Re-Reading Books

some old books i found in the guest room. =]

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At a social gathering last night I was asking friends’ advice on whether I should purchase a Kindle so I can read ‘books that I want to read but that I’m not going to want to re-read’.  “Re-read???” said pretty much everyone there, “You re-read books?”

Of course, I re-read books.  I love re-reading books.  It is like going back and seeing old friends or exploring well-loved places.  I have a couple of series of books that I re-read every year  (“You re-read whole series of books??”).  Currently, I’m re-reading The Night Circus, even though I only read it for the first time back in April.  Why?  Because I wanted to re-visit it.  I was in the mood to take that journey again.

Is it so strange to re-read books?  I thought this was something that everyone did, but now I’m starting to think that maybe that is something only a small group of people do.  If you re-read books, why do you do so?  If you don’t re-read books, why not?  Also, I want to hear from people who use Kindles but also have a passion for good old-fashion books.  Is it worth getting a Kindle?

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10 thoughts on “Re-Reading Books

  1. I re-read books all the time. I’ve read the “Earth’s Children” series so many times, I can just open any of the books at a random page and start reading! I think it’s strange that people don’t go back to re-read books they loved. I also don’t believe in e-books, because I love books as much as I love to read.

  2. I’d find it strange to not re-read books — and I’ve even re-read books that I own on my Kindle. There are some books that I re-read at least once a year, while there are others that are a bit less frequent.

  3. Any book I buy, electronic or physical, instead of checking out from the library, I plan to read again. Probably several times. Though I miss holding an actual book, a Kindle is a space-saver. There’s some good free classics and deals, as well. And you can check out library e-books.

  4. I like to re-read books as well which is a reason I switched to using a Kindle. I just don’t have the room to store all the paper books I will eventually re-read. Having them all together not taking up storage space keeps me from forcing myself to get rid of books I don’t have room for. It’s hard sometimes to decide which books will make the cut and now I don’t have to.

  5. I love love love my Kindle. And I’m firmly convinced that it saved my back when I was reading Stephen King’s “Under The Dome.” That thing is monstrous in size when not on the Kindle.

    I also re-read books that I love- not all of them. Some things I buy, read, and drop off the Kindle. If I ever wanted to re-read them, they’re always in the cloud waiting, but not every book is worth revisiting. Many are though, and I keep some of my cherished favorites on the Kindle for just that reason.

  6. Like you, I am a re-reader. I love to relive in the stories that once charmed and inspired me. I bought a Kindle because I wanted to be able to find books in the Engilsh language when I was living in countries in which they were not readily available. When I can buy books in the bookstore, I still prefer to do that, partly because it’s much easier to browse and be inspired by the overall book-buying experience that way — but I have a lot of appreciation for the ways in which the Kindle enabled me to read in situations where it may have been hard to do it. I also like that it aggregates your notes and digital bookmarks, such that you can go back any time and look at what once struck you about a book. let us know what you decide!

  7. If you’re not going to re-read books, then why bother owning them?

    There are some books that I simply had to re-read, in order to fully appreciate them. Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita, Catch 22, Marr’s biography of Patrick White, are three.

    Graphic novels like Art Spiegelman’s Maus particularly benefit from a second read.

  8. If I re-read a book (and it’s a novel not a spiritual, manual or picture book) it means it had an unusual emotional impact or has a special atmosphere that I want to revisit. That being sad I rarely read a book or watch a movie more than one time. It’s sad in a way but if you think about, since most novels about one story, after you know the end it’s kind of spoiling the chance of wanting it to re-read. There are some authors whose style and humor would make it worth reading again but I think people are just bombarded with new books every day and there’s also the notion of wanting something new all the time. Our culture would need to slow down again so that people would be able to value books (and art and movies etc..) again.

  9. I definitely re-read books – but only the ones worth re-reading. I tend to find that the ones I want to read over and over again throughout my life are also the books that I keep as a true “book.” I’ll buy trashy beach reads and 50 Shades of Grey on my Kindle because if I lost my Kindle, I wouldn’t despair over the loss of the content on it. But the classics – Jane Austen, Shakespeare, Poe, Bukowski, Vonnegut, etc. – those are worth keeping, worth paying $2k to have them shipped from North America to Australia. I think the reason for this is the book will always be the same, but the lesson we gain from it evolves as we evolve as people. It’s a beautiful gift that will continue to give as life changes, and, ultimately, we do too.

  10. So glad to see this. I don’t really understand why someone would buy a book if she doesn’t think she might want to read it again or at least look at it again. I’m not talking about buying a book to take on a trip with you or buying a book because you need to write notes in the margins for a class or buying a book because you don’t want to be on the waiting list at the library. I’m talking about the apparently booming business that book sellers do. Are all those book buyers bringing home books, reading them once and then just setting them aside and never looking at them again? If I’m pretty sure I only want to read a book once, I take it out of the library. There have been a couple of times I liked a book from the library so much that I then bought a copy because I wanted to return to it again and again. Anyway, to answer your question, yes, I absolutely read books again. (I can’t answer your e-reader question as I don’t have one of those.)

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