To reread? Or not to reread?

I almost exclusively buy physical books that I’ve already read and liked. I just don’t want to waste money on a book that I end up not liking, you know? So unless it’s one of my auto-buy authors (Sarah Dessen) or part of a series that I’ve been reading and enjoyed, I’m only going to buy something if I already know that I like it. But then a lot of my books just sit on my shelf unopened because I already read the ARC or the library copy or whatever and I don’t get around to rereading.

discussion posts

Pros/Cons of Rereading Books

Pro – You know what you’re getting

You’ve already read the book, you know how the plot is, how quirky the characters are, how swoony the romance is, you know how it’s going to make you feel. You can purposefully pick a book to perfectly suit the mood you’re in.

Con – There are no surprises

Chances are you remember that mindblowing twist at the end of the book. It is never going to be exactly as satisfying as the first time you read it because you know what’s going to happen.

Pro – Additional insights

Sometimes you get something else out of a book on a second or even third read-through. I think this is especially true with books you may have read when you were much younger or with series’ where you had to wait years between books. For me, Harry Potter fits both those categories.

Con – Time constraints

Who has time to even think about rereading books when new books are being published EVERY DAY. If you’re spending time rereading a book, you’re not spending time reading a new book–a book that would probably become your new favorite book of all time.

Pro – Can help you out of a reading slump

This is definitely the case for me. If I’m ever in a bad slump, I can pick almost any Sarah Dessen book off my shelf and I’m back. Rereading a favorite book can be like slipping into that cozy, old sweater you only wear on rainy days. There’s something very comforting about losing yourself in those worn pages.

Con – It might ruin the book for you

Perhaps you read a book when you were younger and you remember really enjoying it. It’s been a few (or more) years and you decide to pick it up again. To your horror, you realize that the writing is not that good, the protag is especially weak, and the love interest is alarmingly problematic in a number of ways. Some things are just better left as a rosy memory.

So yeah, I’m still pretty on the fence about rereading. There are obviously points on both sides and readers should probably take it on a case-by-case basis.

How do you decide whether or not to reread a book? Any pros/cons that I missed?

21 thoughts on “To reread? Or not to reread?

  1. Great post! I love rereading books, there’s something so comforting about it 🙂 a rare few don’t always live up to the memory, I struggled to return to the Princess Diaries, but Sarah Dessen definitely lives up to a reread!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am not usually a re-reader. Up until this winter, I had maybe re-read a total of 4 books in a lot of years. This winter I wanted to revisit a few of my favorite books, but that time constraint issue bugged me. I ended up listening to the audiobooks. It was the perfect way to revisit some of my favorite books. I think I’m going to try to do that more often.
    Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I haven’t had a book ruined yet but I have had a couple that I definitely didn’t love as much the second time around or had a character where it was like yeah, I can see why people said their annoying now. So it’s definitely dangerous to reread sometimes!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t reread books nearly as much as I did when I was a kid. Mainly because now I have access to so many more new books. The books that I have chosen to reread now are usually more complicated works that I get new info out of every time I read them. I don’t think I could reread a simple romance… there just isn’t enough there to make me go “oh, I didn’t realize that before!”

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I used to reread SO MUCH before I was a blogger because I wasn’t aware of all of the amazing new releases coming out! I do miss it sometimes, especially since it helps me stay current with series. I have a rule now where I try to only buy books if I can see myself rereading them eventually!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I am firmly in the rereading books is a good thing category. I wish I had more time to do so and I often fall in love more with books. I personally think if a book isn’t as good the second time around for you, it’s probably because you’ve changed as a person and I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing to realize. Great discussion post!

    Liked by 1 person

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