual November 1st reread. 🙂

    • Angie, I don’t know how you do it! How do you find time to reread as much as you do? I’ve only reread three of Laura Florand’s books so far but looking forward to rereading the rest. I should join you on that November reread of The Scorpio Races. I don’t think I’ve reread it since I first discovered it.

  12. Pingback: Top Ten Goals/Resolutions For 2015 | Chachic's Book Nook

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