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I don’t know about you but I start feeling guilty over the smallest of things. Someone says “hi, how are you in the street?” and I only say “hi” without returning the question? Guilty. I use the last of the bread at home? Guilty. I get a higher score on a test then my friend? Guilty.
And, like most other things, this is true for my reading life aswell. And so today I’m here to talk to you about the guilt that comes hand in hand with re-reading some of my favourite books.
Why do I re-read books?
I re-read books usually for two reason and two reasons only:
1.I’ve completely forgotten what happened.
This happens a lot. It’s actually kind of embarrassing how terrible my memory is and so this memory loss paired with me putting off reading sequels for months on end up with me re-reading the first book in a series.
I’ve done this with series such as Throne of Glass, Six of Crows, A Darker Shade of Magic (and I still haven’t read the sequel despite re-reading the first novel for this purpose).
My current theory is that too much of my mental storage is filled up with useless Vine references meaning there’s not enough room for the important stuff like: birthdates, remembering to text back, plots from really good books, etc.
2. I need to re-live the amazingness.
Do you ever miss fictional worlds and characters? Because I do. And so I dive back into the series head first with barely any hesitation as was the case with the Percy Jackson series which I re-read in it’s entirety earlier this year.
One minute I’ll be sitting there minding my own business, the next minute my brain is saying “re-read *insert a favourite series I’ve already read a bunch of times*“.
In my defence I do try and fight these urges, remind myself of all the other books I need to read, but then if it goes on long enough I have to give in and re-read a book or two. Hence why I re-read The Naturals series last month. I couldn’t help myself.
Why do I enjoy reading books I’ve already read?
One of my favourite things about re-read books is that I already know what’s going to happen so there’s no stress over “oh my god is my favourite going to survive”. There’s less confusion and I typically notice new things compared to the first time reading.
For me there’s just something so comforting about going back to a book, back to a set of characters I already love and a world I know I love. It’s like coming home after a long day.
Why do I feel guilty?
Besides from the fact that I feel guilty over everything I do, I think the main reason I typically feel guilty about re-reading books is that there’s just so many others I want to read.
As sad as it is to admit: there’s only going to be so many books I’m going to be able to read in my lifetime.
My thought process reminds me of this and then asks “so why are you wasting time re-reading books you’ve read?” or “why didn’t you just pay attention the first time around?”
Also there’s the blogging factor. While this blog isn’t dedicated to reviews in the slightest, I’m lucky if I get one up a week, I do still enjoy talking about my thoughts and feelings about new books I’ve read and discovered and that doesn’t happen if I’m constantly reading the same things.
It doesn’t help that I feel like my un-read books are judging me as I’m just there reading The Foxhole Court for the millionth time like:
What books have I re-read this year so far?
So far this month I have re-read a total of 17 books which I don’t think is too bad considering I’ve read 75 books this year all together.
Some of the books I’ve re-read include:
- The Percy Jackson series because I was feeling nostalgic.
- Ghosts of the Shadowmarket + Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy because I’m trash for these characters.
- The Infernal Devices, These Witches Don’t Burn + Hearstopper V1 in preparation for their respective sequels.
What books am I currently planning on re-reading?
Have I just talked at length about how guilty I feel when re-reading books instead of reading new things? Yes.
Am I going to continue doing it anyway? Yeppp.
My current list of “to be read … again” include:
- Prince Charming by Rachel Hawkins. I really liked this last year but I can’t remember why.
- Silence of Six by E.C Myers. I read this ages ago but didn’t understand barely anything so I wanna try again before un-hauling it.
- Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo. Its too early to read this yet. I only read this in January. But I need to be prepared for the sequel.
- The Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordan. I wanna try and read through all of the Riordenverse again. My plans for doing this by the end of the year is clearly unreachable but hopefully I can squeeze in this trilogy.
So. There we go. An in depth look at my reading related guilt.
I’d love to know if anybody else experiences guilt over reading certain things over others? Lets talk about it. Thanks so much for reading and stay safe!