The art of re-reading books

I have never been one to re-read a book after I’ve read it once. The only exception to the rule is Harry Potter and even then I’ve not re-read it that much and sometimes not entirely in full. (A travesty, I know!) As a young’n, I think my attention span was at fault for this. I didn’t see the satisfaction in living in the same book again, carving out a hole in its pages and being comforted by familiar words. The difference between now and then is I definitely do. In fact, I crave it. Surprisingly from other books and not just Harry Potter, though, like for many, that series will always be a safe place in my times of great need above all else.

These days I whizz through books so fast and, as much as I love inhaling books and being efficient in my reading, it’s that bittersweet feeling of never wanting a book to end, but also already anticipating your next. The only way to truly savour any of these much-loved reads is to go back and make the conscious decision to give the words extra time to seep into your skin. So that’s what I’m planning to do more of. Re-read books I loved — and not just Harry Potter.

Amongst the titles are ones I read only this past year and those from many moons ago. Admittedly, I’d quite like to go back to ‘Twilight’ and relish in being a young teen who was completely enamoured by all that (yeah, probably super problematic) good, gooood stuff, but I think that’ll have to get in line behind my much-needed HP re-read annnnnnd all of these.

There are a couple UKYA titles I loved so much in 2016/17 that need my love and attention again, and they were ‘A Quiet Kind of Thunder’ by Sara Barnard. I need Rhys and Steffi like I need to breathe. Their awkward sexual endeavours and failed attempts at a romantic trip to Edinburgh. I just… Yes, give it to me again, please and thank you. I also really want to read Louise Gornall’s debut for a second time — ‘Under Rose-Tainted Skies’. It was such an important and informative read and the narrative voice was completely engaging and accurate.

As for USYA, oh maaaaaan. I am dying to re-visit ‘The Fault in Our Stars’, because it’s the one book by John Green that actually got me hooked and, on a lesser note, I’m intrigued to see what not-so-cool stuff I pick up on now I’m more woke than my seventeen-year-old self was. ‘Fangirl’ by Rainbow Rowell is also top of my list. I fell hard for that book and I kind of can’t believe it’s been all these years since I first read it and that I haven’t yet drenched myself in all that delicious Levi. I am sorry I did you so wrong, Levi and Cath. ‘Wing Jones’ by Katherine Webber is also a must. The writing style completely swept me away and makes me want to kick myself up the arse and get writing again.

What books are you desperate to re-visit and lose yourself in?

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11 thoughts on “The art of re-reading books

  1. Michelle

    I LOVE to re-read favorites! It’s so comforting – especially after a difficult read. My faves include Harry Potter and Fangirl as well! 😀 I’m also looking forward to re-reading Anne of Green Gables here soon.

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    • Alice Marshall

      Yeeees, I think more recently since I’ve been thinking more and more about re-reading books I’ve stopped myself because of wanting to get through ones I haven’t picked up yet. But reading shouldn’t come with rules, or force you into something? I can’t wait for it to become a favourite thing of mine to do!

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  2. Churchill

    I just finished rereading “Startup Growth Engines,” by Sean Ellis. It also my first reread in many years. I discovered a few ideas that I missed the first time I read it. It’s a great book for anyone trying to startup a business online or offline.

    I never thought I would enjoy rereading books, but I did, so the next reread is already waiting. I will probably add a few books to reread on my list for the Read Around The World Challenge that I am participating in at http://boocshare.com/reading-challenge . Check it out, if you are looking for a reading challenge for the year 2018.

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    • Alice Marshall

      Oooh, interesting. I’ve only just started getting into reading non-fiction more for pleasure, since loving researching for my dissertation at uni, so I think it might be a while before I start re-reading non-fiction.

      Will do! I’d quite like to do some kind of tag or challenge with my reading next year! 🙂

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  3. arubunwritten

    I used to reread books so much as a child/teen. I think because I have much less time to read now it feels almost like a waste to read something you’ve already read. But I want to reread old books too. There’s definitely something comforting about reading a book you know you love and rediscovering it!

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