Discussion: Fear of Re-reading

let's talkMaybe fear isn’t the right word but I never thought I would be nervous or uneasy to re-read a book. I usually enjoy it! Re-reading is my mark of a good book. If it’s something I want to read and live again, it’s a good book.

I’ve been thinking lately about how things change. You might have loved a book when you read it years ago but when you re-read it now, you don’t like it or worse…you hate it. Does that tarnish your image of the book?

The books that brought about this discussion are the Chaos Walking Trilogy. I loved the books when I read them years ago. I thought they were top of the game YA books.

The ‘problem’ is I’d consider myself more well read in the YA world at this point. I’ve literally read hundreds of more books since then. Some good books and some bad ones. I’m just a little nervous to revisit them. How are they going to stand up? Am I going to be harsher on them because I’ve seen what does and doesn’t work in the YA world? Or am I going to see flaws that I was overlooking years ago but now can’t ignore? Maybe I’ll love them even more because of how well they stand up?

Do you get nervous about re-reading?
Does re-reading change your opinions of books?



22 thoughts on “Discussion: Fear of Re-reading

  1. I think this is a very good discussion. I used to re-read a hell lot, all the time but since discovering BookTube and the book blogging community I haven’t been able to do so because there are so many books. The thing is, I’ve been thinking about what you just said a lot lately… what if I re-read a book I really enjoyed long ago and it turns out I end up hating it now? I don’t want to go through THAT! So the only thing I’m planning on re-reading any time soon is Harry Potter because I know, I would never be able to hate it. It’s my everything

  2. I guess you could say that I have a fear of rereading a book that I loved, mostly because I’m afraid I won’t love it as much the second time around. I also find it really hard to reread a book because I already know what will happen, and that element of surprise is gone. Plus, there are just so many books out there, that I don’t ever have time to read the same book again.

    • Some of the surprise is gone with re-reads but I’ve found that if enough time goes by, some details you do forget. So there are some ‘new’ surprises with re-reading it.

  3. I don’t really get nervous about rereading. If I reread a book and it doesn’t hold up, then it wasn’t true love in the first place. At least that’s what I always think. And quite often, rereading a book will give me the opportunity to appreciate new things about it. I often love books more and more upon successive rereadings. Yes, occasionally I’ll reread a book and find I don’t care about it anymore (that happened with A.S. Byatt’s Possession), but it’s rare. Loving a book more on a reread is common, common, common.

    • I always hope to love books more on rereads. You get a chance to appreciate things you didn’t notice the first time around. That’s how it was with Harry Potter. I notice new things on each read and love the books more.

  4. I think it really depends. More than likely, with me at least, if I really love a book enough to reread it, it’s probably going to be as great as it was the first time. I can read tons of great books, but a book really has to stand out for me to want to reread it again. That being said, I think there are times that I come across things I dislike in books I reread, but I try to focus on the reasons I loved it in the first place.

  5. I definitely get nervous re-reading books! What if I turn around and hate them or see all of the little flaws others saw? Or life experiences catch up to me and I cannot relate to a character or hate a my favorite character later on. I love re-reading books before I watch the movie that goes with it. I like to compare the two. But I’ve found that if I wait to long to re-read many titles, I don’t like them as much. I out grow them. Few novels have really stuck with me for several rereads.. I hope your experience goes well!

    • Growing up is always a problem with re-reading books. It can be really disappointing to read books you loved as kid but don’t really get as an adult. :-/

      • So true! I have found several series that I have tried to reread and I am just not that into them. I still love them and I always will, I’m just not in love with them.. ya know? Thankfully there are a few books and series that I have yet to outgrow. I hope to continue to fall in love with them each time I read them, but if not they will always have a place in my heart. ❤

  6. Re-reading has been hit or miss for me. There are some books (e.g., The Hunger Games for me) that stay awesome each time I read it, but there are others where I wonder why I was so excited about the book in the first place. Books in the latter category tend to be ones that I first read many years ago, and I’ve changed as a person and as a reader since then. I haven’t re-read the Chaos Walking trilogy, so I’m curious what you think of it if you do re-read the books.

  7. I definitely get nervous about re-reading! I’d hate to love a book less because of a re-read. I also feel like there are too many new books to read for me to want to spend time re-reading a book, even one I expect to love again.

    • It can be really hard to juggle your time. I wish I could find a good balance of re-reading books I love and still get to all the new to me books I want to read.

  8. Depending on where we are in life or our mood or any number of variables the way we feel about a book can change. But I can usually tell within a few pages if I’m enjoying the book and if not I don’t worry about it. I stop reading it, shelve it and plan on trying again another time.

    When I read a favorite book though it’s like visiting an old friend and I settle in delighted to be in that story again. Books that are really well written always have more to offer with each reading which is fun to discover.

    • I really need to get better at putting books to the side if they’re not capturing my attention!

      Those books always are a joy to reread. I love getting new things out of ‘old’ books.

  9. I have actually never thought about this. I re-read books a lot, and it’s true that sometimes my opinion about it changes, but that has never really bothered me. I guess it’s just a fact of life that when you’re in another place in your life, you will see things differently.
    But I see your point. Very nice blog post. (:

  10. Pingback: Monthly Round Up: March 2015 | The Cheap Reader

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